Ask the Vet – What to know before owning a horse


SARAH: What do you think everyone should know
before owning a horse, medically, that is? DR LYDIA GRAY: Right, right, because it covers
a lot of ground. So this question was music to my ears. It also made me think of a saying that my
old riding teacher used to say. “You never learn out.” He was German, so the English was challenging. But what he meant was you’re always, always
learning. So there is a baseline of knowledge that you
should probably have. She’s right – before owning a horse, before
assuming that responsibility. But you keep learning, which is why we do
videos, and we do articles and blogs and stories, and all kinds of things. SARAH: I learn something every month. DR LYDIA GRAY: Me, too. Me, too. So I think that nutrition is first, with forage
being first, understanding the importance of forage in the horse’s diet and how to complete
and balance the diet. And certainly, you work with people to help
you do these things. You just don’t learn them yourself and do
them yourself. It takes a village. I’m quoting everyone here. I think you should learn the most common horse
conditions, like colic, like ulcers, like Cushing’s and metabolic syndrome, that they
injure themselves frequently, those kind of things. You have to learn what’s normal for your horse. So I like the vital signs, body condition
scoring, all those tests that you record in a journal on your horse. You want to pick up your favorite journal
book diary, those kind of things. And then when to call the vet, which includes
getting a vet. Make sure you have a vet before you get the
horse. Have all your professionals lined up– your
veterinarian, your farrier, your trainer. Have those. Don’t get the horse and then go, I wonder
who I call when I need such and such. So knowing your support group, having the
access to a trailer, where you’re going to board, and then the nutrition and the medical
information, I think probably that’s the baseline. But that was a really good question. SARAH: And it’s a good place to start, and
it illustrates how much there is to know. DR LYDIA GRAY: There’s a lot to know. SARAH: It’s not something to take lightly. DR LYDIA GRAY: But it’s good. It’s fun learning.

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