Monday, 28 February 2011

A quote from a farrier

And not just any farrier - its a quote from our very own Mark Johnson, DipWCF - posted on Facebook over the weekend -  musing about how he thinks farriers should be taught, and why CPD (continuing professional development) for farriers should be more than just an optional extra:

"...wishes my profession could engage in anatomy with the same depth and passion that some other therapies seem to manage...
It shouldn't just be left as an ad hoc cpd type interest  - it should be taught in depth at source  - we have responsibility for the base of the skeleton IN LAW ! "

Its a pertinent quote as far as I am concerned, because the joint research with farriers that I was keen to help out with (I blogged about it last month) has failed.  

The failure is not because of lack of enthusiasm or commitment on the part of either me, the other horses' owners or the research farriers.  The idea for the project came originally from farriers as part of their postgraduate research but we were all keen to help.  We had a set of barefoot horses lined up, we had 2 sets of shod horses lined up, and all of us (including the owners of the shod horses) were willing to go to lots of trouble to enable to research to go ahead.  

The research farriers and I had blocked out 2 days to devote to the project and had spent hours working out its details and parameters.  They'd made plans to travel many miles to Exmoor in order to be able to assess groups of barefoot and shod horses working on similar terrain.  

I'd made the Rockley hunters available and interested owners had also agreed to make their shod horses available, even agreeing to transport them to Rockley or wherever they needed to be  - and all of this was being done for free, just because everyone found the whole idea fascinating and wanted to be involved in research which seemed likely to benefit the horse.  

Sadly, the research won't now go ahead because the two farriers who look after the shod horses day to day (who aren't interested in research and "don't believe" in CPD) couldn't, or didn't want, to co-operate and so effectively made the whole project unworkable for their farrier colleagues.  

Its such a shame, because all they had to do was commit to turn up at the yards where they shoe on an agreed date, so that the research farriers could take hoof measurements of the horses before and after they were shod.  Not a big deal, I would have thought - the dates were flexible and everyone else was bending over backwards to accomodate them.  They were even offered the choice of either shoeing the horses themselves, or they watching while they were shod by the (highly experienced) research farriers.   

But they weren't interested enough to even try and turn up, and they effectively sabotaged the research for the many other farriers (and me, and the owners, and all of YOU) who WERE interested :-(


smazourek said...

Ego gets in the way of knowledge once again :(

Perils said...

What were they afraid of?? Couldn't the shod horse owners have changed farriers? After all they are 'employed' by us and paid hansomely so they should do what is asked by the owner. They're acting like bank managers thinking that they are 'gods'!!

I hope you find some more helpful farriers!


cptrayes said...

And by doing that they bring the reputation of ALL farriers into disrepute!

How absolutely maddening.

Well tried Nic, well tried :-( I'm so sorry that it failed this time, but I know you'll not let it go at that.