The Veterinarian and Farrier Relationship

August 27, 2019 (published)

Horse owners need both a veterinarian and a farrier and it is critical for your horse that these individuals get along with each other and can work together to benefit your horse.  After all, helping your horse should be the goal for both of them.  However, it is sometimes difficult to get the farrier and veterinarian to agree on treatment and this can lead to problems.  Most veterinarians do not shoe horses and only trim them when there is an immediate issue and so a veterinarian needs a good farrier to do the trimming and shoeing.  The farrier also needs the veterinarian because most farriers have not been trained in radiology.  Ideally, the vet and farrier both look at the horse and the x-rays and come up with a treatment plan. 

Many times farriers and veterinarian have different opinions on how best to treat the horse and this leads to confusion and lack of communication.  A lot of it has to do with egos of the individuals believing they know what’s best.  Sometimes the farrier may be correct and sometimes the veterinarian may be correct but regardless, if there is a difference of opinion, it is going to be difficult to treat the horse.  If one person is treating the horse for a certain condition in a certain manner and the other person does not agree, the horse suffers.  I am fortunate because I have a really good farrier and we have learned from each other, but everyone is not so lucky.  Choose a veterinarian and a farrier that can work together.  Ask your veterinarian if they are willing to work with your farrier and ask the same of your farrier.  If not, find a veterinarian or farrier that are comfortable working together for the betterment of your horse. 

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