How To Convince Clients That Their Rehab Role Is Vital

Tips to get owners to stick to the plan while their horse is recovering from injury

The farrier, often with the help of a veterinarian, has treated a hoof problem and now it’s up to the horse owner to follow instructions for care during the rehabilitation. Sometimes it can be challenging to persuade the owner to be an active member of the team.

Jamie Secoura, a resident farrier at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., says aftercare is the most important part of the process.

“The farrier may not see the horse again for 4 to 6 weeks,” she says. “Thus the owner, trainer, groom or whomever is taking care of that horse needs to follow all the instructions that were given.

“If owners don’t understand completely, they may not be as concerned or care as much as they should about what’s involved.”

Team Approach

The three-person team — veterinarian, farrier, owner — is crucial to a successful rehab, and it works best when the farrier and veterinarian already are a team, says Preston Hickman, an equine veterinarian at Wichita Equine and Sports Medicine in Wichita, Kan.

“The team approach puts us in a position in which we are neither higher nor lower than the other person,” he says. “We work together as a team to solve an issue for the horse. What I see, and what the farrier sees, must be a vision that we both have in mind.”


Communication is crucial so the owner knows and understands what his or her job is, as well as the importance of…

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. Her new book, Horse Tales, is available on, and other online retailers.

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