Redefining horse care—with a farrier power team 

Derek Schueler’s people were Wisconsin dairy farmers and truck drivers, not horse people—until a neighbor gave his family some horses they couldn’t sell. 

“One day, I didn't know anything about horses, and the next day I had two,” says Derek. “Then suddenly, this dude shows up in what looks like an ambulance. He's got this hoof jack with a bunch of tools on it. He crawls around underneath the horses, and it's kind of a wrestling match. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.”

“I looked at that farrier and thought: that's what I want to do.” 

Derek Schueler, CF

A love affair with Cher

The Schueler’s first horses captured Derek’s interest in farriery, but it was another horse that would create a lifelong commitment to the animals. 

Her name was Cher. 

“She was an absolute sweetheart,” says Derek. “A sorrel Quarter Horse/Arabian cross with crooked legs and a sassy attitude. She changed my life.” 

Their bond was so strong that Derek’s parents had to remove their son from summer camp one year because Cher had stopped eating in his absence. Derek was rushed home, and Cher got exactly what she wanted: Derek.

As I got out of the car, and whistled at her, that horse’s ears perked up, and she came running up to the fence. We never had a problem with her after that.

Taking the fast track to farriery

By sixteen, Derek’s passion for farriery had yet to wane. He started trimming horses on his own and shadowed a local farrier through the FFA. Three days after graduating high school, Derek arrived at the Butler Professional Horseshoeing School in Nebraska, with a scholarship from the Jamison Albright Foundation.

There, he was inspired by experts like Doug Butler, who Derek remembers vividly.

“He whipped out this ginormous piece of half by an inch and a quarter and just made an absolutely beautiful agriculture heel draft shoe with a clip in what felt like no time at all,” says Derek. “His precision was incredible. It looked effortless, and I wanted to be like that. I still have that shoe.”  

Derek Schueler, CF

Learning how hard it is, the hard way

After graduating, however, Derek realized what every lifelong farrier learns: School is just the beginning. Learning to navigate this grueling career is a lifelong challenge. And it can be brutal on the body. 

For a time, Derek left farriery altogether, only to return for the chance to take over Wayne Baseman’s practice. Soon he was working long hours again and caring for some difficult and dangerous horses.

 It was a struggle, and he wondered how long he could continue.

My tailbone was broken. I’d been thrown across barns; I had broken ribs; I’d been kicked in the head.

“I needed a new path—and I found an osteopath.”

Everything changed the day Derek met a new client named Anna, whose favorite horse had injured his flexor tendon. As he helped rehabilitate Anna’s horse, she saw just how much rehabilitation he needed.

“I'm an equine osteopath,” says Anna. “I adjust horses. And I'm also a licensed massage therapist for people. So I know all the tricks.” 

Anna convinced Derek to get an osteopathic adjustment. “Afterwards, he was actually able to squat down the way you need to squat down and shoe horses,” she says. “If it wasn't for osteopathy, he wouldn't be shoeing horses today.” 

The business was managing me. When I got done with the day, that’s the little bit of energy I had left for family time.

Rehabbing his business—and building something completely new

With his own rehab started, Derek set about changing his business model. He let go of clients with troublesome horses. He reworked his pricing. And he freed up time for forging competitions, something he’d wanted to do for a long time. 

Soon, Derek and his now wife Anna began to totally transform his business—and hers. 

“I started pulling him in on horses that were really struggling,” she says. When a barrel horse was standing incredibly out of balance, she had Derek do a complete cycle of shoeing before she started adjusting. Once he was done, Anna’s bodywork was far more effective.   

“If I don't have a good foundation, I can't adjust,” she says. Derek’s work makes Anna’s work better—and vice versa.

Derek Schueler, CF

Creating a whole new model for horse care

Together, Derek and Anna created a holistic model that considers the health of the whole animal like never before. They each continue to work separately on a mix of cutting horses, trail horses, dressage barns, and hunter jumpers, but their dual accounts are growing. 

This new model has worked so well that they also pull in an equine dentist and a veterinarian when needed. 

For Derek and Anna, the dream is to establish a facility—a sports medicine clinic for horses—where the whole team can work. It’s an ambitious goal—but, given what they’ve already accomplished, no one’s betting against them.

We’re a package deal. We’re really trying to bring a whole-horse approach to the horses we work on.

Q&A with Derek Schueler, CF

In addition to his solo practice in Kiel, Wisconsin, Derek works with his wife, the equine osteopath, Anna Schueler. Together, they collaborate with a team of specialists to take a uniquely holistic approach to caring for horses. We asked Derek—and Anna—about his practice and their shared business.   

Your approach promises real relief for a lot of horses. Are there any successes you’re particularly proud of?   

Anna:  I came across this Quarter Horse gelding, and I thought, “We can help him.” He had a crack in his front foot, and he had a lateral Quarter crack on his left hind. His body was an absolute mess. His teeth were terrible. The girl who owned him said, “He's unpredictable on the ground. I don't want him.” She pretty much gave him away. We got his teeth done, and then we saw the veterinarian we work with. Next, I adjusted him. Even though he had an old fracture, he adjusted really well.

Derek: Three months later, he’s put on 150 pounds. He’s now predictable on the ground and ready for the next chapter of his life.

What goals would you like to work towards? 

Derek: I’d like to compete on a team such as the AFT or WCB. It’s very competitive and requires a lot of practice. But when you get on those teams, you make each other better.  

Derek Schueler, CF Products

What are your favorite Mustad products?

Derek: My entire book is now on Mustad. I don’t have a single horse that I can’t cover with a Delta ChallengerTS8. I like the shape of the shoe, the nail positioning, and the coarser toe. The clips do what they’re supposed to do—take stress off the nails. Customers like the look of it.  

I use three different Slim blade nails: The Mustad Endura-Coated Combo 5 Slims nails, the Delta Combo 5 Slims, and the Capewell Slimblade 5s. The hoof walls will bulge less, and you will have a tighter clench. Everything’s going to be tidier.  

I love the Heller eXceL Legend. It’s super aggressive; it’s strong – it gets stepped on and dropped a lot; and the finish side puts a shine on a foot that no other rasp does. 

If you’d like to learn more about the innovative business these two are building, reach out to Derek and Anna.

We're here to support farriers.

At Mustad, we love learning from—and celebrating—farriers like you. If you’re looking for consistent, personal support for your business, and premium-quality products, we’re here to make your life easier. Contact your rep here.

Connect with your rep

Please note:

You're about to leave this website.

Yes, take me to