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Farrier Kim Hillegas of Oakhills, Fla., touched off quite an online debate when she posted a question regarding American Farrier’s Association (AFA) certification standards vs. the shoeing needs of the individual horse on the American Farriers Journal message board. We featured some of the edited comments from that debate in our September/October issue and decided to include a few more this month. We’ll move on to new topics next issue.
“Let’s first remember, the people that put the certification tests together are real farriers and have shod as many horses as anyone else and probably more. They have successful businesses and, for the most part, are well known throughout the country. These are people that have devoted their lives to shoeing horses and trying to make it better. Just as in the certification exam, if we don’t get constructive criticism we don’t learn. The same happens with the test makers.
“If we disagree with the test, let’s stand up and do something constructive, like the people that started this whole thing, not sit in our computer chair and complain. I have watched top farriers in the world certify both Certified Farrier and Journeyman that complained about how they had to shoe the horse they had drawn. But they did it and improved the job.
“My experience with certification exams is that all you have to do is tell the examiner what you are going to do or think needs to be done and he or she will let you do…