The boogeyman of regulation looms over the farrier profession in the United States. And much like the mythical figure used to scare children, there are various forms of the farriery boogeyman.
Every few years, new concerns over licensing reemerge, leaving many to wonder whether any state or federal agency will register and qualify farriers beyond the race track. None have.
Progress continues in our work to define the professionalization of farriers. A few of us met and discussed many of the processes and permutations of the “Initiative to Professionalize the Practice of Equine Footcare and Farriery” in early March. We’ll meet in late summer, when progress can be assessed and new assignments undertaken.
A Friend To Everyone
In early November, I attended the 38th annual clinic at Danny Ward’s shop (“It All Started Because Someone Wanted To Show Off A Shoeing Truck,” Dec. 2015). Like every year, it was well-attended and featured excellent clinicians.
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.
Among roughly 75 AFA members, educators, suppliers and non-members who attended the mid-September “open forum” sponsored by the American Farrier’s Association, nobody spoke in favor of regulating and licensing farriers.
Faced with overwhelming opposition from its members, the American Farrier’s Association cancelled its plan to survey North American farrier schools and dropped any possibility that the organization might push for farrier registration and licensing.
From 1915 to 1981, Illinois was I believe the first of only two or three states to have a licensing requirement for farriers. One of the requirements for a license was having completed a 3-year apprenticeship. Most farriers I spoke with who were affected by the licensing law had nothing good to say about it. They felt that it was unfairly applied and discriminatory. If you were friends with the examiner and/or they needed more farriers at that time, you had a much easier time of passing the test and being licensed than if you were not friends with the examiner or if they did not need more farriers — no matter how good you were.
Texas farrier Don Mock's shoeing trailer was built as a project by (then) high schoolers Warren and Dean Evans. The brothers made this project as part of their Future Farmers of America Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems course. He uses the trailer at his hunter/jumper client Bay Yard Farms. This trailer won the best FFA project award at the State Fair of Texas.
Life Data Labs Inc. is a dedicated product manufacturer committed to producing premium quality animal nutrition and health products through continuous product improvement and new product development. First-class ingredients, fresh products, consistent high quality and scientifically proven effectiveness are the principal features of Life Data Labs animal health products. And that's why they've produced the #1 recommended hoof supplement by farriers for 12 consecutive years.
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness.