Bntnail, I'm glad to see a facility for banking CE credit.
I'm not big on the idea of licensing, but along with AFA certification, this new association could offer the educational history to support a possible foundation should any state implement mandatory licensing. If that should ever happen, I'd rather the foundation come from within the trade rather than from some government bureaucrats that wouldn't know a horse from a head of beef.
I am concerned about a couple areas. First, I don't think they should offer initial accreditation based solely on years of experience. I'd like to see members meet a minimum CE requirement first. If that takes a year or more, I'm fine with that. I also think the requirements for the APF should be higher than the AF credentials. More to the point, I don't think the 16 CE annual requirement is high enough. I do understand they are trying to open this to as many farriers as possible and they do make a good point. Asking 16 hours from many farriers who never attend CE venues is, perhaps, asking a lot. Still, I think the numbers could be higher.
I still have questions (and know the AAPF does too) about specific CE venue criteria.
Hello & apologies for raising this thread from the grave, but I figured that it isn't TOO old, and I feel it is of significant value and falls in line with some thoughts I've had reading ALL OF (really!) the more recent posts in the "hoof care" section of this forum.
In (constantly) considering all of the, well, "considerations" I will one day have to weigh, when myself and husband decide we are ready to choose horses for ourselves, one of my great concerns is, naturally, hooves...that being, choosing animals first with the least amount of, if any, hoof-related pathology present. And then, the ongoing care required to ensure they remain healthy, sound, and receiving the appropriate farriery to assist in all of that taking place--of course, along with proper diet, daily exercise and body care, etc... Generally, everything we can do proactively to keep them as healthy and happy for as long as we can keep them such. G-d willing, for their entire lives!
Anyhow, the more I read on the hoof care section, the more terrified I become about what sort of Farrier we may one day end up with. As an RN, it is natural for me to thoroughly research any health practitioner whom I, husband, our my son will be seeing and "check out" his or her background via three avenues: #1 being simple word of mouth. If my coworkers and friends like the professional and speak highly of their bedside manner, intellect, and level of devotion to their work, I move on to #2. Where did this person attend school, how much time practicing to they have under their belt, and what sort of care are they partial to (where do they spend their CE hours annually, and do they specialize, even if not a "specialist" in the area of medicine/practice which is in line with my thinking in terms if what we need as a family)? Finally, #3. Do their numbers back up their time? Have they published? What is their knowledge regarding the most current research in their area of practice? If they graduated med school in 1980, have they done any fellowships? Any work towards updating their treatment practice in step with the changing technology of the times? Are they still doing things just as taught in school, or are they able to apply what they learn annually at conferences and while gaining required CEUs?
Apparently, aside from #1, there isn't much one can do to choose a GREAT Farrier, rather than one who is able to shoe but does so poorly.
And if my horse should BECOME a "special needs" horse, HOW DO I KNOW my Farrier is equipped to truly best address the circumstances? So many questions, and without @ the VERY LEAST knowing he/she attended an accredited school of farriery (as per what I've recently learned, aside from what Mark describes in his post which I quoted above, there really aren't any). To me it sounds like more of a crap shoot than an objective, educated, well-researched choice one makes when picking a Farrier!
And this doesn't even BEGIN TO ADDRESS the ever present posts by these unfortunate folks with onl one or two Farriers in their area, both of whom essentially suck, and from whom they must pick the "lesser of two evils" when seeking hoof care for their animal. What a conundrum!
I suppose, IMO, it truly seems that regulation by some organization, be it preferably one already attempting to do so and doing it well, is necessary to determine at least a minimum standard for Farriers to have to meet while in school, or not be permitted to graduate/practice. I am extremely anti-big-government, so this pains me to write, however, Mark made an excellent point IMO the other day in one post discussing the ever-prevalent "jerk" who attends any old questionable school of farriery for two weeks and how he/she should NOT be permitted to work on animals. That is where I say, "Thank goodness for 'minimum standards', licensure, and the like in medicine and nursing and so on, when you are putting your life in someone's hands", literally. The thing is, we put our horses lives in the Farriers hands every time they do their feet (no hoof, no horse!), thus, it really its no different!
I can only see that doing such would go a very long way toward getting the crappy Farriers out of the business and keeping the truly good and gifted AND INVESTED Farriers employed and doing the best by horses and owners. It would take so much of the guess work out of the equation. We'd have all of the "Horseman56's, the "bntnail's" & other good and educated folks who post here, out THERE working on our horses, and keep those who don't understand the holistic approach to Farrier care, the many factors going into the choices made behind shoeing vs. barefoot, and those who are only out to make a quick buck at your horse's expense (& yours!) AWAY.
Just my LENGTHY, as usual, thoughts. Thanks for listening... :0)