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AS EARLY AS 1356, farriers joined together to better themselves and their trade. Presently, many countries require an educational program in the form of an approved apprenticeship or nationally supervised training school or both before anyone can shoe horses.
An aspiring farrier in these countries must obtain a license or certification through a one-time-only examination. In fact, it is illegal to shoe horses in those countries if that examination is failed.
The United States has neither a national standard nor laws that prevent unqualified persons from practicing farriery. American Farrier’s Association (AFA) certification is a system developed to set a standard for proper trimming and shoeing. The system tests shoers for comprehension of anatomy and for “hands-on” competency. The certification process is the only avenue American farriers have, to prove to themselves and to others, that they have a quantifiable level of knowledge and competency in hoof care.
Currently, AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier is the only certification program that is recognized by any of those countries that require licensing.
The second function listed by the AFA’s constitution is, “...to inform the public, and particularly the horse owner, of a quality and standard of service to which he is entitled...”
In the next couple of years, the AFA marketing committee will be focusing a significant portion of its time on this function.
The horse owner will be addressed through a horseowner section on the AFA’s Web site. (American Farriers). We will also be hosting horse…