Finding a Veterinarian

Find a local large animal veterinarian before you even bring your first horse home. If you're planning to board your horse, the stable probably already has an established veterinarian, which can help save you money by splitting the farm call fees with other boarders. But you should be free to choose your own vet if you wish.

Establish a Relationship

Finding an equine veterinarian shouldn't be too difficult in most parts of the country. Simply look in the phone book or ask your horse friends for recommendations. If you don't find a large animal veterinary practice listed, call a small animal hospital and ask for a referral.

After you make a choice, call the vet's office and set up a farm call. Ask if you can stop by to see the facility. You should find a neat, clean facility with professional, friendly staff who know how to answer your questions and who seem willing to do so. Above all, you want to feel comfortable with the person and the practice you choose.

Finally, establish a relationship with the vet for routine vaccinations, deworming, and regular care before you need him to come in an emergency situation. Your relationship with your vet will be much smoother if you observe these simple rules about being a good client:

  • Catch your horse before the vet arrives and have her waiting in a stall.

  • Stick around to help your vet restrain your horse.

  • Describe all symptoms and observations, no matter how unimportant they seem.

  • Keep accurate records about your horse's health.

  • Follow the vet's treatment instructions.

  • Ask questions if you don't understand something.

  • Pay your bills on time.

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