On Friday 8th March Ben Benson AWCF on behalf the BFBA took part in a round table discussion held by the WCF at the Vintners Hall in the City of London on the future of equestrianism. Ben sat alongside 13 of the leading organisations from across the equestrian world which included BEVA, the British Equestrian Federation (the governing organisation for sport), RVC, British Horseracing Association, British Carriage Driving, British Horse Council, the National Equine Welfare Council and Society of Saddlers.
The aim was for all associated to be able to speak openly about the view point and the future of equestrianism and how it may affect each of us. Ben spoke on behalf of the Association and outlined how the association has been pivotal in implementing and accessing the farriers and ATF’s which then sat on the Working Steering Group for the new Trailblazers Apprenticeship program. Ben also outlined how the Association saw the new barefoot trimming aspect and certification of the apprenticeship was a key feature of the new apprenticeship model, as this would then give the modern farrier the future proofing that the industry will ask of them.
The BFBA feels that in some cases more pressure was being placed on the shoulder of the farrier and discussed how modern farriers have to deal with a huge variety of levels of understanding from horse owner, ranging from the more experienced to the increasing number of new to owners who wish to ride but have no real knowledge base or experience. This is a real challenge that does require huge amount of time and educational requirements. It also forces farriers into suppressing their costs and working at prices that have little increased in the last 20 years.
We heard from all those invited to speak how similar views were also supported by the latest questionnaire released from BETA that the face of the modern equestrian market is changing with the numbers of horses at a new low but the number of people riding regularly is up.
The Association was very proud to be able to represent the farriery industry. As the equine market changes, and with that the requirements that is then placed on farriery, the BFBA will endeavour to be there as the voice of the profession. We want to make sure as government looks at all areas of industry the BFBA will be well placed to make sure that the membership and its opinions is fed back and articulated at every opportunity