THE Farrier’s International Testing System, (FITS), is designed to provide acceptable practical and written tests to farrier associations and organizations around the world. FITS was created with the aim of helping the horse by encouraging study and learning in individual farriers that are pursuing FITS certifications.
The importance of Farrier International Testing System (FITS) exams is that it brings the farrier industries of different countries together to benefit both the horses and farriers involved, giving farriers exceptional education opportunities.
Photo per illustration from thehorse.com.
FITS also creates a bridge between farriers, and their respective groups, on an international level; encouraging international sharing of skills and information. Additionally, FITS lends credibility to those that achieve a level of certification, allowing other farriers and horse owners to know that the individual farrier has exhibited their skills, and been found competent.
A Brief History of FITS
In 2005, Chris Gregory did a clinic in South Africa where he also judged an exam of the South African Farrier’s Association and their national contest. He was asked to judge their first exam so that there would not be any political problems that can arise from one person judging another from the same country without the weight of international farrier certification behind them. There were 47 horses and farriers that were judged that day, and a lot was learned about the international farrier scene.
In 2007, Chris was asked to do a clinic in Brazil. While there, an interest in an association, and farrier testing was expressed by many Brazilian farriers. They decided to create an association, and asked Chris to write an acceptable exam at 2 levels, which would be given in March of 2008. The exams were written, and they are the basis of the FITS test.
The first President of the AFB, Flavio Souza, and AFB Secretary, Fabio Furquim, were among the first to take and pass both levels of these exams in 2008. Chris, Kelly, and Cody Gregory from Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Missouri, USA, administered and examined the first tests.
Since then, there has been increased interest from international farrier groups and associations in having exams. Australia and New Zealand may be the next group to add these exams. The FITS exams are being created so that the farrier industry of one country can have in common something with the farrier industry of another country, allowing individuals in the world farrier community to have a shared level of testing that can be accepted from one place to another.
The exams offered as part of FITS are provided in an effort to bring the farrier industries of different countries together. This will benefit both the horse and farrier from every country involved, and give farriers exceptional education opportunities.