David A. Jefferson, DVM

David A. Jefferson, DVM

I have had a few clients this year ask whether I was thinking about retiring. My philosophy is that it’s not the miles on the odometer, but the tread remaining on the tires that counts. Lots of rubber left here. I am blessed by good health and every day look forward to my job as an equine vet. As long as I’m enjoying practice, retirement isn’t something that I think about much.

One of the benefits of working on your farms is that we have become friends. During the slower winter months it’s a treat to be able to share a cup of coffee and conversation in your barn or kitchen. Another joy for me is meeting new people and working out together how we can best serve your horses.

Work wise, I particularly enjoy chiropractic which in most cases makes a significant difference in the way a horse moves. It is truly rewarding to free up horses with gait restrictions.

My practice goals for this year:

  • Develop a customized program for senior horses. When their needs are paid attention to, they live longer. But, as they age, changes happen that can be challenging to them and to us as their owners. As a practice we will tap into our broad range of services and expertise to offer customized care packages for our senior citizens.
  • Ramp up our chiropractic work. Every year I spend a week in Chicago taking instruction from Dr. Carl DeStefano, DO, a board certified chiropractor who is light years ahead in his thinking about this avenue of healing. I want to bring even more of what I learn from him back to Maine to help our horses. I’d like to rely even more on adjustments and less on injections.
  • Find new and fun avenues to connect and engage with clients in ways that benefit their horses. Here’s where I could use YOUR input. Drop me an email or share your thoughts the next time you see me.

My condensed history:

  • Raised in NY State and after high school thought I wanted to be a dairy farmer. I graduated from Delhi Tech with a two year degree with that in mind.
  • Spent 1960-1963 in the US Marine Corps, and while carrying that heavy M1 rifle around decided that I might be happiest as a veterinarian.
  • Graduated from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, worked in a mixed practice in New Hampshire for 3 years, and then bought Dr. Charlie Meader’s equine practice in Greene, ME.
  • Built and operated the Maine Equine Clinic in Turner, doing horse medicine and surgery for a few years out of that facility. As that became more of a burden than a joy, I decided that I really liked farm practice best and sold that facility. It is now a furniture store, making more $ than I ever dreamed of making there.
  • Bought our farm in New Gloucester in the mid 90’s which has become the practice office and headquarters for Maine Equine Associates.

On the personal side:

I feel blessed to share my life with my wife Bonnie, who after retiring from teaching second grade, helps us in the office in many ways. She edits my monthly articles that appear in The Horse’s Maine & New Hampshire so that they are understandable to new horse owners and hopefully not boring to veterans. When she understands a new article, it is ready for publication. Bonnie is not by nature a “horse person”, and in fact is mildly apprehensive of them.

We have two grown children; a son, Jim, who is a boat captain and has a farm in Searsmont, Maine, where he operates a woodworking shop. Our daughter Tally is a real estate agent in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was while visiting her that I took up sailing in Tampa Bay.

I am learning to play the piano, which is something I always have wanted to do. My brain is up to it, but my fingers often get in the way of each other.

I feel fortunate to have been brought up in a family of readers. My payback has been to enlist as a literacy volunteer. I am meeting weekly with my second student. He is a Hispanic dairy farm worker whose goals are to sharpen his English speaking and reading skills.

Here on my home farm we have two mini donkeys, Shamus and Shiloh, who keep us laughing. Annabelle, our farm cat, keeps the mouse population down and would love to have you come to visit and fuss over her. We have always had a dog, but not at the moment. Lizzy and Erin bring their dogs Raya and Pablo to the office, and that seems to fill need my canine need right now.

I get a lot of enjoyment working around my farm – cutting wood, fixing fence, and general farm maintenance through the seasons. I move dirt from here to there with my Kubota, and then move it someplace else. I do need a bigger tractor!