How Do I Choose a Vet for my Horse?
Our equines are not only a huge financial investment but are much loved and therefore we want nothing but the best for them. We spend time and money ensuring that their paddocks are well kept, that arenas surfaces are the best we can provide to make their work a pleasure rather than a pain, and that their tack is well fitted and maintained to ensure their health and comfort.
But things can and do go wrong. I’m sure like me, some of you will know the heart stopping feeling when you go out to the stable and you realise that your horse or pony is not weight bearing on one leg, or is showing signs of colic or some other condition.
Having confidence in your vet is essential. Observing how they handle your horse and how your equine responds to them is a great start in deciding if the vet/client relationship is going to work and it’s always worth doing some research on how up to date they are with the latest techniques and training. In this respect, it may be that some newer members of the profession are more au fait with the latest drugs and treatment that are available but more established vets should keep themselves appraised of developments, and of course have years of experience to back the training up.
Checking out the facilities on offer is also crucial, and knowing in advance what sort of portable equipment they carry – such as x ray machines.
You may also want to make your decision based on what specialisms they have. This is particularly useful if your horse has an ongoing problem. Veterinarians with these skills may not be geographically close to you so in this case it may be more economical to have a number of different vets in your address book – vaccinations and very basic visits can be carried out at a cheaper cost than your specialist vet who comes out on occasion to tend to your poorly equine.
What do you look for when securing the perfect vet for your horses and ponies? Does price and location count before other considerations? Is the skill set of your chosen vet at the top of your list? Or is it down to what sort of horsemanship they display and the confidence and rapport you have with them? Over to you…!