We live in an era where we have options on how we treat the horse's foot. No one option is right or wrong, good or bad. It is up to the horse's TEAM of Owner, Farrier, Veterinarian, Trainer, etc. to determine what is the best solution to help the horse. We have more choices than ever before. Until recently the only Certification opportunities available to the hoof care provider were in metal or barefoot methods. However recently the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO) has developed a certification for farriers to demonstrate proficiency in glue and composite shoeing.
ELPO offers Certification in:
- Level 1: Live Sole Hoof Mapping
- Level 2: Certified Barefoot Trimming
- Level 3: Certified Farrier Practitioner/Certified Farrier Glue Practitioner
The Level 3 Shoeing Exam is offered in Metal (CFP) or Composite/Glue (CFGP). The testing criteria for both exams are identical, except when it directly applies to the material being used. The test taker must demonstrate a thorough understanding of gait analysis and conformation assessment, recognizing hoof distortions, hoof mapping to identify external landmarks and how they relate to internal anatomy, trimming the hoof to address existing distortions and applying a prosthetic device in balance to the internal structures, on all four feet.
Additionally for the glue/composite shoeing exam, showing a thorough understating of the material in use is scored, including preparing the foot for glue, understanding of glue handling, and composite shoe selection, fit and final placement. Any composite shoe and glue that meets the ELPO protocol is acceptable to use on the exam.
The criteria for accurate foot preparation for the exam was largely based on the standard of excellence created by EasyCare, Inc. for successful application of the EasyShoe as it is the most detailed, systematic method for glue and composite shoeing available. Additionally, EasyCare has been a huge supporter of this educational process by donating shoes for Glue Skills Courses as well as Certification opportunities.
This past week examiners from the ELPO traveled to Pennsylvania to conduct a certification exam weekend. Levels 1, 2, and 3 were offered with many examining for the Glue/Composite Shoeing Exam, CFGP. Congratulations to farriers Michael Glenn, Jennifer Farley, Madeline O'Connor, Heather Colket, Jeremiah Kemp, and Annie Commons on earning the CFGP, Steve King for earning the CFP (metal), and Nickie Jantz for earning her CBT (trimming).
I greatly appreciate ELPO Instructor/Examiners: Steve Foxworth, Jen Reid, Carrey Gunderman, and Chase Rutledge for making the trip to Pennsylvania and assisting with our certification.
Huge thanks to EasyCare and Garrett Ford for supporting the efforts of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization in providing education and certification opportunities to help people help horses.
For more information on upcoming courses and certification opportunities, please see: