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|Long-time hoof-care industry leader Walt Taylor maintains it’s time to professionalize the farrier industry.|
For more than 4 decades, Walt Taylor has favored the licensing of farriers. But for years the founder and long-term president of the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) accepted the wishes of the AFA membership to develop an in-house certification program as an alternative to licensing.
Finally realizing that no change was going to come from the AFA or from most of today’s farriers, the Albuquerque, N.M., farrier has changed direction in recent months. He is now campaigning for professional education and training of farrier students that would eventually lead to the licensing of all farriers.
At last June’s annual meeting of the American Horse Council (AHC) in Washington, D.C., Taylor spoke during an open forum where attendees were encouraged to bring up equine topics.
“I talked for a few minutes and brought along a handout favoring my personal views on farrier education, training, testing and credentialing,” he says. “Those in attendance were very supportive and interested. Many did not know that there are no standards for farrier education, training, examination or regulation.”
This exchange of ideas with the horse industry’s top lobbying group led Taylor to launch an all-out campaign to encourage farrier professionalism.
Since that meeting, Taylor has recommended to the AHC that farrier licensing be part of the Prevent All Soring Techniques (PAST) Act being considered in Congress. The AHC is working hard to secure passage of this bill that has…