What to Do When Your Horse Visits the Veterinarian

Even if your horse is incredibly healthy, he will likely experience a vet exam at least once a year for vaccinations and dental work.? All horses should know how to stand calmly and be examined by your veterinarian.? Here are some things to bear in mind, to keep both you and your horse safe and unstressed during a vet visit.

  • If at all possible, exercise your horse prior to the vet?s arrival, particularly if he is stabled.? Once he gets all his excess energy out he?ll be a much easier horse to handle.
  • Practice touching your horse all over his body, and get him comfortable with being poked and prodded.? Play with his mouth, handle his ears, feel his legs.
  • Be prepared for the vet?s arrival with a clean horse.? Your vet doesn?t want to have to handle a dirty horse, and in fact, a dirty coat can mask problems such as skin infections.? Your vet will want to see your horse at his best.
  • During the exam, stand on the same side of your horse as your vet.? You?ll be able to talk more easily, and if your horse spooks there is less chance of one of you getting hurt.
  • Give your vet plenty of room to work and don?t forget good lighting.? Have the area cleared and ready to go.? If your stall is too small or dark, be prepared and have another more suitable area ready.
  • Know where your power outlets are, as well as running water.? Have warm water available if possible, even if it is only by bringing a small kettle with you.
  • Try to keep calm.? Your horse will easily pick up on your stress levels.? If you are calm and confident, there is a good chance he will be too.
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