January 2016 a new challenge:
For a Foundation each new year is another challenge: the pursuit of our teaching programs, the commitment of our volunteers, the training of our new Indian teachers, the faithfulness of our sponsors,new funds research, are all topics that are repeated from one year to another.
2015 gave us immense satisfaction, especially in the future sustainability of our Indian farriery school: indeed we have made progress in the transmission of administrative responsibilities of the Institute of farriery Dundlod to partners of the Indian equestrian world, as an Indian foundation IFF (Indian Farriery Foundation). When this foundation will be formally established in the coming months, more information will be provided on the continuation of its activities and its future relations with FAF.
Education is self-evident for our culturs. The right to quality education is not yet gained in many countries where only money help access it. While in our countries, the farriery profession is a living activity that evolves according to the scientific knowledge of veterinary medicine and high technology, it is not the same in India – I would say even Asia – where the activity is reserved to uneducated people who have no or little access to these dynamic developments. The reality is that between Europe and Asia, a gap separates us in the practice of farriery, and therefore our knowledge is not easy to convey to our colleagues because they lack the necessary ground knowledge for be open to these innovations.
Our challenge to the FAF is to change the image of the farriery (today activity of lower castes) and attract more young candidates who are educated, proficient in English, to be able to manage their own business and especially to transmit their knowledge to new young people attracted to this profession. In Europe the apprenticeship system has proven, in fact Switzerland is often cited as an example for the exellence of its learning programs. They are based on old traditions, but also adapt to new developments in the teachings in both craft and technical branches. With us, all the practical part is taught by a master farrier, a qualified person recognized for excellence in his profession, theoretical branches being taught in a vocational school. India has much neglected crafts and manual trades to favor the development of high technology and scientific professionals from universities or high schools. The good craftsmen are increasingly rare, we notice it in construction occupations such as masons, tilers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, painters, iron workers and welders , who cares?
The FAF has a challenge, it wants to give a new image to the farriery profession by showing an attractive and promising future to this activity. It wants to demonstrate that knowledge aquises assume the respect of customers and stimulate individuals to progress further. Knowledge works like a magnet, it is easy today to obtain a wealth of information through mentors, teachers and colleagues, and consulting targeted sites on the internet, magazines or online course. Access to training and support for those who do not have the means should be generalized.
FAF will do everything possible to help those who want to access the farriery profession thanks to a very good training. We need young people who are motivated to enter a profession which they never supposed the wealth.
They will discover it through the knowledge and the passion of our volunteer teachers. These are craftsmen who have a know how and knowledge related to an active life during which they have also discovered the subtleties of farriery. The experience is a concept somewhat abstract, but its magic is an everyday through a work on the life and constant questioning of its own activity. For one who knows how to open eyes, we say « the first mistake is a fantastic teacher, » this lesson will pursue all our lives, it will help us to be modest and not to stop questioning.
Working with horses is a perpetual renewal, the approach of an unknown force us to lot of psychology and intuition. The horse’s confidence building, its approach and how to approach and analyze the situation that can be banal or very complicated when lameness, needs to collect all knowledge without necessarily disclosing them. Modesty is a great quality when working with humans or animals, it often proves extremely competent people who will build confidence to customers, and their patients.
What is beautiful in teaching is that working life has a beginning but no end. Just as genes are passed on from generation to generation, there will always be a little something from the mentor who will survive in the generations that we form.
FAF hopes to create passions, wishing to be a knowledge bank for the farrier trainees. It hopes this knowledge transmission cycle become an example in the countries where we teach and a philosophy of life for those who practice the farriery profession.