Meet the American Hoof Association. The newly-formed organization of professional hoofcare providers states that its primary goal is the maintenance of sound, useable barefoot horses. Membership will only be offered to applicants who submit proof of work that demonstrates the quality and parameters of sound trimming principles outlined by the founding members.
According to information released by the group on December 27, trimmers who seek membership in the organization will believe firmly in the concept that horses must not be harmed in the trimming process and will strive to improve the health of the horses in their care and to improve their skill for the benefit of all trimmers and their horses. They will also need to submit proof of their professional skill via case studies in photographs and on videotape.
The organization’s catalyst was author and trimmer Pete Ramey of Georgia; he invited trimming professionals with whom he was well-acquainted to join him in a new qualifications-based organization.
In October, 15 founding members became the incorporators of the American Hoof Association, Inc. (AHA). Cliff Mortimer of Highland, Michigan was elected president. Credentials of some of the founding members includes certification by the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP) and membership in the American Farrier’s Association (AFA).
In addition to Pete and Cliff, other incorporators include: Vice President Linda Cowles (California), Secretary Kay Stowers (Oregon), Treasurer Gil Goodin (Texas), Communications Facilitator Kim Cassidy (New York), Member at Large Paige Poss (Virginia) and Member at Large Alex Sperandeo (Georgia).
Additional members are Chad Bembenek (Wisconsin), Janet Hagen (Minnesota), Mark Jeldness (New Mexico), Sue Mellen (Vermont), Cindy Meyer (Colorado), Ivy Ramey (Georgia), and Bruce Smith (North Carolina),
Beginning in 2007, the group will consider applications from trimmers who wish to join. The official list of materials required to be submitted with an application has been posted on the AHA web site, which will include an interactive portal for the upload of all materials except a video that is required and must be sent via mail.
From among the incorporators, a team of seven evaluators was selected. Their job will be to carefully and thoughtfully consider all applicant materials against the standards of the American Hoof Association.
In their introduction letter, the AHA states, “We ask for your patience as we address the myriad of issues before us and work to produce the most smooth-running application process we can. It is our fervent desire that all like-minded trimmers have full opportunity to successfully complete this process and become members of the American Hoof Association.”