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“Neither of us can be successful in helping the horse without the other.” This is a simple statement, but rang loudly when I interviewed farrier Bob Pethick for this report. The Hall of Fame farrier, who has nearly 50 years of experience, works with dozens of vets each year on lameness cases. He recognizes that farriers and veterinarians putting egos aside, providing mutual respect and working together helps deliver the best outcome for the horses in their care.
Without the veterinarian assessing and diagnosing what is wrong with the patient, and without the farrier taking this work and applying the solution through the trim and mechanical appliance, the outcome is not favorable. Both professions are two essential parts in helping the horse.
This relationship isn’t only about the immediate work on lameness and surgical cases. On 4- to 8-week schedules, farriers will see their clients’ horses more often than veterinarians and any other equine health professional. As horsemanship has generally declined among the population of riders, the farrier has become the leading equine encyclopedia for answering client questions. Through this role, the farrier serves as the first line of defense in alerting clients to emerging issues before they worsen. Whether it is a lameness or general health concern, farriers are crucial for referring clients to veterinarians.
In its second installment, this special report from American Farriers Journal provides insight to strengthen the bond between veterinarians and farriers. We worked closely with members of both industries…