Equine Professional Relationships

Horse owners usually must develop a professional relationship with several people providing for the daily well-being of their horses. You, as a horse owner, may interact with your horse’s trainer, farrier and veterinarian.

The overall responsibilities of horse ownership belong with you, the owner.

Horse Trainer

Your Trainer is responsible for training and conditioning your horse, the equipment used the stabling environment, feeding and turnout. The trainer can also act as your agent and interact with other professionals who work with your horse.

Horse Farrier

Your farrier is highly trained professional. Most farriers have apprenticed or trained with established farriers and/or schools. There is no requirement for licensure, but farriers can obtain various certificates of expertise. Your farrier should determine how often your horse needs to be shod and should be willing to maintain that schedule. You are responsible for having your horse held or watched by a responsible person while the animal is being shod. Your farrier should be able to get along with your horse.

Christi Garfinkel DVM

Dr. Garfinkel can handle your horse’s medical or surgical problems, follow-up care, emergency services, preventive medicine programs, and other aspects of equine health care, such as nutrition, breeding, geriatitric care, and hoof care. Dr. Garfinkel can also direct you to a referral center for specialized procedures, such as surgery and medical testing.

The safety of your horse and the people involved with your horse should always be considered by you and your designated professionals. Communication among you, your trainer, your farrier and Dr. Garfinkel is very important. Usually the roles of these people are clearly defined and they work with your horse without interacting with each other. Occasionally, however, it may be necessary for your horse’s healthcare team to work together. For example, lameness, a back problem or a combination of problems may warrant a joint discussion. Hiring them as a group to work together may be expensive for you in the short term, but in the long run this can save you considerable money on later health care. More important, it may save you and your horse considerable anguish.

If you have any questions about finding professionals for your health care team contact us at 619.659.1180.


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