5 Common Things You Won’t Find in a Horse Vet’s Barn

We often think our horses are safe when tucked in the barn … but think again. Here, veterinarians share common causes of equine injuries that lurk in most barns.
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5 Common Things You Won’t Find in Horse Vet’s Barn
Parkinson recommends keeping aisleways clear to significantly reduce the chances of an injury and regularly inspecting for sharp objects. | Photo: iStock

Horses are really good at getting hurt. Liz Arbittier, VMD, CVA, once treated a horse with a metal pitchfork-tine—skewered hoof. Barn staff left the fork in the wheelbarrow, which was blocking the stall, while momentarily stepping away. Upon returning, the worker found the horse standing on the fork, which had pierced the bottom of the foot and come out the back of the heel/pastern.

“Amazingly, after surgery and a long recovery, he was absolutely fine,” said Arbittier, who’s an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center School of Veterinary Medicine, in Kennett Square.

Sharp metal prongs aren’t the only things that can injure a horse. Samantha Parkinson, DVM, CVMMP, the equine field service resident at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, has seen several horses impale themselves on wooden handles of pitchforks

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Written by:

Katie Navarra has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. A lifelong horse lover, she owns and enjoys competing a dun Quarter Horse mare.

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