Friday, February 25, 2011

Important Relationships--It's Not Who You Think!

Good morning everyone!  This blog entry is going to have to be short.  I find myself on the run today after yesterday's full day vet visit.

Every six months, horses have to have shots.  Once a year, they have dentals.  I'm happy to report everyone behaved themselves for our vet, Mack.  Chief did not have any moments of questioning his authority as he did with the blacksmith a few weeks ago.  That's nice, Chief.  I always appreciate it when you skip the bucking idiot routine!

I always learn something when our vets are here.  It's fascinating to have the time to talk about a horse's aging process, any habits he's picked-up, and the individuality of each of them.  As always, Mack was full of funny stories, too.  It's a fun side benefit when your vet is also amusing!   For me, being with our vets is a nice way to spend a day learning.

I got into horses through a large animal vet when I was six years old.  He was the father of a good friend in elementary school.  That's the person who taught me to ride.  It's also the person who began my life long fascination with animal health by letting me and his daughter go on calls with him.  It was a very different way to come into horses.  It's given me a unique perspective.  I'm very thankful for such an early life opportunity to better understand the animals who have helped make my life full.

If I'd had more aptitude for science, I would have been a large animal vet.  Although I did not join their ranks, large animal vets have become some of the most important people in my life and business.  From that vet when I was a child, to my vets now, they've been a huge influence and a wonderful help.  I'm grateful for them all.

In my business, a good vet, a good blacksmith, a reliable hay supplier and good clients are absolutely necessary. I can't get along on the farm without them. It's probably not how you think of life on the farm.  I'm sure you know how important clients are to us here, but I'm guessing you don't expect the others who are so essential to our lives.  Since I refer to this blog as a survival guide, let me assure you,  this group of folks will be on the first page in your farm survival guide!

It always surprises me when people consider getting a horse to have at home that they don't consider these important relationships.  It surprises even more me when people who've had horses for a long time don't have these relationships or don't work to maintain them.  If you're running short of cash, don't let it be your vet you don't pay!  A lot of people make that mistake.  They don't appreciate how much they need them or how hard they work.

Your large animal vet is going to be the one coming out in the middle of the night to see your sick horse.  If you have to put your horse to sleep, that's the person who's going to be beside you.  I'm not sure there'll be anyone in a horse owner's life who will teach you more than your vet--if you're smart enough to listen. 

So, be sure you're good to them.  Pay them on time.  Be ready for them when they arrive.  If you can, have some coffee waiting for them in cold weather or a cool drink in hot weather.  They are some of the unsung heroes in the horse world.  If you have a large animal vet, say thank you next time you see him or her.  We're lucky to have them in our lives!

Take care everyone and have a good Friday!  I'm off on errands while the girls clean paddocks!  Life never stops or slows down on the farm!  Thanks for reading!

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