Farrier Roundtable

How do you handle it when clients pressure you to address a hoof-care issue based on erroneous information gleaned from unreliable online sources?

Q. How do you handle it when clients pressure you to address a hoof-care issue based on erroneous information gleaned from unreliable online sources?

A: When I’m confronted with this issue, I stop, take a deep breath and listen to my client’s concerns. That usually starts off this process well.

Then I explain what I see as the problem and how it’s interacting with the horse. I tell them what I’m doing about it and why I choose to address the problem in this way.

I explain that I’ve taken as many factors into consideration as possible, such as age and condition of the horse, the horse’s job, his environment and the owner’s expectations  — all fairly standard stuff. Once the client has a better understanding of what is going on, the more receptive to common sense he or she is.

At this point, the conversation usually turns to the credibility of Internet sources. Where on the Internet did this information come from? A chat room or forum? An advertisement or blog? Facebook? There is a huge difference between a chat room and a scientific study or a well-documented case report.

Although the Internet is a vast source of information, it is also a vast source of misinformation. Regardless of where information comes from, it’s only as good as its source. This can be very difficult to convey to horse owners who feel that they must find something — anything — to help their equine friends.

— Doug Anderson, Frederick,

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