PHCP
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PHCP training program

In addition to the supportive community that Progressive Hoof Care Practitioners provides we offer a training program for members who seek certification as professional hoof care practitioners. The training enrollment form collects information about your experience, previous training, and goals. This information will help us to place you at the appropriate level. Everyone is welcome and accepted into this training program, even those unsure if their goal to become a professional. There is no time constraint on completing the steps. Click on Step 1 above for instructions on enrolling.

Location

Clinics and PHCP Mentors are located around the US and in Eastern Canada. There will be a fair amount of travel to mentors as students are required to work with a number of different mentors throughout their training, and not just the one/s close to home.

Cost

The total cost of completing the training program will vary widely from student to student. Factors such as the level you enter and the amount of travel needed according to your location will determine this. Estimate your total costs to complete certification.

Education credits

We encourage our members to continue their education and keep up to date with the latest hoof care practices. CE and training credit is given for mentorships, clinics, webinars, and media presentations. The amount of credit earned in the previous year can be found in each practitioners profile on the Practitioner page directory. PHCP Certified Practitioners and Mentors must earn a minimum of 10 credits per year.

Education scholarships

Applications for 2024 are open. Applications must be submitted no later than February 29, 2024. The PHCP Scholarship Committee will contact all applicants with results by March 30, 2024.

PHCP has funds available to help students in need progress in the training program to become certified professionals. These funds will cover required clinics, webinars, and mentorship fees, as well as travel expenses. Intermediate Student Practitioners and Advanced Student Practitioners are eligible to apply for an Education scholarship here.

Our PHCP Starting Gate scholarship is awarded to one beginner in our training program. Students at the beginning level must complete at least one mentorship or beginning clinic to be eligible.  A written recommendation from a PHCP Mentor, Clinician or Practitioner must accompany the Starting Gate application.

Professionals joining

We have many professionals who have training elsewhere join PHCP. Some are looking for PHCP certification. In these cases we look to see that all the subjects required in the training program have been covered. For PHCP certification a minimum of two mentorships with two different mentors is required. Additionally we will ask for a submission of a maintenance trim presentation (the IS Media Presentation) as preparation for the final media presentation.

Others are not looking for PHCP certification but would like to be part of a hoof care professional group for support, to share ideas and take advantage of member pricing on webinars and events. These professionals may join as a supporting member.

Our stance on full time hoof protection

While glue-on boots, composite shoes, and any other full-time protection product can be useful in palliative cases, transitions, and short term for performance events, we recognize that full-time protection does not allow for continued development and conditioning of hoof structures. The use of removable hoof protection is ideal for supporting proper mechanics on all terrain, while allowing for conditioning and natural wear of the hoof in its turn out environment.

Step 1 – Enrollment

If you are not yet a member you can opt to enroll in the training program when you first join PHCP. Just fill out and submit the PHCP membership registration form and pay the associated fees.

If you are already a supporting member and want to enroll in the training program, fill out a training program enrollment form. (you must be logged in to submit your training enrollment form).

If your goal is to become certified please be aware that travel to mentors around the country will be required.

The training program may be upgraded from time to time to ensure that we can provide the best education for those seeking to become certified hoof care practitioner.

The training program enrollment committee will review your submission, set up a welcome call with you, and determine where it would be most appropriate for you to enter the training program. For those already working as hoof care providers, you will be asked to do a one-day mentorship to help us with your placement. A file will be started for each student containing all mentorships and clinics attended, as well as all documentation created as you progress through the program. You may print out this handy Training program tracking worksheet to keep track of your own progress.

Step 2 – Elective Clinics

Elective clinics may be taken at any time during the Training Program.

Each student must take a minimum of four electives before completing the training program.

PHCP offers elective webinars and clinics throughout the year. Visit the elective section of the Learn page for more approved electives. Currently scheduled webinars and clinics can be found on the calendar. Credit assigned to courses can be found HERE.

Any event registered and paid through PHCP will automatically be added to your file.

To receive credit for webinars, clinics, and events outside of PHCP please fill out the Continuing Education form. You must be logged in to access this form and you may add and edit events throughout the year.

Go to steps 4 and 5 to see the required subjects to be completed in addition to electives. Required subjects may be taken before reaching the intermediate and advanced levels.

 

 

Step 3 – Beginning Studies

Beginning students will learn tool selection, use, and maintenance, how to ‘read’ the hoof, basic trims on live horses, safe horse handling skills and dealing with common behavior problems, how to identify common hoof problems, and how to recognize the effects of diet and lifestyle on the hoof.

To prepare for the beginning studies students are expected to study the PHCP Introduction to Hoof Anatomy and PHCP Introduction to Equine Diet and Lifestyle.

To help you with your tool selection, when you are ready to purchase them, check out PHCP Tools and Maintenance. 

Mentorships

A minimum of three mentorships, one or two days each, with three different PHCP Mentors are required.

Students will choose and contact the Mentor directly to schedule their mentorships as needed. Mentors have very busy schedules with their full time businesses so please give them time to reply. Mentors have certain horses they like to teach on, as students will be trimming, so plan on scheduling these mentorships well in advance.

Please read Making the Most of Your Mentorship before scheduling your mentorship.

Mentorships cost $175 per day with $75 subsidized by PHCP.  Students will pay the remaining $100/day fee directly to the mentor.

We recommend that beginners with limited trimming experience schedule two day mentorships when possible. It takes time to build strength and efficiency trimming. Multi-day mentorships will give beginners more opportunity to trim and learn at a slower pace.

Each mentor will fill out a Mentorship Evaluation form at the end of the mentorship. This will be added to the student’s file and they will receive a copy as well.

The final mentor at the beginning level will determine the students readiness to advance to the intermediate level. Students may be asked to do another mentorship, to work on the skills needed to progress.

Before moving to the intermediate level, the student should be able to handle their tools efficiently, but may take extra time with the trim. They should be able to perform a simple maintenance trim and consider the whole horse in their decisions.

You may schedule one or two of your step 3 beginning mentorships before attending a beginning clinic.

Beginning clinic

The beginning clinic is a three day clinic which covers the basics of distal limb anatomy, trimming on cadavers, dissection, shoe removal, transitioning to barefoot, hoof protection options and more.

Visit the calendar to view dates for upcoming clinics and to register.

There will be an entrance exam to step 4 Intermediate Studies on material covered in the Beginning Studies.

Print out this handy Training program tracking worksheet to track your progress.

Step 4 – Intermediate Studies

Students who have passed their final beginning mentorship will need to pass a written exam before entering the intermediate level.

Students entering IS will be considered Intermediate Student Practitioners (ISP) and may be advertised on the PHCP website as such.

During the intermediate study period students will practice their skills and gain experience working on their own horses and building a clientele. They are encouraged to use the PHCP Chat forum to post photos, and discuss any interesting or challenging cases that they may encounter. Students at this level should be taking lots of hoof photos following the PHCP guidelines.

This step should be sufficiently long enough for the student to gain experience in the real world and work on a variety of horses. The suggested period will vary widely, depending on the student’s previous experience and progress. Before progressing to the advanced level a student’s trimming should be quick and efficient with a clean professional look on simple maintenance trims, with some experience on pathologies. Their horse handling skills should be proficient and their interaction with clients should be professional.

Mentorships

Students are required to do three mentorships during Intermediate Study.  One mentorship may be with a mentor they previously worked with and the other two must be with mentors they have not worked with before.

Students will choose and contact the Mentor directly to schedule mentorships as needed. Mentors have very busy schedules with their full time businesses so please give them time to reply.  Mentors have certain horses they like to teach on, as students will be trimming, so plan on scheduling these mentorships well in advance.

Please read Making the Most of Your Mentorship before scheduling your mentorship.

Mentorships cost $175 per day with $75 subsidized by PHCP.  Students will pay the remaining $100/day fee directly to the mentor.

Some mentors are able to travel to students and work with them on their own client horses. Students should visit the PHCP private chat forum for more details on traveling mentorships.

The first two mentorship may take place anytime during Intermediate Study and the third mentorship should be scheduled when the student feels ready to advance to step 5. We would encourage you to spread these mentorships out as there is a huge learning curve at this level and it is important to have time to practice new skills between mentorships.

Student Progress Report  should be submitted after the completion of each mentorship, by the student.

Required subjects

Students are required to take an advanced nutrition and a metabolic issues course. These may be taken earlier in the training program but must be completed before finishing IS. The options for advanced nutrition are NRC Plus with Dr.Kellon or The Smart Way to Feed Horses, a PHCP webinar. The options for metabolic issues are Dr. Kellon’s Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance or PHCP’s EMS (IR)/ PPID webinar.

Media Presentation

With the completion of required subjects and the approval of the third mentor, the student may submit their IS Media Presentation to the Evaluation Committee. This presentation is designed to prepare the student for the Final Media Presentation. Visit the documents section of the training page for the presentation guidelines.

In lieu of travel to examiners, which can be expensive and difficult for many students, PHCP evaluates students with a combination of media presentations and the documents collected in a student’s file. Putting together a media presentation may seem time consuming but we feel it is a more accessible alternative to the typical in-person examinations required in the farrier community. Our reliance on photos requires impeccable workmanship so the student may demonstrate a conscientious attention to detail and mastery of their tools. Please take the time to submit your most professional polished work. This is a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback from some of our top mentors who make up the Evaluation Committee. Not everyone passes on the first try. You will receive support and direction to help with any additional submissions that may be requested.

Once an Intermediate Student Practitioner (ISP) passes the IS Media Presentation they will be considered an Advanced Student Practitioner (ASP) and will be designated as such on the website.

Important: Intermediate Student Practitioners and Advanced Student Practitioners who choose to be advertised on the PHCP website, are required to complete one mentorship or submit a media presentation annually to maintain their listing. The media presentation will follow the guidelines for the Intermediate Studies Media Presentation. It will not be judged in a pass/fail capacity, but the student will receive feedback in the form of written comments by Evaluation Committee members. Media Presentations may be submitted for three years in lieu of a mentorship. After three years a mentorship is required to remain advertised.

Step 5 – Advanced Studies

Students at this level will be perfecting their trimming techniques and confirming their understanding of diet, lifestyle, environment, and how the hoof is affected. They are developing an in-depth understanding of the pathologies and they may pursue any special interest they have at this time. These mentorships will prepare the student to become a polished professional and to pass the PHCP certification.

Mentorships

A minimum of two mentorships are required. One mentorship may be with a previous mentor. The second mentorship must be with a mentor the student has not worked with before.

Students will choose and contact the Mentor directly to schedule mentorships as needed. Mentors have very busy schedules with their full time businesses so please give them time to reply.  Mentors have certain horses they like to teach on, as students will be trimming, so plan on scheduling these mentorships well in advance.

Please read Making the Most of Your Mentorship before scheduling your mentorship.

Mentorships cost $175 per day with $75 subsidized by PHCP.  Students will pay the remaining $100/day fee directly to the mentor.

Some mentors are able to travel to students and work with them on their own client horses. Students should visit the PHCP private chat forum for more details on traveling mentorships.

A Student Progress Report should be submitted after the completion of each mentorship, by the student.

Required Subjects

A reading radiograph course may be taken anytime during training but must be completed by the end of the advanced level. Options for this subject are Dr. Kellon’s Basics of Radiographs, PHCP’s hands-on Reading Radiographs for the Hoof Care Practitioner, or a PHCP reading radiographs webinar.

For professionals entering the program at the advanced level all required subjects (advanced nutrition, metabolic issues, and radiographs) must be completed before posting a final presentation.

Final Presentation

The final mentor determines the students readiness to complete the program. With their approval the student may post the step 7 Final Media Presentation. The student should be able to ‘read’ the hoof, make a plan, consider the whole horse, and work with the client in a professional manner to achieve their goals. They must produce a professional quality trim on a variety of horses. If this is not achieved, an additional mentorship will be recommended.

Step 6 – Final Media Presentation

Once a student has been approved by their final mentor they may submit their Final Media Presentation. This must be posted within one year of the final mentorship or another mentorship will be required.

In addition to a maintenance trim, it will include a progressive case study on a horse with hoof pathology. This will take several months to complete so each student should plan in advance, documenting several potential subjects along the way.

In lieu of travel to examiners, which can be expensive and difficult for many students, PHCP evaluates students with a combination of the media presentations and documents collected in a student’s file. Putting together a media presentation may seem time consuming but we feel it is a more accessible alternative to the typical in-person examinations required in the farrier community. Our reliance on photos requires impeccable workmanship so the student may demonstrate a conscientious attention to detail and mastery of their tools. Please take the time to submit your most professional polished work.

The final media presentation is a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback from some of our top mentors who make up the Evaluation Committee. Not everyone passes on the first try. You will receive support and direction to help with any additional submissions that may be requested.

Once the student has passed the Evaluation Committee they will receive a summary of constructive comments on their media presentation and they will become a PHCP Certified Practitioner.

Documents and links

Training program tracking worksheet
Download and print this PDF and check off the boxes as you complete the steps in the training program.

Introduction to the Equine Diet and Lifestyle 
Students should study this information during Beginning Studies.

Introduction to Hoof Anatomy
Students should study this information during Beginning Studies and before they attend the beginning clinic.

Tools and Maintenance
This will help students decide what tools to purchase when they are getting started.

Making the Most of Your Mentorship
Read this before contacting and setting up a mentorship.

PHCP Mentors
Choose and contact a Mentor to set up a mentorship.

Student Progress Report
Submit this after each intermediate and advanced mentorship.

Good Hoof Photos and How to Take Them
Follow and practice these tips in preparation for media presentations to be submitted during training.

Step 4 Intermediate Studies Media Presentation Guidelines

Step 7 Final Media Presentation Guidelines

Smugmug Upload and Edit Instructions
Read these before you begin uploading your media presentation photos.

Sample Summary for working with other professionals
For Advanced Student Practitioners and Practitioners to receive credit for ride-alongs and clinics with other professionals, please submit a summery describing your day. Critical thinking is encouraged at this level. What fits with your approach and what does not? Students and Intermediate Student Practitioners need to solidify their training by completing the Intermediate Series before working with non-PHCP professionals.

Education and CE Credits
The number of credits awarded for some of the common events that members attend.

Training and Continuing Education credit form
This should be filled out annually by students in training and Certified Practitioners to receive credit for events not registered through PHCP. You may update it throughout the year.