This equine dentist builds wooden horses and furniture, too!
Meet Dr. Tom Allen of Horses of Wood in Patterson, MO. Unlike other woodworkers on CustomMade.com, Tom’ s expertise in craftsmanship comes from, all of places,veterinary school. Yes – you read that correctly. Tom is our first and only equine dentist to date; the dream began at age twelve, and he’s been practicing horse dentistry for 38 years. What’s the connection between teeth, animal healthcare, and woodworking, you wonder?
Tom’s high school teacher wondered the same thing when they sat discussing the results of Tom’s achievement tests: “I know you want want to be a vet, but you should probably look at something more mechanical.” Tom indeed became a doctor through, he admits, lots of hard work and studying. Yet he feels that his teacher was on to something in terms of his mechanical aptitude: “He was exactly right – I really like doing things with my hands!”
Horses of Wood
Tom carved the wooden sign outside of his first vet practice in PA in the 70′s. He had been a woodworking hobbyist for decades when one day, a few years back, everything in his life changed.
He had flown out California for equine dentistry work, and a small tightness in his chest escalated to a near-fatal heart attack. Tom was saved by the EMT’s on call, but he returned home to Missouri with a new sense of how important it was to spend time doing the things he loved.
Tom loves taking care of horses, and he also loves carving them out of wood. “I can stay at home to do my wood carving,” says Tom. “I have to travel up to St. Louis [and other more populated areas] to take care of my horses.” Living with his wife, Dawn, 120 miles south of St. Louis at the edge of the Ozark Mountain range, Tom has built up quite the repertoire of carved horse-themed keepsakes, toys, and furniture pieces.
Here are a few whimsical pieces by Dr. Tom Allen:
…So if all of this awesome custom carved horse gear is inspiring you to get up and gallop around the room, you can contact Dr. Tom Allen at Horses of Wood to inquire about customizing your very own horse-themed wooden piece!