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The health and well-being of the horse should be the ultimate goal for the veterinarian and farrier in lameness cases. According to New Jersey farrier Bob Pethick, that end demands the two parties work together to be successful, especially when helping performance horses stay in or return to the show ring.
“Nothing within the veterinarian’s role will make a horse sound if it isn’t shod well,” explains the farrier who started shoeing in 1971. “Likewise, farriers can’t be successful, even though we shoe our horses well, without veterinary intervention because our performance horses are asked to do work that is far and beyond what they were ever designed to do.”
Working with veterinarians is common for the Hall of Fame farrier — he estimates there are 40 veterinarians he regularly consults with on the phone. He has earned a reputation through his career as an educator for both farrier and veterinarian colleagues. From his work and service to the industry, Pethick has seen areas in which veterinarians can improve their interactions with farriers.
Be mindful of uninformed observations stated to the owner. Veterinarians without sufficient podiatry knowledge should avoid communicating with the client specifically…