Graduating From Taking Tests to Giving Them – Part I

*Note: This journal post was originally published on May 22, 2009*

American Farriers Association LogoEarlier this month, I officially started down another path within the American Farriers Association. I worked my first certification as a provisional tester for the AFA.

The structure of the AFA’s certification is broken down into two positions:
  Examiners, who supervise and make final judgment and
  Testers, who grade individual candidates on the various levels of certification.

Becoming a Tester is actually a rather exhaustive journey.

  1. The prospective Tester must first be a Certified Journeyman Farrier
  2. Then he must observe a certification and be recommended by an Examiner as a provisional tester.
  3. A central Certification Committee then reviews the request and either approves or rejects the candidate as they see fit.
  4. Once approved, the candidate then participates as a provisional tester for three certifications before being approved as a full Tester.

I was fortunate to be work as a provisional tester at the Maryland Farriers Association spring certification, under Dennis Manning, CJF, Examiner. It was every bit as nerve wracking as taking the test, if not a bit worse.

I observed some outstanding farriers who were brave enough to try their skills and be judged on strict criteria. Some passed, some did not, but everyone walked away with good information and an outstanding attitude.

Personally, I learned to turn an even more critical eye at my own work; the first horse I shod the following Monday was very patient while I analyzed every aspect of my work.

-Mike