Perhaps one of the most essential horse careers and one that requires the most training to become. A horse veterinarian is an important job which carries the (sometimes) heavy burden of responsibility and unexpected hours.
What You Need
This is a position which benefits from attention to detail, strength of character (and stature) and a love of the outdoors. Horse doctors have their fair share of sad, scary, disgusting, painful and rewarding moments in the course of their daily work.
Required schooling & certification, a superb relationship with the equine animal and the ability to remain calm and organized under pressure are essentials for anyone persuing a career in equine veterinary medicine.
Responsible for the overall health of each animal in their charge, including routine medical exams and procedures. A horse doctor works closely with trainers, barn managers, foreman, handlers and owners to ensure horses are being properly fed, exercised and cared for.
Establishing worming & vaccination schedules for each animal
Educating horse owners about horse care & feeding practices
Responding to emergency calls
A variety of first aid duties including stitches, lancing abscesses, cleaning wounds, etc.
Troubleshooting illness symptoms & treating problems
Troubleshooting & correcting leg soundness problems
Troubleshooting & advising the farrier on foot soundness issues and disease
Reproduction cycle from breeding all the way to foaling & routine mare checkups
Advising correction for physical deformities
This is a horse position which does require formal eduction, undergrad work as well as a four year program at a veterinary medical school. To even enter the vet programs undergrad students must pass tests meeting admission requirements. Graduates from a vet program must then obtain local licensing (which will vary from country to country & state to state) prior to practicing horse medicine.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a horse doctor.
*Links open in a new window
World Equine Veterinary Association
Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians
American Association of Equine Practitioners
British Equine Veterinary Association
Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations
Equine Veterinarians Australia
South African Equine Veterinary Association
The Right Job For You?
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