Skip to main content

Farrier Instructors First to Take National Industry Test

December 19, 2022

Two faculty members of the Farrier Science certificate program at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology were in the first group of professionals to attend the new Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada (AFTC) exam in spring 2022.

Continuing their education forward, Aaron Perry, Instructor, and Madeline Kwan, Instructor Assistant, are embarking on the level three examination for the AFTC. When they have completed all portions of the exam they will obtain the Canadian standard Journeyman Farrier certification, which was newly developed in 2022 with hopes that it will be an encouraging continuing education model for the industry.

Predominantly focusing on hands-on skills, the AFTC apprenticeship and journeyman certification consists of three levels, with difficult exams for each level, testing through written and oral exams, two case studies and a professional portfolio. The first two levels are for apprentices within their first one to three years of work experience. While the third level is considered to be equivalent to a Journeyman certification, it may be challenged to those in their third or fourth year of apprenticeship, or if the individual has been practicing for more than five years. 

“The test is very difficult – approximately 30 to 50 people have attempted all parts of the exam and only three people have completed all portions successfully,” says Perry.

In the practical exams, the examinee forges a therapeutic shoe from straight flat mild steel bar stock and forge a hoof pattern, within forty minutes. The second task tests the individual's ability to assess the conformation and movement of the horse, therefore the examinee creates a prescription and shoeing plan to present to the farrier and veterinary examiners. When the prescriptions align with the handmade shoes created, and fit with the standards that are expected by the AFTC, the examinee completes the level. 

Recently, Kwan went to Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, BC to complete the written portion of the AFTC exam where she was successful. Kwan and Perry are currently at the Journeymen level – which can be taken after you pass level one and two apprenticeship exams. Both Kwan and Perry have had their portfolios and case studies pass on the Journeyman level.

This spring, at the next AFTC examination, Perry will take the written and oral tests and Kwan will perform both practical exams in hopes to successfully complete the AFTC examinations and receive their Journeyman certificates. 

With a passion for the farrier industry, Perry and Kwan are also part of the AFTC and provide input, organize clinics, and host examinations to encourage other farriers to continue their education. Perry and Kwan attended the association's fall conference in Chilliwack, BC, where they represented Olds College. 

“With the AFTC, we hope to legitimize our industry and be able to present our association to the government to have the trade recognized and regulated to better protect the horse,” says Kwan. “When I have completed this certificate, I plan to focus my energy on pushing for AFTC to be more recognized and encourage other farriers to challenge their knowledge and skills.”

Related News