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I attended the 2014 International Hoof-Care Summit Roundtable on “Backyard Horses: The Challenges Presented By The Backbone Of The Industry.”
The moderator for this roundtable was Maryland farrier Patrick Quinn, who did a good job of exploring the topic and exercising control over the 40 to 50 participants. However, halfway through the session, the topic diverged into a veterinarian bash session. After listening quietly for some time to the unfiltered comments spoken from group members, I started to take offense and had to speak up.
First, some background: I own a mixed veterinary practice, have worked as an ambulatory equine veterinarian for over 38 years, and enjoy a great working relationship with our farriers.
With the help of my wife, our farm hosts a veterinarian/farrier day every 4 to 6 weeks to deal with problem cases I see, or cases our farrier sees that need extra attention. Our farm has also hosted two farrier clinic days.
Our hospital also paid tuition fees for two farrier apprentices to attend the 2014 International Hoof-Care Summit.
I trim horses, but do not nail on shoes.
During the Hoof-Care Roundtable, it became apparent to me that there is a degree of dysfunction in the veterinarian-farrier relationship that needs to be explored and improved upon.
Let me offer some observations that might help improve this relationship.