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Category: Book, Video and CD Reviews
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Dr. Henneman is a veterinarian who specializes in alternative therapies -- chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy -- for performance horses. She works on horses in more than half a dozen states, is a consultant to The Whole Horse Journal.

This video describes the early signs of pain and stress that precede breakdowns. For that reason, it can be a tremendous aid to farriers (as well as observant horse owners).

Dr. Henneman starts off by defining the types of forces involved:

  • tension is illustrated by using a rubber band
  • compression is illustrated by using marshmallows
  • torque is illustrated by comparing celery stalks to onion stalks
  • shear is illustrated by two boxes, then by the action of horse's teeth

If you have any trouble understanding these concepts, the video presentation will make them perfectly clear and understandable.

The difference between conformation and posture is defined. Conformation is permanent, but posture can and does change in response to pain. She points out the importance of proper posture -- that bones "stacked" like interlocking soup cans are very stable and strong, while bones that are held in poor posture are continually under stress, unstable, and predispose the horse to breakdowns.

Next, Dr. Henneman explains proper and improper posture of the horse in practical terms, from head to tail. First the teeth and jaw: how the teeth grow, where they are located, the significance of canine and wolf teeth, how the horse chews, what TMJ is and how it affects the horse.

Then the neck: its anatomy, bones, muscles, workings and problem signs and areas. The neck is followed by saddle fit and function, then the lower back and hind end.

This video is a wonderful overview of the bones, muscles, function and biomechanics of the horse's body. I highly recommend it for all farriers (and horse owners serious about their horse's health). Part 2, due out in 1998, will deal with the horse in motion.

by Kim Henneman, DVM
Choices in Health
6337 S. Highland Drive #334
Salt Lake City, Utah 84121 USA
(435) 647-0807
65 minutes, $49.95 plus shipping
Reviewed by Henry Heymering, RJF.