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Avoiding Vet Day Blues

Use smart strategies to help your horse ace his next veterinary appointment.

Getting your horse ready for a routine vet appointment is an important part of horse ownership, and for many horse owners, vet day is just another day at the barn. But if your horse won’t stand still for an exam or develops a bad case of the jitters every time the doc comes around, vet day can become a nightmare. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy things you can do to help get your horse ready for a vet day without drama or trauma. Your horse—and your vet—will thank you!


If your horse has a behavioral issue that could interfere with receiving veterinary care, start working with him a few weeks or months before your next appointment. For example, if your horse refuses to stand still for an examination or doesn’t respect your personal space, the time to tackle those issues isn’t on vet day—it’s every day.

American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Professional Horseman Ryan Cottingim of Shelbyville, Tenn., says that part of being a responsible horse owner means teaching your horse the basics of good manners.

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About Horse Illustrated

Horse Illustrated February 2020, Understanding the equine brain, 9 ways to reduce your horse's, Vet-day anxiety, And More....