Heldswil is a small village in canton Thurgau. It is well known to many equestrians around Europe, mainly thanks to farrier Stefan Wehrli, established here since 1997. His clients come from all over Europe, and you’ll often see a horse lorry from Italy, Germany or Holland parked in front of the forge. Vets and owners alike value his accurate eye and his feel with horses.
Stefan Wehrli has successfully competed in showjumping up to 1.45m, with horses that he had produced from the start up through the levels. This experience has greatly helped him understand the demands and expectations of his clients.
Stefan decided to be a farrier when he was 5 years old. He completed his apprenticeship under Theodor Bühler in Abtwil. He gained a lot of experience in the army, where he worked as military farrier. After that, he worked as a farrier for Hans Schäfer in Schlatt. He became independent in 1995, and opened his own forge in Heldswil in 1997. Since then, he has attended numerous courses. For many years now, Stefan Wehli has been going regularly to the US to learn from Dr Ric Redden. Ric Redden is a vet and a farrier, and has been Stefan’s main teacher. Stefan has also followed courses with Dr Scott Morrisson in the US and Rob Renirie in Holland.
The secret of his success ? « I try to gather as much information as I can through thorough observation, in order to find the best solution for the horse. X-rays are a great tool to choose the best shoeing technique for each horse. » This obviously works for him, as can be seen by his good reputation as a specialist for problem cases. His client list is a sample of the international equestrian scene.
His business activities currently span three areas: horse shoeing, continuous professional education and products.
As a Farrier, he has specialised in two domains: the shoeing of top sport horses, and therapeutic shoeing of horses with limb and hoof problems. His sport horse clientele are mainly showjumpers, many of which have participated in the Olympics, World championships and European championships. Stefan also shoes dressage horses and racehorses at the top level of their sport. When working on therapeutic shoeing, Stefan has collaborated with renowned vets all over Europe. He also shoes and treats horses at home, where he has stables for his clients’ horses. Whether laminitis, quatercracks, tendon or joint problems, Stefan Wehrli can offer optimal solutions thanks to collaboration with the corresponding specialist and excellent infrastructures.
Since 2010, Stefan has been organising continuous professional education courses to share his experience with farriers and vets. In 2019, he founded together with Dr. Christian Struchen and Julien Houser the WEPA (Wehrli Equine Podiatry Academy). For vets and farriers alike, the duration of the curriculum is two years, with three modules per year. Each module is two days long and includes a public evening, where all horse people are welcome and can benefit from the WEPA. Besides his academic activities, Stefan is also a sought after lecturer at international congresses.
His constant quest for better solutions has led him to develop his own products. With the WTS Light, WTS Solid, WTS Race, WTS Soft Heel, WTS Therpeutic and the corresponding accessories, he is able to offer a comprehensive range of products for performance and therapeutic shoeing. WTS stands for Wehrli Traction Shoe. Furthermore, he is a reseller for NANRIC products, developed by Dr Ric Redden. All these products are only available for farriers and veterinarians who have completed the corresponding courses for the use of said products. The correct use of these products is very important for Stefan Wehrli.