The first step in successful treatment is a correct diagnosis. In years past, that was a game of ruling out one possibility at a time, based mainly on X-rays. However, in the last few decades, we’ve seen an explosion in diagnostic imaging options for horses.
It’s tempting to try to save money by skimping on diagnostics, but in the end you almost always pay the price. Professional opinions can be useful, but they can’t compare to the facts you can obtain from diagnostic equipment. The correct diagnosis can save you wasted money in vet bills, special shoeing, and treatments that don’t work. Most importantly, they maximize your chance of success and getting you back in the saddle again.