Farrier Licensing

Back in 2005, American Farriers Journal published a highly controversial 54-page series on farrier licensing and the role that horseshoeing schools played in preparing students for a hoof-care career.

To provide the hoof-care industry with a look back at the valuable historical insights on the pros and cons of farrier licensing from 10 years ago, we created a compilation of four of the 18 articles that appeared in the 2005 series. The entire 18-article series, as well as the four-part licensing series published by American Farriers Journal in 2015-2016, are available on AmericanFarriers.com/licensing to digital subscribers.

Here is a quick summary of what can be learned reading four of the articles that were part of the 2005 series:

Article 1 — AFA Will Review Farrier Schools Nationwide 

In 2005, the American Farrier’s Association issued a proposal that offered advice on minimum curriculum standards for farrier schools that the group felt could eventually lead to uniform testing for new farriers and the registration for all horseshoers.

As you might guess, the proposal received a mixed reception from the public and private farrier schools and from farriers working in the trade who were concerned about the pros and cons of licensing.

Article 2 — United Kingdom Farriers See Benefits From 30 Years Of Licensing

A number of shoers in Great Britain offered generally favorable comments in 2005 about their country’s regulation of farriers. While much has changed over the past 10 years with farrier regulation in Great Britain, this article offers valuable historical perspective on the pros and cons of the British system for regulating farriers.

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Article 3 — Why I Oppose The Regulation Of American Farriers

Long-time veteran farrier Doug Butler called on more than 40 years of experience in farrier education to explain why he clearly opposed the regulation of U.S. farrier schools and farrier practices.

He opposed farrier registration for four major reasons. These included the fact that he considered such licensing rules as being un-American, didn’t see farrier regulation as helping solve lameness problems, didn’t see potential new laws raising footcare standards all by itself and the fact that such a program would not address competency issues with farriers.

Article 4 — "We Don't Want It!"

That message came through loud and clear in 2005 from American Farrier’s Association members who voiced their opinions on farrier regulation and licensing during an open forum called by the organization to specifically deal with the concerns of its members.

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Yours for better hoof care,

Frank Lessiter
Editor/Publisher
American Farriers Journal

What new insights did you gain from this series? What jumped out at you?

Share your observations below.