Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Certification RANT...

On my daily tour of Craig's List, I stumbled upon an ad for a "Certified, Professional Farrier." Following the link, I found that it took me to a website for a pair of farriers I had never heard of... despite the fact that they're working in my area. Hmmm... suspect... bells & whistles... not members of the American Farrier's Association, not members of the Indiana Farriers' Association....

So, who certified them, and how are they professionals if they're not affiliated with the professional organizations? Upon further reading on their site, I discovered that they were "certified" by the Oregon Farrier School. After checking that site, it appears that one can be a "certified professional farrier" after only 10 weeks of study. Had they stayed for another 4 weeks, they could have been "certified master farriers"!!

This kind of stuff really ticks me off, but I can understand a little bit... I remember when I first came out of farrier school. My first stop was a the local print shop, where I promptly got business cards, stating that I was "certified" by OSHS, that I was qualified to do "corrective" and "pathological" work, and that I was a highly qualified, genuine farrier. Of course, I didn't know jackshit, but it took several years of work for me to realize that I didn't know anything, and it took several humbling failures at a valid certification before I cracked down and became a lifelong student of this trade.

SO.... farrier certification is only as valid as the certifying organization. If someone tells you they're certified, they probably are, because there are dozens upon dozens of private schools and individuals who are certifying farriers each day. Caveat Emptor ... "Let the buyer beware" ...

I'm all for farrier certification--I earned mine through the American Farrier's Association and through the Guild of Professional Farriers.

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