As technology continues to make impressive gains, availability of information on a variety of specific topics seems to be limitless. Unfortunately, the plethora of information comes with its own problems: What to trust? What is relevant to my particular situation/question? And what is the most up-to-date information? For many individuals, collecting the information is easy; it is the analysis and determination of what is important that becomes difficult and time-consuming. In some cases, drawing a conclusion with bad information is worse than not having any information to begin with.

Many horse owners have probably read and own one of the many first aid handbooks that are available, subscribe to horse magazines, and/or surfed the Internet looking for information on their beloved equine. But when it comes to treating a health problem, where do people really want to get "the right answer?" Horse owners have stated that their number one source for horse care information they trust is their equine veterinarian. Given that an individual's time with a veterinarian is relatively short or focused solely on the disaster du jour, why not attend a meeting given by equine veterinarians discussing many common and not-so-common problems you might face in caring for your horse?

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has recognized the need for reliable, relevant, and up-to-date information from a trusted source and has provided an opportunity for horse owners to learn from equine veterinarians about equine health issues in a one-day forum. Horseman's Day was conceived by the AAEP for horse owners four years ago. It is a day of presentations given by the best in the equine veterinary field on many current horse and herd health topics.

Horseman's Day is held during the AAEP annual continuing education meeting in December. The convention convenes in a different part of the continental United States every year, so eventually all horse owners in the United States will have a chance to attend one of these one-day seminars. Respected equine veterinarians give the lectures in their fields of expertise and answer questions. Topics and speakers might change from year to year, but the content is the same--quality horse health education. Past Horseman's Day seminars have been held in San Antonio, San Diego, Orlando, and New Orleans. This year it will be held in Denver on Dec. 5.

Some horse owners might be concerned that the lectures will be too technical, or that they are just too busy to spend a day at a seminar. The speakers, chosen by their colleagues, present their topics in easy-to-understand terms that non-DVMs can understand. As far as the day being time-consuming, almost all participants said they felt they received their money's worth, and more. In reality, nobody has time any more, but it is a much better investment to get your questions answered in a relaxed, scheduled event than the middle of the night when time is not your friend.

To add to the full day of education, there are some nice take-home gifts, copies of notes from the lectures, and your chance to speak to a specialist such as an equine surgeon or equine ophthalmologist about your horse's specific situation. You just might learn how to deal with that next problem so it doesn't become a real emergency.

New excitement surrounds this year's Horseman's Day with the introduction of a trade show for the horse owners. In the past, some of the educational partners of the AAEP would simply supply information for owners to take home. Now they will be on hand to personally answer direct questions about their products. Some of the AAEP Educational Partners who plan on attending the trade show are The Horse, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Intervet, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Nutrena, Purina Mills, Platinum Vet, and Equus.

Topics that will be covered at the 2004 Horseman's Day are dentistry, parasite control, Cushing's disease, foal care, and preventive care for your horse, so mark your calendar. For more information on the 2004 Horseman's Day, please visit the AAEP website at

About the Author

Erin Denney-Jones, DVM

Erin Denney-Jones, DVM, is an FEI veterinarian and owner of Florida Equine Veterinary Services, in Clermont, Florida. Her interests and practice areas include chiropractic care, sport horse medicine, reproduction, general medicine and surgery, and preventive care including wellness programs, vaccinations, parasite control, and dentistry.

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