Age is Not a Factor in Farriers’ Quest for Learning and Certification

Texas farriers Pat Ennis and Donnie Walker become two of the oldest to reach Certified Journeyman Farrier status

Texas farrier Donnie Walker earned his journeyman farrier certification at the age of 67.

Texas farriers Pat Ennis and Donnie Walker become two of the oldest to reach Certified Journeyman Farrier status

Ennis, who turns 65 this July, and Walker, 67, became two of the oldest farriers to earn the American Farrier’s Association’s (AFA) Certified Journeyman Farrier (CJF) status this past March.

Inspiration From Other Veteran Farriers

The question everyone asks these two friends is “Why now?” Ennis, who has been a farrier for 45 years, explains it.

“I hang around so many quality farriers — guys like Chad Chance and Dusty Franklin — and see the way they operate and the fervor they have for the profession. I’ve always had the passion and thought ‘you know what, it’s time.’

So I went on this crazy, epic journey — this quest — to pass the CJF exam,” Ennis says. “I just had this spark inside that grew into an inferno.”

It took Ennis six times to pass the exam. His sixth — and final — attempt took place at the Arkansas Horseshoeing School run by Paul Dorris.

“It was a huge rush,” says Ennis. “I have a private pilot’s license, which required studying over 900 questions for the…

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Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson has been at American Farriers Journal for 17 years. She serves as an assistant editor and production manager for AFJ. A native of Wisconsin, she has written for numerous newspapers and magazines.

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