John Marshall High School senior Colt Hummel won’t be moving into a dormitory or choosing a major next year, but the Moundsville teen is still on his way to forging a successful career in animal care.
Hummel, who celebrated his 17th birthday in June, starts each morning at the high school, completing mathematics, English, civics and agriculture courses before leaving for the day around 1 p.m. to work at his personal business.
Hummel lives on a Waynesburg Pike family farm in Marshall County with his parents, Mike and Kim, and brother Chase. The Hummel family has always had an interest in equine, keeping a few show horses at the home throughout Colt’s childhood. When the family’s usual horse farrier was injured last summer, Colt decided to learn the craft himself to keep the farm’s horses healthy and in shape.
A farrier is an expert in hoof care, specializing in trimming and balancing horse hooves as well as replacing shoes if necessary. The job combines the skills of a blacksmith with some aspects of a veterinarian’s position due to a farrier’s extensive knowledge of the anatomy of lower limb issues and diseases facing horses.
To meet his family’s needs and pursue his own business, Colt attended the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School over Christmas break in December. He noted the school was one of few of its kind to allow 16-year-olds to participate at the time. After becoming a certified farrier, Colt started his own business, Hummel Farrier Service LLC, in February and now provides services to four to 10 horses on an average day after school.