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During the December farrier liaison committee meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in Baltimore, Md., the joint role that farriers and veterinarians play in foot care was a major topic.
The consensus of committee members and the audience was that veterinarians and farriers will need to work even more closely together in the future.
“The horse’s foot depends on these two professions,” says Ric Redden, an equine veterinarian from Versailles, Ky. “It’s the only part of the horse that should not be 100 percent under the care of the vet.
“More education for everyone is the way to overcome any misunderstandings between the two professions.”
Having both health care parties working together is critical for the good of the horse, maintains Walt Taylor of the World Farrier’s Association. “There’s lots of overlap between vet and shoeing organizations and it’s all for the good of the horse,” he says.
A lack of direct communication is the major concern Henry Heymering sees between farriers and vets. “In many cases, the horse owner tells us what the vet wants done instead of us being able to talk directly with the vet,” says the Frederick, Md., farrier.
Much of the problem, maintains Diane Finch, is that somebody is often left in the dark about fully understanding shoeing problems. “People need to be able to say I don’t know what I am talking about,” says the Fort Wayne, Ind., vet. “This means being willing to swallow your pride…