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12 Ways for Farriers and Veterinarians to Improve Working Together

Farrier Shane Westman pulls from his experiences as a farrier at a veterinary teaching hospital to improve veterinarian-farrier relationships


Pictured Above: Through his work at the veterinary school, Westman has an advantage that many farriers lack — ability to discuss cases in person and access to advanced imaging.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Referring footcare to another farrier should be respected by the client.
  • Document your work with photographs captured on your smartphone. You can place notations embedded on the images.
  • It is important for the veterinarian to understand where the horse is in its trimming and shoeing cycle before judging the footcare.
  • More than 66% of American Farriers Journal readers who are farriers report they prefer interaction with veterinarians face-to-face or over the phone.

Last year, Shane Westman wrote a reflective paper on a personal experience of professional communication breakdown. For this paper, he selected a case from his private farrier practice in Washington in which conflict placed the client between him and the veterinarian. The disagreement originated over the use of wedge pads and ultimately Westman was fired. By writing this paper, it gave him a new perspective on the dynamic of veterinarian-farrier relationships.

“I still realize that in that situation I was right, but I was incorrect in how I handled it,” he recalls. “I was mad at the veterinarian for not listening, but I was half of the problem in my failure in understanding the situation.”

From his position as the Large Animal Clinic farrier at the university…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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