While I know some trainers who don't keep their farrier bills current, though the owners have been billed and paid for the service, I don't know any that try to mark up the price they're paying. That sounds like an almost instant and effective way to lose owners. As for trainers directing farrier work, I would say that would apply to the brand or type of shoes, but not to the actual work. I think I'll use David Hall's words here to describe how that works. "Always difficult to know what to say, it may be easier to find a new farrier than get this guy to improve." I know people, other than myself, who have hoof problem after hoof problem, and discuss with their farrier what can be done to address the problem, instead of treating symptoms, and they get nowhere. There is a disdain shown on the part of some shoers here for any input from trainers/owners. In my case, that has happened even when I've gone to the expense of exrays to try to support changes that needed made. Here the same farriers work the same race meets, year in and year out, and they're working on the same horses much of the time. Six months here, six months 150 miles to the north, or to the fair meets scattered around the state. There is no moving on in 6 or 8 weeks to a whole new crop of horses to foul up, or to a whole new set of owners and trainers.. I have seen young horses get to the track with ridiculous feet. I don't know what percentage are neglected like that, but even if the number is small, it certainly makes an impression. This country is wet more of the year than dry, and the ground is soft or muddy a lot. Makes that an even more stupid decision. Agree more than 100% that racehorses need quality work for what they are asked to do. But with all the work in one place and no drive time, I don't know why quality farriers wouldn't be attracted to racehorses. The ignorant ones don't stay ignorant. It's actually pretty rare to see a horse being a pain to work on. Ace? Maybe. You're right about this having the potential to go on and on. Cheers from the other side of the pancake.