Elke Albrecht only has been apprenticing as a farrier for 3 years, but she knows she’s found her passion.
Albrecht told the Poughkeepsie Journal that she grew up showing and riding horses.
“Both of my parents had horses,” she says. “It was in my blood.”
Before finding her passion for professional equine footcare, she worked as a massage therapist in Colorado and Massachusetts. But she wanted to get back to her equine roots.
She attended Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School, earning the second-best overall marks in her class and receiving the Jamison Albright Foundation Farrier Scholarship.
“School was hard. I’m proud to have pursued that,” Albrecht says.
Now, Albrecht operates a family farrier business with her father, Rich, who became a farrier 33 years ago after taking a course at Cornell University so that he could better care for her horses.
Together, the duo regularly cares for as many as 175 horses in the Hudson Valley area, being sure to adapt for each horse’s particular needs.
“It’s a craft,” Albrecht says. “It takes years to get the experience down.”
In her free time, Albrecht creates art pieces with old horseshoes, including items such as napkin holders or wreathes. Sometimes, she crafts pieces out of shoes from one particular horse or barn — a sentimental piece for an owner’s enjoyment.
Still, as Albrecht continues to learn and dedicate much of her life to horses, she also prioritizes sharing her knowledge. She demonstrates trimming for local Girl Scout troops, acknowledging that there still aren’t enough women in the industry — though they are on the rise.
“I am hoping to inspire some other future women farriers by exposing them to this field and the opportunities it can provide.”