The Veterinary–Farrier Relationship: Establishing And Sustaining A Mutually Beneficial Liaison

Three leading equine veterinarians and a farrier provide a comprehensive view of the veterinarian-farrier relationship and advice on improving it.

The importance of farriery and thus hoof care in veterinary practice is undeniable (Merriam 2003; Werner 2012). The intent of this article is to explain the veterinary–farrier relationship, its current status and importance of developing and sustaining a working, trusting relationship. The benefits of such a relationship include acquiring and maintaining clients, the ability to perform various actions that one profession is better equipped to provide than the other, a constant source of experiential learning and most importantly benefitting the horse. Thus, the relationship centers foremost on the health and welfare of the horse. The authors describe why such a “marriage” is important, how they may begin and sustain, as well as errors that will harm or negate such a relationship

Farriers, historically, were recognized as the primary source of medical care for horses well before the late 18th century when veterinary medicine as a discipline emerged as an educational process and profession (Bullock 1929). The progression of knowledge concerning anatomy, function and physiology, diagnostic tools, as well as previously unknown treatments evolved (especially in the last few decades). Those factors continue to create opportunities for both professions. Ideally both professions should work “hand-in-glove” to the benefit of the equine world. Understanding the history and culture of both professions is the lead in to logically using the skills of both.

Contrasting And Comparing The Two Professions

Veterinary medical practitioners are required to acquire considerable educational experiences followed by strict credentialing to practice legally. The ultimate acquisition of a veterinary license…

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