Servicing clients in Ocala, Florida, throughout the winter season, Dr. Gretchen Syburg is the newest addition to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Team. Get to know a little about Dr. Syburg by reading on!
What is your background with horses?
I grew up on a farm in southeastern Wisconsin and have had horses since before I can remember. I have ridden in many disciplines but have been part of the hunter/jumper community for the past 15 to 20 years. I am definitely a “horse person” through and through, and I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an equine veterinarian.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, then obtained my degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Upon graduating, I completed an internship at a large referral hospital in California. In California I was able to gain extensive experience in all aspects of equine medicine, especially in complex orthopedic and sports medicine cases. After that, I worked for a practice where I spent my summers in the Northeast, mainly following the show circuits, then winters in Florida before joining Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
Why did you want to become an equine veterinarian?
Growing up on a farm, animals have always been a huge part of my life. My love for animals was evident at a young age, when I would spend my free time in the barn with our variety of animals. I caught the horse bug when I was five, and from then on it was clear my path was to pursue veterinary school. I knew that the equine veterinary industry was where my interest would lie due to the complex and interesting cases I had seen come through our farm.
What area do you specialize in?
I am on the road year-round, spending my summers in southeastern Wisconsin, servicing clients throughout the Midwest. During the winter months, I am in Ocala, Florida, providing care to patients at both HITS and WEC horse shows. Being an ambulatory veterinarian, I offer a very broad range of services to cover the needs of my patients and clients. I focus primarily on sports medicine and the performance horse, but emergency medicine and basic internal medicine cases are another part of my caseload.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I cherish the relationships that I build, not only with my equine patients, but also with clients. Being a horse person, I really understand the deep connections that my clients have with their horses. Having owned horses myself, I can relate to the trials and tribulations of horse ownership.
I appreciate being able to see all our collective efforts come to fruition when my clients are able to compete their horses or achieve their goals. I admire the moments when clients are grateful for their horse’s health above all else; it truly is a team effort and I love being able to see the reward of a horse in optimal health.
When not treating patients, what do you enjoy doing or where can we find you?
I enjoy spending as much time as possible outside, riding my horse Nike or hiking with my dog Luna. Most of the time you will find me in the barn or enjoying the occasional horse show. I am grateful for the time during the summer with my family in Wisconsin, we still have a small farm and now