Are you for or against licensing for farriers? If you support it, how far-reaching would you want regulation of farriers?

Regulation/licensing/etc....whatever you call it, someone will have to be in charge of all that, oversee it, and be the "all knowing" head that determines what is allowed/not allowed. That leaves waaaaay too much room for manipulation/segregation of bare/shod and all that mess. I am all for CE.....I am all for some sort of system that can validate someone's ability (or especially....LACK of) to protect horses and horse owners. We know the mess this can create though. Look at the UK. Personally, if I want to work on my own horse, I have a right to do so. I welcome being checked upon, but I don't see how stopping people from working on their own horses is going to help. Increased education and a means to follow up on someone's "credentials" or experience should be available. It's a big can of worms. I've seen amazing work by so called "no bodies" and horrors committed by those supposedly accredited to do xyz. Not every person who does their own farriery is a hack and not every farrier/trimmer out there has the proper skill to not cripple a horse/cause harm. IMO owners should have some recourse if their animal is sufficiently injured due to improper hoof care from anyone paid to do the job. Who will be appointed to regulate that.....that is the question.
—Heidi Meyer

This comment is for Steve Wilberg. Don't know who you are but how rude and disrespectful of you to directly attack Esco Buff in a manner that CLEARLY displays your ignorance for who he is and what he does on a daily basis as a full time therapeutic and corrective shoeing specialist. I interned with Esco back in March of this year. 2013. I was expecting to help or assist in some way during that time but was not allowed according to our agreement. Esco performed all his own work. Since that time I have traveled to multiple out of state locations for his clinics and other shoeing jobs just to gain the knowledge and experience he has to offer. Esco does all his own shoeing and his own work. Even at his level where he could afford to pay someone to do the grunt work he chooses to do it all himself out of love for the job. Perhaps going forward you should make comments based on direct knowledge and not hear say. Anyone making derogatory comments about Esco, his character or shoeing can't possibly know the man on any personal level. Esco has become a personal friend since my internship. He is a gentleman and a scholar. He is one of the hardest working farriers I know traveling all over the country. Just look at his FB page and you will see the 100s of people and horses that have been touched by him. It would serve you well to retract your statement and make a formal apology and then make an attempt to get to know him and glean from his expertise. Your life and shoeing business can only benefit. Mine has changed dramatically.
—Richard Armentrout

Although I see the benefit of standards in our industry I have major concerns with licensing requirements. The closest model we can compare to would be the requirements for veterinary licensing. If you look up your individual state requirements you will find a great deal of bureaucratic red tape. 
In Ohio for example here are a few areas that would need to be addressed if farrier licensing modeled veterinary licensing. 
-Changes and additions must be made to each individual state's revised code. Reciprocity between states would need to be established. 
-Formation of a board comprising of farriers and public persons would need to be created by each state. (The board would be responsible for handling complaints, compliance inspections, continuing education, criminal background checks, discipline, the examination process, laws and rules, licensing verification etc, etc. ) Consider the Ohio Licensing board mission statement. 
The Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board was established for the purpose of licensing veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians. The Board is the regulatory agency for the practice of veterinary medicine in Ohio and is governed by Chapter 4741 of the Ohio Revised Code. 
Its mission is to insure that the citizens of Ohio are served by professional, trustworthy and competent veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The Board accomplishes this mission by timely issuing licenses, approving candidates for examination for license, approving continuing education courses required for the license, investigating complaints involving licensed veterinarians or registered veterinary technicians or violations of the practice act, providing compliance inspections of veterinary facilities and establishing a working relationship with all Federal, State and local regulatory agencies relating to veterinary medicine. 
Just those two areas lead me to a million questions. 
Would each individual state have different rules and regulations? 
How would the individual state codes be revised? 
Who would be knowledgeable and capable of participating in this political/legal process to ensure it's fair and balanced in each state? 
Would separate examinations and fees be required to become licensed in multiple states? 
If not licensed in that state would you be required to be supervised by a farrier licensed in that state? 
How would the individual farrier be subject to liabilities for his work? 
Are there even enough highly trained and competent farriers in each state to form a governing body? 
Would being licensed subject us to veterinary monitoring and prescription requirements for corrective shoeing? 
Would separate licensing and testing be necessary for specialty areas? More fees.. more bureaucratic tape.... 
In theory the idea of our industry being regulated is a good one. All responsible, educated, highly trained farriers are interested in the well being each horse they work on. But are we really ready to open up our industry to the political flood that would ensue with state licensing? Food for thought
—Richard Armentrout

This is always an intersting subject that gets a lot of peoples danders up. Here's my question...here in So Cal, there are a lot of "shoers" who aren't even legal residents. what makes you think they will get a shoeing license? I'm all for CE, but I believe that licensing wouod cause more issue than it would solve. It would raise prices, and a lot of people are on the brink as it is. "If done right" is the applicable phrase. Look at all the problems they have had in the UK, and they have been doing it "right" for many years. Plus, there are very few horse owners who would even care, especially if it made shoeing more expensive.

Licensing isn't about ensuring that all hoof care providers can do good work - just look at the UK....a 4 year apprenticeship and government control over who can have an apprentice etc and you still see a ton of cr*p work over there. The issue of licensing, I reckon, is more about having the profession recognized as a specialized one - currently the majority of us are considered laymen, not professionals, Licensing with a requirement for continued education would certainly help us move farriers into the professional world. I can't say I like the idea of any government telling me what to do - in ANY aspect of my life, but I do see the pro side of it as well. As said above - the government is going to turn it's ugly eye on us sooner or later and if we wait too long we'll get laws and regulations that we won't enjoy, perhaps we should consider licensing as a means of fending off the hand of the bureaucrats....
—Chris Richardson

Please provide an answer to the question, either way, but do so with professionalism and avoiding personal attacks and unprofessional comments. Will licensure protect you???
—Esco Buff, PhD, APF, CF

Once upon a time there were breakthrough articles on the five ways to change a keg shoe. Now you want to lobby for and against an extremely political issue. Do not go ahead with this strategy away from your neighborhood. I strongly agree on some education when you have the need. AFJ is there in the room. The guys with nothing better to do want to license and preach to the choir to believe it is great. It is not the "best" or safest way to stay healthy. Ever since iodine crystals and veterinary drugs were stolen by druggies we locked our cabinets, trucks and doors ( but left our gates open)and put ourselves on high security. I was a victim of "all", yes every tool in my trailer stolen by a druggie who later go t arrested. But the courts took over 1 year to convict . Two years ago no one answered my needs to return to my practice. You cannot guarantee a network to reissue a loss if licensing does not guarantee restitution in practice. If also the changes you give farriers to whistle blow on the law breakers you have to have a political, constable to enforce the laws. Guys, give up the process to make strict sanctions because the access to your own gates ( which you once kept unlocked), unfortunate there was no help within five miles. A board of trustees to delegate and make prescription on our brotherhood can not be of help against those who cause terror for drug money. 
If you can assure a license will protect my valuables and return me to practice, you cannot find an insurance protection in the courts. I think we are wasting a lot if time in the licensing arena. I have been watching my back ever since. 

With all due respect licensing is only to keep track of people! Big Brother? Who will license me? My clients are my only approval I need. They have already approved me to perform the work on their horses. Esco go back to your computer and keep telling everyone how to shoe horses. You have no business in this argument as I understand you no longer shoe horse but tell everyone how it should be done!
—Steve Wiberg

Who would be the licensing body?.....
—Esther Cass

If there was to be licensing, then yes, I would prefer that our industry be in the forefront and set policy on it. As Esco points out, continuing education is a large part of it. However...playing the devil's advocate here - who's going to police it? There's no one on a State level knowledgeable about what a farrier does & if it's done correctly or not? 
There's a couple of CJF's in my area that do hack jobs. Obviously they "should" know better since they went through the rigorous process of learning to be a CJF. It's not only having that knowledge but what you do with it.

Licensing, like certification will be no guarantee of competent work. I see too many certified farriers who cannot or will not fit a correct-size shoe.

No to licensing .we have to much government regulations now.
—Marvin Howard

I am in favor of licensing for the simple reason over the years I've had several helpers that after only a few days ( that,s Days ) start out on their own. 
Lets face it, a monkey could tack a shoe on a horse, does that mean he knows what he's doing? Whats the problem with taking classes and taking tests, being certified?One kid out here started shoeing without ever training with anyone,I asked him about why he never studied with anybody he said " As soon as he got a clientele built up then he would take a class". If I ever need brain surgery that,s the kind of doctor I want operating on me , one that goes to medical school AFTER he works on me. If anyone wants to check my work after I'm done , fine, let them check, If I were ashamed of my work I wouldn't want them to see what I had done.I'm proud of the fact that I'm a CJF and I worked my ass off to get there. I can pull up next to any farrier and not feel like a step child, and that I'm proud of the fact that I took their test and passed it. If you are to lazy to study and to scared to try to be licensed then you shouldn't have the right to shoe horses. Its the people that are not qualified to get a license are the very people that have given Farriers a bad reputation. Take a little pride in what you do and be proud of what you do , take the tests, don't be a "Shade tree mechanic". Recently I hired a young girl to work with me and when she got into my truck the first thing I asked her was , How many bones are in the horses foot? She knew the answer! How many guys running around out there in fancy trucks know the answer to that?
—Jon Childs

If we are going to license farriers then ALL hoof care providers, should be licensed.

This will not be a popular post but I am all for licensing, if done correctly. I helped get professional licensing passed in NY for bar bouncers under the NYS Security Guard Act. The requirement's are yearly CE and a $35 year cost for the license. The key is not certifications or in depth testing. It is about CE. Considering the majority of farriers do not attend CE classes, if a licensing was to just define what is farriery so we can be considered a professional legal business and require yearly CE (say 30), then through osmosis our industry would advance more in so many different ways. We already have CE procedures established via AAPF and AAEP that can be followed. The key is to continue education. The warning is that no organization should be in charge of this. I hear many complaints from farriers about practice acts but if the farriers developed their own then much of these issues would go away. To do this we have to attach CE with this in order to show a continued educational process. I regret someday, some farrier is going to do something bad, on the wrong horse, owned by the right person; and we will end up with legislation we will not like. I would rather design our own in our own manner.
—Esco Buff, PhD, APF, CF

100% in favor. Especially if it's preceded by mandatory training and testing. Is in the best interests of the trade, the public and most of all the horses.
—George Geist

As of right now, my vote would be yes. There are a bunch of hack shoers running around shoeing horses causing danger for you horse, and sometimes lameness. And then you have the cases of horse owners trimming their own, often to the detriment of the horse. If we had mandated licensing in the USA, it wouldn't affect any of the professional farriers negatively, but it would eliminate all of the cheap shoeing that goes on so often. Anybody who is serious about hoof care can go about to obtain the certification required. At least that's my 2 cents.
—Charlie Tobler

Problem is licensing always becomes about money, and does not assure good work , the attitude of the craftsman and his knowledge that determines good or bad results.
—Ed Smith Jr.

No i am not for licensing of farriers.there way to many clients that dont understand the profetionalism of good farriers.Of this large group they want it cheap and dont undrestand any of the science of hoof care for the horse. Of these, are the ones that call after they have run the horse after they done a all day event.Also who would regulate the liencne's I'm afraid of the "old boy system"Here if you are good you get respect and good clients,and referrals .for those that like to ruff em up I want no part of

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