The American Farrier's Association published a blast of documents today on its members' web site, www.americanfarriers.org, and AFA Executive Director Bryan Quinsey "went public" in a forum on the web site www.horseshoes.com, where he candidly discussed the recent controversy between the AFA and a vocal group of offended members.
At the same time, the AFA published the first edition of a new members-only newsletter, No Foot No Horse, which will be published from the AFA's Kentucky office. According to the newsletter, the AFA's once-secret task force on farrier regulation and education has been disbanded, and a new group is being formed with the sole function of studying farrier education in the United States.
The news came as a great relief to many AFA members who were confused about the AFA's new direction and political agenda and felt that they had not been informed of major policy initiatives by the executive board.
Unfortunately, rumors are flying through the farrier world and even in the horse industry that farrier licensing is an imminent threat to the profession in the United States and that the AFA has betrayed its members, many of whom joined the AFA because they felt it offered an alternative to external governance of the trade and would act as an advocate. Other members would like to see licensing become a reality.
All farriers say that they want full disclosure from the AFA on this important matter that affects their livelihoods. Today's steps by the AFA are hopefully the first of many in that direction.