I lived in Boston for 2 years until last July. I boarded in Walpole, MA outside boston and had a great experience with Backstretch Veterinary when diagnosing the sourcing of lameness for my 15 y.o warmblood cross. We had to do ultrasound, blocks, etc and i felt they weren't overly expensive either.
I have not been overly impressed by Backstretch (personal experience) but they weren't bad either.
I've heard mixed things about Jay Merriam- but then again you here mixed things about everyone.
Last fall, my horse got a nasty cut on his knee and had some lameness issues afterward, which thankfully resolved on their own.
Unfortunately, in the case of both large and small animal medicine, one often goes to a local vet first, who does diagnostics, and then gets referred to a larger hospital, who then does the same diagnostics, because the local vet's equipment wasn't advanced enough, etc. It happens and I'm not faulting the local vets- they do the best they can and are an invaluable resource- but I know lots of people who have fallen into the trap of paying for the same test at least twice. Last fall, if the lameness issue did not resolve on it's own, I was planning on going to Dr. Davis at New England Equine, who I have not met but have heard NUMEROUS good things about.
Totally agree about Dr. Mike Davis at NEEMSC - he has worked on my mare for two different lameness issues (5 years apart and totally unrelated). I've also used Dr. Omar Maher at NEEMSC for my old guy (unfortunately I had to put him down... but he was 31). I don't mess around when it comes to my horses and I take them straight to Mike or Omar (or Jackie Bartol for internal things) - they nailed the diagnosis in all the occasions. Andy Kaneps used to work with them and he is amazing too. So if I couldn't bring my horse to NEEMSC then i'd be calling Andy (NEEMSC is much closer for me).
"When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered."CANTER New England
I also had bad experiences with Holman. Didn't even do basic flexions on a lameness exam and after requesting them, did only the hind.
My experience with him was that he formed an opinion based on a phone call. Didn't test his theory. Just proclaimed that THIS was the reason the horse was lame. 6 months later, horse was seen by another vet and guess what? Holman was wrong.
OP, I would heed the opinions about Holman. Many more negative experiences with him and his clinic (to the point where I would ship almost 45 miles each way to Jay when I was at a facility that used him exclusively). The only vet I care for less than him in that area is someone who works for him.
If you can't get Jay, go with Gaby or Davis. In that order
But hey, all of that is just my personal opinion based on past experience, take it with a grain of salt :P
Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.
Ditto! He was fabulous when my mare had a chronic hind suspensory issue, needed surgery and had a very long and complicated recovery.
His associate, Sarah Gomez, is also good (though not quite as good as Brett) and much, much easier to schedule. She will consult with Brett if things look weird, and if things are really weird and you ask, she will turn the case over to Brett.