Horsing Around – Matthew Wimer

(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsing Around, I’m Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center and joined today by Matt Wimer. So thank you for joining us here Matt. (Matt) Thanks. (Chris) Matt’s going to be Dr. Matt Wimer here in a little bit, in a few months and I think that something that’s neat, as we’re surrounded by farrier instruments and forges here, kind of I’d like to know a little bit about your, I guess, journey through vet school and through becoming a farrier. Which I think is a neat story and to maybe appreciate what you’re trying to do while going through vet school and becoming a farrier. (Matt) Right after I graduated high school, which was a long time ago, I went to horse shoeing school and started shoeing and shortly after that I started college here at K-State in an undergrad program. In that time I went back to farrier school and shortly after that became a certified farrier with the American Farrier’s Association. I’ve been kind of shoeing horses ever since then. Started vet school here in 2009 and kind of the whole way through vet school I’ve been shoeing horses to supplement my income and get some bills paid and keep myself fed, kind of deal. I’ve been working towards my journeyman, well I am a journeyman now. But I worked towards my journeyman all the way through vet school and became a journeyman farrier, I guess, almost a year ago this June. So, it was a long journey and it was a lot of work to be able to shoe horses and practice for my journeyman exam through vet school, but I think it actually helped me get through vet school as far as my stress level, kind of channeled that in a positive way. (Chris) You say vet school- a lot of studying for tests and stuff as you’re going so, in between those tests, you’d be out shoeing horses, coming back or studying or building shoes for certification. So, what might some people do is watch TV, you probably didn’t do a lot of watching TV then. (Matt) I spent a lot of time in the forge. (Chris) Yeah, yeah. And I think that is all just really interesting, the amount of dedication and perseverance through these things as you’re building your own career. And having a veterinarian and a certified journeyman farrier, makes almost that podiatry aspect of the career. And could you explain a little bit about, kind of quickly, what a podiatrist is? (Matt) I feel people might have different definitions, but I feel like a podiatrist is a veterinarian that focuses on the distal limb or the hoof capsule. And that is kind of what my goal is, for my career, is to focus on that, cause I’ve been blessed to been a part of the farrier industry and the veterinarian industry and combining them is kind of my true passion. And having the ability to combine those two aspects on the veterinarian type shoeing I feel is very valuable and kind of a needed thing. (Chris) And you are even going further where you’re going to go to a specialist, learn more in Kentucky and then build even more of that podiatry aspect and realm, so I sure appreciate everything. And congratulations on everything you’re doing. (Matt) Thank you. Appreciate it. (Chris) I am Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State Vet School. We’ll see you around.

Hello and welcome to Horsing Around, I’m Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Today I’m joined by Matt Wimer. He is a fourth year veterinary student, a certified journeyman farrier, and graduating here in May. Thank you for joining me here today. (Matt) Thank you. (Chris) Matt is becoming quite the master of multiple trades through vet school and, you know, as he’s going to continue on with his career and
one thing that I always think is just really neat, what I got to see you actually make is stuff out of metal. You do a lot of shoeing on horses… (Matt) Sure. (Chris)… while you’ve been in vet school and those kind of things but something that maybe some people don’t really know or even appreciate is what you can do with metal, bending metal with iron and stuff like that and one of things that you’ve made is this product here for veterinary school and in school here. And how, can you explain a little bit about this, how much time it took you to make this? (Matt) Sure, I would say there’s probably between 15 and 25 hours in this piece. There’s several
different components, you have the staff that the snake wraps around and that takes some creasing and twisting and stuff like that. And then bending the rasps into cylindrical shape and shaping them around the staff takes some time as well. And then this, it could have been a shoe but actually is just a piece of steel that I made into a V and made look like a shoe instead of actually making a shoe and then making it into a V. But definitely some time into it, but really I enjoy doing it and honestly it’s helped my stress level getting through school quite a bit. Practicing shoes, building things like this, preparing for my journeyman exam. So, it’s been good. (Chris) And I think until you actually watch you making some of things, you don’t really appreciate the work and able to kind of do some of these things. And one thing you said a rasp and on that snake. So you have taken one of these and you have bent it to look like that snake. (Matt) Right. (Chris) And so I look at that, I mean this is pretty hard metal and how long does it take to bend that kind of metal? (Matt) Well this is a really high carbon steel, but if you get it up to temperature in a forge, it really doesn’t take a lot you know, as long as you direct your hammer swings in the right manner. This is the high carbon steel, but it’s fairly thin, so it doesn’t take much to heat up, it loses it’s heat fairly quickly but if you can get things done in appropriate manner then it doesn’t take a whole lot as long as you make the appropriate swings. (Chris) Yeah, you know the other things you’ve made has been some roses and bouquets of roses and these things are just spectacular and they’re not fabricated out of some aspect, this is all hand made and I think these things are just awesome. People can probably get a hold of you if they have any other questions on these, really it has kind of helped pay your way through vet school. (Matt) Yeah, I mean it has definitely helped me keep the food on the table for myself anyway. (Chris) Yeah, well thank you Matt. (Matt) Absolutely. (Chris) Thank you guys. And we’ll see you around.

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