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The majority of farriers work with backyard horses. A clientele of solely backyard horses can sustain a very profitable practice. However, at some point in your career, you may want to become a specialist with a specific discipline or breed of horse.
Becoming specialized in a breed or discipline is easier said than done. There are particular things about the horse and the people associated with that group that can make it difficult to establish and maintain a business in it.
We selected the following disciplines and asked a top farrier in each to name three things to consider before trying to break into any of them.
By Red Renchin (Mequon, Wis.)
1. Make A Good First Impression
This is an English discipline and within some places the Western horse industry is often looked down upon. At the top echelons of the profession you will see farriers in cowboy boots and hats, but they are generally established veterans.
When a rookie first applies to work at a barn, it is important to make a good first impression. That means if you come from a Western background, it may be a good idea to leave your hat and boots behind.
2. Do Your Homework
Breaking into a hunter/jumper barn is difficult without an invitation. In most barns, the trainer decides who will shoe the horses for the entire barn. If a trainer is going to change farriers, they will be looking for someone with a track record and experience.