Thursday, November 12, 2009

Licensed Professionals!

So I just came across this list of professionals on the Washington State Dept of Licensing website who are required to be licensed to perform their job.

For the past few years now, I’ve felt that hoofcare professionals, anyone shoeing, trimming or administering repair of any sort, professionally, to the hooves of horses, should be licensed.

What I found interesting about this list is the how some of the professions who are required to be licensed  compare to hoof care professionals who are not required to be licensed.

It's nice for me that I'm involved in one of the few professions that doesn't require anything more than a business license, and that's not something many farriers require of themselves which resolves that whole tax paying deal, however I think that would be a smart requirement of us - as well as a way to help ensure that horseowners are offered some assurance that they are hiring a professional farrier who has a basic idea of what he/she is doing

Did you know that to be a professional taxidermist, you are required to be licensed?

It’s okay to use cutting tools on the hooves of live animals without a license, but not okay to cut into dead animals without one. Interesting? Well, morticians must be licensed and their profession involves the non-living.

Some of the professionals on the list that Washington State (and most other states) requires license for include: accountants, animal massage therapists, auctioneers, professional boxers, bulk commercial fertilizer distributers (Big BSers I guess) check cashers, crematories, egg handlers, explosives experts (I s’pose that one makes sense) recreational fishing and hunting requires a license, as well as game farming, interpreters, insurance agents, nursery owners, pest inspectors, plumbers, real estate agents, river outfitters, seed dealers, shellfish harvesters, shopkeepers, stock brokers, talkie tooters (not makin’ that up) timekeepers (for professional athletes – are you kidding me?) travel agents and professional wrestlers.

All those professionals need to be licensed, but those of us responsible for the horses ability to stay upright when needed, are NOT required to test for a pesky license!

That just blows my mind. 

Just an observation.



M. Ells Perry said...

Hmmm... while the idea SOUNDS like one to consider... let's look at the whole licensing business as a whole.

Who do you think any state will license? The barefoot trimmers? Or all the "regular" farriers out there who went to "farrier school" somewhere and scoff at us doing barefoot trimming? I bet the horseshoeing industry would be the first group knocking at our legislators doors to get this type of licensing system in place.
Were you aware that some State Vet boards are trying to license people who do equine massage? Why? Because one of the requirements they want is that the person applying for a license must ALSO be a vet! Yup. Just follow the $$. Never mind the fact that many people practicing Equine Massage are people already certified to work on people. Equine Massage is a growing industry and from what I've read, many vet boards want control over it to increase their own revenue.

I'd rather judge a trimmer on the work they do, the cases they've rehabbed, and their portfolio work then whether or not they have a piece of paper. And the LAST thing I want is the government coming in and saying so-and-so CAN'T trim because they aren't licensed. I guess that would effectively halt most people doing barefoot trimming out there. It would halt my husband's and my barefoot journey. After all, the general public associates horse's hooves with shoes and that is what would be licensed.

Sorry for the rant. Most of the time I tune in to your blog because I find it refreshing and spot on. However, lets just think about this - I remember you being very critical about the Parelli's farrier a while back with all the shims and whatnot and how poorly you thought the horses were actually doing. I agreed with you wholeheartedly. Now, don't you think if licensing of farriers and trimmers commenced that someone like that with the Parelli machine behind them would convince lawmakers that their way was the best?? And that their criteria should be the model for what someone looking to obtain a license must do? just a thought! The licensing criteria comes from somewhere - and I doubt in this case state legislators are going to seek out the barefoot trimming community for advice.

I personally advocate horse owners becoming more educated in hoof health and trimming instead of focusing on a piece of paper which will solve nothing.


Pat said...


That is a very good point and I actually hadn't considered much of what you said here. And I agree with you.

You are the refreshing voice in this case.

Still, don't you think it's odd that so many other professionals MUST be licensed while HC professionals are not?

That was my main point. But yes, I had considered the board test for this type of work and what questions we'd be expected to answer and which answers would be correct.

For instance, "Do you feel it's okay to add clips to shoes if a horse has problems keeping a shoe attached to his hoof?"

My response would be that if a horse has problems keeping a shoe on his foot, he's better without the shoe, than he is to have an added device tacked onto his foot that can cause remodeling of the coffin bone (which clips can do) and if something should happen to cause the shoe to be torn away from the hoof, there's a good chance added clips will force the hoof, or most of it, to come off with the shoe.

That situation is what happened to my mare before I realized that a problem with shoes detaching from the hoof usually means the hoof needs a break from the shoes.

And it was later that I learned that the hoof is way better off never going back to shoes at all.

So my answer would not be the same as a Jim Crew trained farrier, you are right about that!

Unless I was one of the people asked to write the questions. And that's not likely, so...

I want to thank you for your thoughtful comment and for not being afraid to set me straight. Much appreciated as always!