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What I Love and Maybe Don’t Love About Being A Horse Vet

2020-01-21

I am quite overdue for writing a blog…..so I thought I’d finally get to it. I often get asked what I love about my job, as well as, what I don’t like so much. I’ve given it a lot of thought over the years and it is funny how the list of “likes” is pretty similar to the things that really make this job difficult. So now I’d like to share that list with you.

The things I love about being a horse vet:

  1. Being outside: I absolutely love being outdoors. I camp and I hike and I bike ride. So working outside is a gift. I have seen some amazing sunrises and sunsets. I have watched storms rolling across the countryside. It can take your breath away. I love the freedom of being out on the road. I don’t know that I ever want to work in an office all day.
  2. The physical work: I really enjoy that my job is physical. There is a satisfaction in working hard physically and knowing you got the job done. There is a peace in being physically tired at the end of your work day.
  3. Solving the problem: When you think about it, being a veterinarian is often about solving a puzzle. You are presented with an animal who is hurting in some way or not performing as they should be, and your job is to find the solution. It can be so rewarding to go on that journey of finding the answer, find it, and help both the horse and its owner. There are few better feelings in the world than knowing I helped a sick horse heal.
  4. My clients and patients: Of course, I so value the connections I have formed with my clients and patients. I love being a part of their lives and helping them do their best, whether its in a performance discipline or as someone’s best friend. Over the 12 years I have been with Weitz Equine, I have formed deep bonds with many of the clients and patients. I so value their loyalty and trust. It is my greatest reward in this job.

The challenges of being a horse vet:

  1. Being outside: Minnesota is brutal! I have been so cold I can not feel my fingers and toes on more occasions than I can remember. I have driven through blizzards and downpours and on icy unplowed roads. I have been soaked to the bone working on a horse out in the rain. I have been completely caked in mud while trying to get a down horse up. Sometimes the weather is our hardest challenge while we work.
  2. The physical work: Bruises, cuts and sore muscles are a regular part of my life. I have to constantly be aware of my environment and my patient in order to make sure myself, my technician, and the owner are safe and remain uninjured. Sometimes I worry about my ability to continue to this job as my body ages.
  3. Falling short in solving the problem: Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I do not find the right answer. These days can be so hard. For a person who always wants to have the right answer and do the best for her patients, the times that I can not find the solution or can not fix the issue weigh heavily on my heart. I am thankful for the other doctors I work with who always offer another perspective and help me to do the best job possible for every horse.
  4. My clients and patients: Caring about the horses and their owners is one of the greatest joys of my job. But in caring for them, I also feel pain and sorrow and hurt when things do not go as we all want them to go. I have cried with my clients as we help their horse pass. I miss many of my equine patients and believe it or not, I think of many of them regularly. Giving them a death that is peaceful, as painless as possible, and with loving hands holding them, is the final gift I can give them and I take that responsibility to heart every time. It is hard, it is emotionally draining, but I will never stop loving my clients and patients.

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Weitz Equine Veterinary Services is a full service, ambulatory equine veterinary practice based out of Northfield, MN
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