Certification Committee

Mission: Conduct AFA Certification examinations.

Chairman: Pat Gallahan, CJF

Office Liaison:

EC Liaison: Jon Johnson, CJF

Members: Pat Gallahan, CJF –  Committee Chairman, Greg Burdette, CJF – Region 1 Supervisor, Dusty Franklin, CJF, – Region 2 Supervisor, John Voigt, CJF – Region 3 Supervisor, Wayne Allen, CJF – Region 4 Supervisor, Philip Bower, CJF – Region 5 Supervisor, Patrick Burton, CJF – Secretary, Alice Johnson, CJF – Director of Testers, Gerard Laverty, CJF, TE, AWCF, Dennis Manning, CJF.


Developed in 1981, the AFA’s Certification Program centers around standardized examination processes, designed to assess proper trimming and shoeing. In addition to testing these “hands-on” aspects of competency, the system also includes written examinations designed to test comprehension of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics.

Certification provides an avenue for farriers to distinguish themselves—to themselves, to the horse owning public, and to others—and to establish that they have a quantifiable level of knowledge and competency in hoofcare.

Present levels of examinations include AFA Farrier, Certified Farrier, Certified Tradesman Farrier, and Certified Journeyman Farrier. There are also two specialty endorsements offered to Certified Journeyman Farriers: Therapeutic Endorsement and Educator Endorsement.

2015 AFA Tester List    12.17.15 tester list with all info

2015 AFA Examiner List: 2015 AFA Examiner List

AFA Certification Sponsorship Application:  Certificaiton Sponsorship Application 5.31.13

Passing Shoe Display Examples

Square Toe Trailer

Extended Heels and Clip Fit

Hind Pattern Fit

Complete Board

Extended Heels and Clip Fit

Passing Shoe Board

Levels of Certification

The AFA’s Farrier Certification Program consists of three categories:
Classification, Certification, and Endorsement. Within these categories, the Certification and Endorsement designations have associated options and levels of progression.

Certification is at the center of this program, but Classification and Endorsement are integral and valuable components, designed to make the program viable for the entire farrier community. The Classification component provides opportunities for entry-level farriers, while the Endorsement component provides opportunities for farriers who have completed the highest level of Certification.

Candidates at each level are expected to display hoof trimming skills and techniques to meet everyday demands of correct hoof care, the skills to apply horseshoes and other appliances to exacting prescriptions, forging skills needed to modify or make a variety of horseshoes, and a knowledge of equine anatomy and physiology. Testing and evaluation are critically applied to maintain the highest standards of workmanship and professionalism.

AFA Farrier Classification (AFA Farrier)

The entry-level component of the Farrier Certification Program, this classification focuses on basic concerns associated with safe, sound farriery, relieving the candidate from certain time constraints and higher level forge work associated with certification. The AFA Farrier Classification requires that candidates successfully complete written and practical testing, including the creation of a brief horseshoe display. This classification is not a pre-requisite for any subsequent certification level.

Certified Farrier (AFA CF)

The Certified Farrier exams, which constitute the first level of AFA Certification, are open to farriers who have at least one year of horseshoeing experience, and have demonstrated knowledge and skill to perform hoof care on a professional basis. The Certified Farrier process requires successful completion of written and practical testing, as well as the creation and explanation of a horseshoe display.

Certified Tradesman Farrier (AFA CTF)

The Certified Tradesman Farrier exams, which constitute a second (optional) level of AFA Certification, are open to farriers who have at least two years of horseshoeing experience and have completed the CF level. The Certified Tradesman Farrier process requires successful completion of written and practical testing, including the forging and fitting of a handmade shoe within a prescribed time limit.

Certified Journeyman Farrier (AFA CJF)

The Certified Journeyman Farrier exams, which constitute the highest level of AFA certification, are open to candidates who have at least two years of horseshoeing experience and have completed the CF level. Farriers sitting for this level of certification are expected to display in-depth knowledge and highly developed performance skills evidencing a level of professional artistry. The process requires successful completion of written and practical testing, as well as the forging of a specific bar shoe within a prescribed time limit. The shoe must fit a pre-determined foot pattern.


Certified Journeyman Farriers have the opportunity to continue their pursuit of education and professional development through the AFA’s Specialty Endorsement program, which acknowledges areas/concerns that require specialized knowledge & skill. These may involve working with particular breeds, activites, disciplines, and/or audiences. The AFA currently offers three Specialty Endorsements: Therapeutic, Forging, and Educator.

Therapeutic Endorsement (CJF TE)

Candidates for the TE must have previously obtained status as an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier and have five year’s experience in this specialization. (this is not to be confused with five year’s experience shoeing horses). Candidates for this endorsement must be well informed in practical and theoretical issues relating to foot and hoof pathology.

Supporting Therapeutic Endorsement Materials

Exam Outline for the T E exam

Book list for T E

T E Changes

Educators Endorsement (EE)

The Educators Endorsement is designed for those members that have obtained their Certified Journeyman Farrier certification and will be teaching other farriers. This endorsement is not only for those farriers teaching in schools, but also for those farriers that may give clinics, lectures, or any other form of teaching farriery. The Educators Endorsement focuses primarily on the candidates ability to teach in a one on one environment, as well as a small clinic setting or in the case of a large lecture as one may encounter at the AFA convention or a veterinary symposium.

AFA Examiner Emeritus ListIn recognition of their service to the AFA Certification Program

Bill Searle, CJF
Robert Grover, CJF
Randy Luikart, CJF
Bryce Laraway, CJF
Jerry Caswell, CJF
Ray Matthews, CJF
Bruce Wilderoter, CJF
Sandy McBeath, CJF
Andrew Elsbree, CJF
Allen Gideon, CJF
Bob Davis, CJF
Gene Armstrong, CJF
Bob Pethick, CJF
Raymond “Wally” Johnson, CJF