David Woodward

Life After Shoeing and a Spinal Cord Injury

From a wheelchair, David Woodward explores new ways his skills and knowledge can keep him close to the horse industry

LEATHER WORK. David Woodward works on refurbishing a saddle in his workshop in Lakeview, N.C.

David Woodward forged and shaped many a horseshoe during his more than 30 years as a farrier. But now the strong hands and arms that once hammered and bent iron and steel to fit and support the hooves of galloping horses are being used to delicately manipulate gold, silver and other precious metals into horseshoe-themed jewelry for the horse set — and hopefully to help Woodward forge a new career following a devastating injury that ended his shoeing career.

“Shoeing horses was something that I loved,” he says. “It was never hard to go to work when the work was shoeing horses.”

So it’s not surprising that as Woodward begins rebuilding his life, he’s exploring career paths that enable him to retain ties with horses. They’re his passion and something he’s been around “pretty much all of my life.”

Building A Good Life

Woodward actually built two shoeing careers. The first was in his native Connecticut, following his graduation from Bud Beason’s Oklahoma Farrier’s College during the early 1970s. He built a good practice, shoeing horses in Connecticut as well as in neighboring New York and Massachusetts. Then in 1989, he and his wife, Ann, took a vacation trip to the area around Southern Pines, N.C.

“We were here for 3 days and we bought our farm,” he says, smiling at the memory. “It took us a couple of years to actually get moved down…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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