I have been perusing the internet in the evenings when there is no one 
around to scratch my chin.  I landed on one of these forum things where 
horse owners discuss all sorts of things, and I do mean all sorts of 
things.  As a cat I found it be a fascinating study in human psychology. 
 I am now addicted to checking these things.  There were a few recurring 
themes I would like go over, especially given where I live and who 
provides the food I so dearly love.
Often seen Question type #1: My horse is doing something that may be a 
medical emergency.  I would like to have the advice of all the people on 
the internet who are not Veterinarians.  I may or may not then call my 
Veterinarian.
Yep, I saw this type more than any other.  I'm going to start by stating 
the obvious: call Springhill Equine if you think you have an emergency.  
I have trained the Docs well.  I promise they will answer your questions 
patiently and thoroughly, and then determine if it is a real emergency.  
This will save your horse time in pain, and, here's the best part, it 
will save you money.  I hear our Docs talk about the ways in which they 
could have helped horse owners so much more effectively if they had only 
called sooner.  While I may bite if you don't provide food fast enough, 
or scratch behind my ear appropriately, my Docs won't bite, kick, or 
scratch you for calling to ask questions so call and ask them!
Question Type #2: I saw this supplement and it looks AHHMAZING what does 
the Internet think of it?
I understand crowdsourcing.  Really I do.  Come to any Springhill Equine 
gathering and you will see me crowdsource some attention.  However, when 
it comes to my health care and whether or not I need to eat this or that 
I check with the experts.  These experts come in the form of my 
veterinarian and trained nutrition professionals.  Neither of these are 
available in an internet chat forum.  My veterinarian is at my beck and 
call so that one is easy. My nutrition professional is also easy.  There 
is a 1-800 number on the back of my cat food that allows me to talk with 
one.  I understand this is true of those bags of horse feed too.  I 
asked one of my technicians, Beth, about the nutrition information 
available from these magical 1-800 numbers.  I asked Beth since she has 
spent many years in the retail equine nutrition world.  Beth told me the 
people on the other end of the phone have something called a PhD and 
that makes them a Doctor of Nutrition.  Seems like a good source of 
information to me.  Beth said our Docs often work with these Docs to 
make sure horses with special diet requirements have all their needs 
met.
Question Type #3: My horse is doing this thing, pretty sure he is 
hurting somewhere.  Oh great Internet magical beast using your powers 
tell me where my horse hurts and how to treat it.
This one I'm just going to leave at: Please call your veterinarian.  
Horses show pain in about 3,427,862 ways.  A hind end lameness can show 
up as a front end problem and vice versa.  So please stick to the 
professionals when it comes to diagnosing.
So what do I get from all these forums?  I learn about the best options 
for stall floors, the most awesome leather cleaner (Higher Standards 
Leather Care in case you were curious), Tips and Tricks for horse care 
when it's really cold or really hot, if that cool new pitchfork is 
really as good as it sounds, and a million other things about day to day 
life with horses.  I stop asking the internet machine questions when it 
is about pain or discomfort without first consulting my veterinarians.
There you have it!  Wise words about the Internet from a very wise, 
handsome cat.

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