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.”
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.”