I have some additional comments to add to the two Veterinarian’s Viewpoint articles (“Bottom Line Horse Care,” EQUUS 483, and “Needs Versus Resources,” EQUUS 485), by David Ramey, DVM. I agree that owners need to be actively involved in the decisionmaking process when considering the care and treatment their horses. Here are some observations I would add:
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Idd bVcn kZiZg^cVg^Vch Vgg^kZ dc bn farm with preconceived ideas about the care an individual horse will receive. These veterinarians tend to trample over the three important questions Ramey suggests owners ask: Why? What if I don’t? and Then what?
6c dlcZg b^\]i eg^dg^i^oZ i]Z XVgZ of individual horses in different ways. For an elderly horse, the decision might be “treat at all costs” or “euthanize before drastic steps are taken.” The same might go for injured horses. The bottom line is that there might be different treatment goals for individual horses on the same farm, which only the owner can decide.
:kZc lZVai]^Zg ]dghZ dlcZgh ]VkZ limits to how much of a financial hit they can take for the care of a single horse. The owner might also be paying a huge sum for emergency roof repairs, for example, or be facing a health crisis that could affect future earnings. All clients need to be presented with a range of financially balanced care options.
KZiZg^cVg^Vch cZZY id Vh` VWdji i]Z background and experience of their clients. A person with one or two backyard horses might be a novice. Or that person could have previously groomed Olympic champions, worked for years at a stud farm or competed on the A-level show circuit. Do not assume either extreme. Lynn Howland Maple Valley, Washington