What Makes a Good Vet (& How to Be a Good Client)

What Makes a Good Vet (& How to Be a Good Client)

Vets are one of the unsung heroes of horse sport. Horses are unfailingly creative (and effective) at hurting themselves; from a mystery lameness to a sudden colic to every type of laceration you could dream up, a day that goes by without some sort of injury is a good day by default. 

Because of this, having access to a good vet is a critical part of horse ownership, but the criteria for what makes someone a “good” vet is cloudy at best. How responsive and available should your vet be? What sort of equipment should they use? Is it better to work with one vet, or a team of several, and how do you go about putting that team together? And just how late is too late to text them? 

In this episode, host Caroline Culbertson sits down with equine veterinarian Dr. Lauren Schnabel (who is, by all accounts, a Good Vet) to try to get some clear answers to these questions. 

Dr. Schnabel is the Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at NC State University, and has over 20 years of equine clinical experience, and over 15 years of both equine and human research in the field of Sports Medicine. 

They discuss:

  • How important are credentials? Hands-on experience? Personality/bedside manner? What else?
  • Rules of communication for the client/vet relationship
  • Questions to ask when screening a new vet 
  • How to handle mistakes when they happen
  • The steps to creating a good “team” for your horse, and who should lead that team
  • The best way to break up with your vet, should that step need to be taken
  • How important equipment and diagnostic tools are when choosing a vet
  • What if a vet has a troubling “red flag” in their past?