The AFA Certification program is dedicated to the welfare of the horse. The certification test is not a mandate or blueprint on how to shoe any individual horse. It is, rather, an objective assessment of the specific skills necessary to perform the job of farriery to a prescribed standard. Those who pass it possess the ability to provide a healthy standard of hoof care.
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.
AFA Farrier Classification (FC)
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 prerequisite for any subsequent certification level.
To learn more click here: Farrier Classification
AFA Certified Farrier (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.
AFA Certified Tradesman Farrier (CTF)
The Certified Tradesman Farrier exams, which constitute a second (optional) level of AFA Certification, are open to farriers who have at least two (2) years 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 specific handmade shoe within a prescribed time limit.
To learn more: Certified Tradesman Farrier
AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier (CJF)
The Certified Journeyman Farrier exams, which constitute the highest level of AFA certification, are open to candidates who have at least two (2) years 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.
To learn more: Certified Journeyman
Certified Journeyman Farriers have the opportunity to continue their pursuit of education and professional development through the Specialty Endorsement component. Some areas of hoof care require highly specialized knowledge and skill. These may involve working with particular breeds, activities, or disciplines, or working with equine veterinarians to provide relief from suffering by horses that have been neglected, received inadequate hoof care, or have been affected by disease or trauma.
AFA Therapeutic Endorsement (CJF, TE)
The TE Exam will be at the 50th AFA Convention in Albuquerque, NM on Monday March 8, 2021 for all parts except modern materials. The modern materials portion will be Thursday March 11, 2021.
To learn more: Therapeutic Endorsement Examination Information
Read a sample TE Question and Answer (must be a logged in member)
AFA Educators Endorsement (CJF, EE)
Candidates for the Educator Endorsement must have previously obtained status as an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier.
AFA Forging Endorsement (CJF, FE)
Candidates for the Forging Endorsement must have previously obtained status as an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier.