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So you’re training as a veterinary surgeon and you love horses. Why not become an equine vet?
Well, there are some cold hard facts you may want to consider that could change your mind, so read on to make sure being an equine vet is still your first choice of veterinary profession.
Horses are spectacularly fragile
Once in practice, you will find that an alarmingly high proportion of your equine clients have death wishes.
If there is something in their environment they can hurt themselves on, they will. It’s not enough to injure one leg, they’ll do all four – something different each time to keep you and the owner guessing.
After just a few months as a practising equine vet, you will wonder how horses ever survived in the wild.
One end bites, the other kicks
The old saying about horses being dangerous at both ends may be true, but the middle isn’t exactly a picnic when swung in to you at speed.
The sweetest horse in the world won’t be happy to see you if he’s hurt or frightened. On top of that, you’re not usually doing something to him he’ll enjoy, whether that’s an injection or tending to a wound, so you can possibly forgive him for reacting in a less than accommodating way.
Be prepared to travel
As an equine vet your patients can rarely come to you, and horses are kept in a glorious range of environments, from luxurious stables with immaculately maintained driveways to open moorland where bouncing over the terrain is enough to shake the fillings from your teeth.
As an equine vet you will travel, lots, and there’s a good reason a lot of experienced practitioners resort to 4x4s.
If this hasn’t put you off, you are perfectly equipped to join the army of equine vets out there who return from their daily exertions stressed, exhausted, battered, bruised and slightly travel sick – but immensely satisfied.