While most of us are still in bed, Dave Whitehead is under the stars, beginning his morning exercise routine.
The Angaston resident fits so much into his busy days, the 4.30 a.m. start is crucial.
A farrier by trade, Dave spends much of his day with horses, but his involvement doesn’t stop at fitting their shoes.
He teaches back to basics horsemanship to people wanting to learn more about their horses.
Although he has always had a connection with horses and can communicate with them better than most people, Dave doesn’t identify with the “horse whisperer” title.
“It’s about dealing with horses with different attitudes,” Dave said.
“I teach people to communicate with their horses better and understand how they think and feel.”
Dave’s love for horses began as a young boy, riding bareback on steep country until he earned a saddle shooting rabbits when he was 11.
Later in the 1970s, Dave lived in Kersbrook and trained quarter horses for sprint racing, as well as breeding and showing them.
Throughout this time, he was educating people about their horses, the part of his job to this day that is the most challenging and rewarding
“Re-educating horses has been the highlight. I like a challenge and it’s rewarding when you get people happy and everyone’s working together.”
Dave said horsemanship starts on the ground, learning to read the horse’s attitude and understand where it’s coming from.
“You can’t tell horses to do things, you have to ask them.
“You’ve got to have total patience, you can’t get cross.”
Dave’s current challenge is a two-year-old horse that hasn’t been touched.
“She touched me with her whiskers and she can’t tolerate that.
“I’ve got to catch her, teach her to lead and that’s a challenge and a half.”
Dave is also teaching a woman in her 30s to be involved with horses for the first time in her life.
Being a farrier for the past 35 years has been hard, but Dave balances it out with other areas of his life.
He has been cleaning windows for the past seven years so he can stretch out to combat sitting down all day while shoeing horses.
Not just a farrier, Dave is also an inventor and proudly boasts about the portable post he came up with in the 1990s, which he also manufactures himself.
The idea came from horses and it can be used to tether animals or even boats.
He also makes weathervanes, co-ordinates the Valley Hot Rodders Cruise On event and is fixing u a 1943 Bedford pick-up truck.
“My days are busy but easy, because I love what I do.
“There’s nothing I don’t like doing, I try everything.”