How a Successful Farrier and Veterinarian Relationship Should Flow

To help horses, both the farrier and veterinarian must recognize specific areas of responsibility and have open communication.

Pictured Above: Tim Shannon (right) notes that reviewing radiographs with a vet has given him a greater appreciation of advanced diagnostics.

Veterinarian Takeaways

  • Face-to-face communication is ideal, but with digital advancements, there is no excuse to not communicate and share supporting
    material with the farrier.
  • A specific shoeing prescription should be avoided unless requested by the farrier and within your knowledge-base as a veterinarian.
  • Build the relationship out of mutual respect and avoid the approach that communication with the farrier is “work.”

When farriers and veterinarians work together, great things can happen for the horse. This requires a balance of communication, mutual respect, confidence and several other traits. We asked equine veterinarian Bob Grisel and farrier Tim Shannon to share their advice for colleagues working with footcare counterparts, and also expectations for the other party. Grisel and Shannon, based in Georgia and California respectively, have never worked together on a case.

On the opposing page, Grisel and Shannon present a flow chart that illustrates how the successful veterinarian-farrier relationship should develop and progress.

The Veterinarian’s Perspective — By Dr. Bob Grisel

I admit that for the majority of my career, I didn’t know how to manage the relationship that I had with farriers. There’s an old saying that sums up my early career: “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.”

As my career progressed, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some farriers who are generous and patient with me as I went through the…

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Bob grisel

Dr. Bob Grisel

Bob Grisel is a veterinarian who began his informal veterinarian training at age 13, learning under a practitioner in south Florida. His practice Atlanta Equine Clinic is based in Hoschton, Ga.
Tim shannon

Tim Shannon

Tim Shannon, CJF, APF, AWCF, is a farrier based in Moreno Valley, Calif., who began his career in 1987.

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