Dynamic Movement Clinics

Clinic 1 – Alignment and Biomechanics

Part 1- Hoof anatomy and functions

This session focuses on how hoof conformation and mechanics affect tendon pressure, joint alignment and circulation, creating stress on the laminae. Discussion covers how trimming and shoeing strategies affect hoof anatomy, blood flow and tendon pressure. Preserved hooves are used for illustration

Part 2- Recognizing hoof distortions

Teaches people to recognize and prevent distortions such as twists, flares, long toe/low heel, abnormal pressures in the hoof, contracted heels and under run heels. Hoof anatomy, mechanical functions of the hoof, shock absorption and blood flow in the hoof are covered. We will also discuss pressure changes in the coronary band and its effect. The goal is to help people understand how to work toward a more symmetrical and balanced hoof.

Live horse – evaluation of hooves
Part 3- Evaluating leg alignment

Focuses on lower limb anatomy and teaches people how different leg anatomies alter tendon pressure and impact on joints and hooves. How to recognize problems with bone column alignment and how misalignment can cause distortions in the hoof. We also discuss the relationships between front and hind legs and its effect on long-term soundness. Preserved limbs and hooves will be used during classroom lecture to illustrate these points.

Live horse – evaluation of leg alignment
Part 4- Evaluating upper body alignment and conformation

Teaches people to recognize and evaluate upper body alignment and conformation issues that may affect long-term health. Examples include: straightness and squareness of upper body, length of back, shape of the back, length of back relative to hip size and position, hip size and position relative to shoulder position, how the mane falls and the tail hangs.

Live horse – evaluation of body alignment
Part 5- Muscle structure discussion

An in-depth look at how conformation, muscle over-development and muscle atrophy are related to movement patterns. Analysis of the shape and development of the front end vs. the back end and how these affect the movement patterns of the horse. We cover trimming and shoeing strategies to develop a more symmetrical and balanced horse.

Live horse – evaluation of body structure
Test (evaluating a different live horse)

Clinic 2 – Effects of Movement and Rider

Part 1- How the hoof affects movement/how movement affects the hoof

This session focuses on the effect that hoof distortions such as twists, flares, and long toe/low heel can have on movement. We also discuss how hoof shape and the break over point affect movement as well as trimming and shoeing strategies to address movement problems.

Live horse(s) – evaluation of movement
Part 2- Movement of the leg and joints

This section focuses on the moving horse and helps people understand how the legs travel through their flight path and the effect on joints. We also identify flaws in movement and the effect those flaws can have on the hoof.

Live horse(s) – evaluation of movement
Part 3- Upper body and movement

Focuses on helping people recognize the following conditions and their effects: collection vs. hollowed-out, elevation of hips and shoulder during movement, collapsing of hip/shoulder, hind-end vs. front-end development, tracking, swing of barrel, and head carriage.

Live evaluation of body and movement
Part 4- Saddle, Tack, and Rider

This is not intended to be a saddle fitting clinic, but is designed to help the horse owner understand weight distribution and its effect on the horse. Topics included are: how saddle and rider can interfere with the horse’s performance, rider position and balance as well as evenness from side to side, and whether saddle fit allows room for the shoulder to move and the horse to lift his back.

Live evaluation of saddle
Live rider evaluation
Part 5- Conditioning

Teaches people how to build an exercise program to fit their horse’s individual needs. Specific exercises are detailed that can address the following types of conditions: lack of collection and impulsion, unevenness, heavy on the front-end, short striding, weak back and lack of flexibility.

Test (evaluating a different live horse)

Clinic 3 – Anatomy and Lameness

Part 1- Hoof anatomy and function

This session focuses on how hoof conformation and mechanics affect tendon pressure, joint alignment and circulation, and create stress on the laminae. Discussion covers how trimming and shoeing strategies affect hoof anatomy, blood flow and tendon pressure. Preserved hooves are used for illustration.

Part 2- Laminitis

Lecture covers the primary causes of laminitis as well as the pathology of the laminitic hoof. Trimming and shoeing techniques to relieve pressure and provide support are discussed as well as suggestions for preventing laminitis such as weight control, conditioning, lifestyle choices, and safe feed storage.

Part 3- Front-end Lameness and Leg Structure

Anatomy and physiology of leg alignment and structure and their effects on tendon pressure and impact are covered. How body conformation and movement patterns can affect conditions such as navicular syndrome, tendon and suspensory problems. Discussion also covers trimming and shoeing strategies to relieve pressure and provide support, as well as exercise programs to strengthen and improve movement patterns.

Part 4- Lamenesses of the Hind-end

Topics covered in this section include: hoof anatomy and its effect on the hind-end, mechanical structure of the hind leg and how it affects tendon pressure and impact, hock and stifle problems, soft tissue damage vs. joint or bone damage, hind suspensory strains, trimming and shoeing strategies to relieve pressure and provide support, and exercise programs to strengthen and improve movement patterns.

Clinic 4 – Understanding what you see

Case Studies Slide Presentation

Real life examples of extreme lameness, unevenness, and body misalignment garnered from 20 years of working with horses. Each case has many points discussed in detail so that people can understand their effects on the horse and his ability to move. This is the presentation used in Australia, New Zealand, and Equitana, USA. The pictures you see below are a small sample from the clinic.

EXAMPLE 1

Take a good look at the difference in the heels on the front feet of this horse. The right front heel is much higher and longer than the left front. Your first inclination might be to make both heels the same height.

As you travel up the body look at the alignment of the knees. The right knee is higher than the left. Also notice the difference in size between the two knees.

In the third picture, look at the chest and forearms. Again the right side of the horse is higher and there is a difference in muscling of the forearms from side to side. The horse carries most of his weight on the left side.

When you turn the horse around and look into the shoulders the right side is collapsed and atrophied while the left side is higher and more developed. If we lowered the right heel to make the feet match we would be collapsing the right shoulder even further. Think what lowering that heel would have done to the horse.

The pelvic alignment is also not level.

The point I want to make with these pictures is that you have to look at the whole horse not just the hooves. When working with a horse like this you must consider movement patterns and also exercise programs. We were able to bring this horse back where she could live a useful life.

EXAMPLE 2

This horse is in his mid-twenties and from the left side not too bad looking.

This is a photo of the same horse on the same day from the right side. It doesn’t even look like the same horse. If you look at the hip, the shape of the back, the shoulder and even into the neck this horse looks very different and very atrophied.

After addressing hoof care issues for a year we took another photo of the horse. The right side is much improved from the previous year.

This horse did not have the benefit of an exercise program during the year between the first set of photos and the second. The only change was to the hooves. Nonetheless, the horse was able to recover and in his late twenties he was used as a light trail horse.

Movement Evaluation

A video and photo series of you and your horse is another way to learn to evaluate the movement patterns and determine areas of improvement. As a trained professional with extensive study in biomechanics, Mike is frequently asked to sit in on training sessions where he can see how the rider and horse work as a team. Biomechanics is not just how the horse moves on his own, but how the combination of rider, tack, horse, and hoof care work together to influence those movement patterns.

The format below is tried and true. The best results are obtained with both photos and a video, however, he can work from either photos or video alone, although this does not give the full picture. Please follow the instructions carefully so we get the most accurate and repeatable results. To determine whether our changes have had the intended effect, you will take another set of photos/videos at a later date to compare with the first. Thus, it is critically important to follow the instructions. Photos and videos will be returned if you include a stamped self-addressed data mailer. Any photo/video package without a return mailer will become the property of Equine Dynamics.

The charge for this or any other service requiring a phone consultation is $100/hr. If the call is long distance, you will be responsible for placing the call once the appointment has been made. Please include your phone number, e-mail address and preferred dates and times. Mike will contact you to set up a time to discuss your horse. Prior to your consultation, Mike will analyze the video and photos so that your time is effectively used. Most sessions take between 60 and 90 minutes.

Photos

You will need to have NUMBERED shots so that you and I can both look at the same picture while we discuss your horse on the phone. Hard copy works better than e-mailing jpegs. That way we can shift from picture to picture without waiting for them to load on the computer.

5 shots of whole body of the horse standing SQUARE on a FLAT, LEVEL SURFACE

  • Left side of horse
  • Right side of horse
  • full body shot with camera facing horse’s head
  • full body shot with camera facing tail
  • standing on mounting block behind horse – shot of back from tail to ears

8 shots of hooves with horse standing SQUARE on a FLAT, LEVEL SURFACE. Camera should be as CLOSE TO THE GROUND as possible. Shots 6-13 should be labeled (ex. Left front, right front).

  • Right front hoof photographed from toe to heel
  • Left front hoof from toe to heel
  • Right hind hoof from toe to heel
  • Left hind hoof from toe to heel
  • Right front hoof photographed from heel to toe
  • Left front hoof from heel to toe
  • Right hind hoof from heel to toe
  • Left hind hoof from heel to toe

4 lateral shots with horse standing with STAGGERED hooves on a FLAT, LEVEL SURFACE.

  • Lateral shot of right side showing front hooves
  • Lateral shot of right side showing back hooves
  • Lateral shot of left side showing front hooves
  • Lateral shot of left side showing back hooves

DVD

You can video your horse and burn to DVD.

  • With horse on lead, shoot horse walking away from camera, toward camera and both sides of horse.
  • Repeat step 1 at trot
  • In at least a 60 ft. round pen (preferred) or a 30 ft lunge line show horse without tack at walk, trot and canter with upward and downward transitions in both directions. Two to three laps at each gait in each direction will suffice.
  • Repeat step 3 with tack
  • Repeat step 3 with tack and rider