Team Approach to Navigating Equine Lameness

When navigating lame-nesses, many veterinarians and farriers agree that it’s critically important to team up for the best interest of the horse. There’s no “i” in team, after all

Yet, it’s not always clear what the team concept looks like or how it works. A group of veterinarians and farriers discussed their successes and failures, as well as how these experiences influence their teamwork going forward during the 2022 Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners (NAEP) Symposium in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Incorporating the team concept begins with recognizing its importance for successful outcomes.

“The word holistic is thrown around so much, but it’s really that interprofessional development and expediting the healing process as quickly as possible in any therapeutic situation,” says Stuart Muir, a resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., and past president of the NAEP. “Why would we eliminate a modality of healing? It would be like me saying that I’m not going to use a certain shoe, even though I thought it would be beneficial for the horse. I’m desperate to get my hands on whatever I can to help the horse. Integrating both just makes a lot of sense.”


  • Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both the vet and farrier in lameness cases. Holes in skill sets can be filled with various hoof-care techniques.
  • Vets and farriers should understand that providing hoof care is similar to shopping for shoes. The first pair doesn’t always fit perfectly.
  • Vets should avoid providing shoeing prescriptions…
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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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