Eli Beiler shoes several top Standardbred racing horses on the East Coast. In any kind of high-end, competitive discipline you need name recognition. He says the Standardbred market is no different.
"You aren’t worth a lick if the trainers don’t know you," he says."But how will they know you if you don’t work? And they won’t hire you if they don’t know you, so you won’t work. See the problem?"
He says you have to ride along with someone before the industry knows you.
"Your name is everything; it is worth more than money. When you want to shoe these horses, your respect is better than actual work to a certain extent."
He suggests interest farriers go to the local tracks and learn who the respected farriers are.
"Introduce yourself. Sweep for them. Do anything for them, and don’t ask for money in return," he advises. "Looking back, I would even pay a farrier to ride along with just for the experience and what it would do to get my foot in the door."
Beiler shared his thoughts on Standardbreds in the fourth edition of the American Farriers Journal Getting Started In Hoof Care (A Career Guide For The New Farrier). He is also the subject of the "Shoeing For A Living" in the September/October issue of American Farriers Journal.