Farrier Focus: David Wentz
By Nancy Brannon
It’s hard to believe, but David Wentz, DRW Horseshoeing, has been a farrier for 31 years. “I started when I was 11 years old,” he said. “I was the youngest student at the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School at age 12.
“To be a good horseshoer – or good at anything – you have to like what you do. You have to really appreciate horses. I enjoy working with horses and can relate to them. To me, it’s not like going to work every day; it’s more like hanging out with horses.”
David shoes all kinds of horses, including several types of cow working horses, some jumpers, some dressage horses. David also specializes in corrective shoeing for lame horses, working with veterinarians on therapeutic shoeing for horses with laminitis and navicular problems.
From his home in Tiplersville, MS, he shoes throughout a four-state area: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri. He travels a lot of miles with his shoeing truck! The center of his shoeing business is west Tennessee, around Eads, Cordova, and Collierville – along the Hwy. 385 loop.
David’s career as a horseshoer has been interrupted three times when he was deployed overseas as a first sergeant in the Mississippi National Guard, the latest in 2018. He was sent to Iraq in 2005 and 2009, and while overseas, David couldn’t resist being around horses. “There was nothing like being thousands of miles away and seeing a little bit of horse to cheer you up,” he wrote.
He’s all about teaching children about hoof care, too. In July, he visited Old West Special Trails to give the camp kids a lesson on trimming a horse’s hooves. And when he goes on the job, he’s “supervised” by his son Colton, age 6. In fact, Colton is like David’s “mini me” trying to do everything his dad does to help with horseshoeing. “He got his own pair of chaps; he knocks the nails out of shoes. He loves it! He’ll make a horseshoer,” David said. “He’s already riding and roping off a horse.” The time out of school due to COVID-19 has allowed David and Colton to spend more time and travel together, and it’s a positive learning environment for Colton.
David learned early on from Lim Couch that “knowledge is priceless. The more knowledge you have about something, the more proficient you become, and the more you want to study about it,” David philosophized.
On his facebook page, David regularly shares his knowledge about hoof care with his followers. The number one problem he sees with hoof care is the environment the horse lives in. “It’s either really hot or really cold. It’s either too wet or too dry,” he observed. So knowing how to care for the hoof according to the environmental conditions is the key to healthy hooves. And the conditions determine which hoof product is appropriate to use. There’s not one product that fits all occasions, just as one style of shoeing doesn’t fit all horses. He says to always shoe according to the needs of the horse.
The latest addition to David’s family is 2-month-old Dustin. He also has a son Austin, age 13, and a daughter Julie, 23, who is also into horses and roping.You can find David’s contact information in our Bulletin Board section (page 29) and follow him on facebook at DRW Horseshoeing @David Wentz78.
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