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Dr. Deb Lectures Available Online
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annmjensen
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 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2013 04:20 pm
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I have been watching & listening - wonderful thought provoking material. On my way to go see my mare and try to be better.

Leslie
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 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2013 06:31 pm
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Dr Deb
Thank you for sharing these. So much great information! I was introduced to Dr. Kerry Ridgeway at a hoof care conference a few years ago and have attended several clinics of his on side dominance. I have an interest in it as a hoof care provider, budding equine body worker, and a horse owner/rider. You might say I'm a bit obsessed with it. Because everyone uses different language when referring to this imbalance it can be confusing. Here is where I am confused. I think you are both saying the same thing, that the horse places more weight on the dominant foreleg causing the neck to be held in the opposite direction and the pelvis to turn and keep alignment with the head. What is not adding up for me is what Dr. Ridgeway teaches and I see in my work that the dominant side has the smaller more upright hoof. The reason for this being that the horse is weighting the hooves in different areas. If the horse is right side dominant it tends to stand with it's right hoof back a little so that the weight is in the front of the foot and the heels become higher. The left foot especially when grazing tends to be out in front of the horse with more weight on the heels, making it flatter and rounder. I would appreciate any clarification you can give me. Thanks for your time.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 02:20 am
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That's not what I've seen, Leslie, but I encourage you to keep taking data in an honest way. In my observations, the weighted foot will always be the flat one and the unweighted one the contracted one. This is proven by what happens in the veterinary clinic, when in recovery from surgery for fractures of one limb the horse must be slung; the animal flattens the foot that he can bear weight upon. Generally he also founders on that foot and so comes to die, despite the brilliance of the surgical repair.

Another place you would want to look for the effect of weight upon the feet is among massive horses, i.e. any horse weighing more than about 1500 lbs. It is a very rare Draft horse that has upright walls such as we frequently see in ponies. I am not here speaking merely of the heels, but of the walls structuring the pillars and quarters, i.e. they are steep as you would observe them from the front. Rather the massive horse usually has crushed feet, i.e. walls with very low angles. This is the effect of weight.

Part of the difficulty here may relate to the definition of "upright" foot. It seems that to you, "upright" means "long in the heel relative to the toe". To me it means "encastellated", i.e. contracted in a global way, smaller in all three dimensions. The unweighted foot would also be smaller if we calculated its volume.

This problem is analogous to that which I have just mentioned in an article I've just submitted to my editor at Equus Magazine, and which you will shortly see in print: that deformation of the hoof must be seen in three dimensions, i.e. not just M-L and A-P but also rotatory. Rotatory deformation has not, to my knowledge, ever been mentioned by any previous researcher, and yet it is not only obvious but common, once you realize that you need to separate it from M-L imbalance with which it usually goes.

The analogy I mean therefore is this, that merely looking at the heels and/or the toe angle and/or the ratio of toe to heel tubule length is not enough; you have to look at the foot as a three-dimensional object. -- Dr. Deb

Leslie
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 09:50 am
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I am thinking the mix up (for me) might be in what side is considered dominant or the difference between movement and the stationary horse. If we have a horse with a flatter splat type foot on the left and an encastellated hoof on the right, how would you see his movement on the circle to the right?

My understanding and what I have seen is this horse would tend to fall in on the circle away from this flatter foot towards the shoulder with the encastellated foot. He would counter bend on the circle. On a straight line he would carry his neck off to the left and twist his pelvis so the right side is more forward, sometimes even shortening the right side so that the right hind track laterally to the right fore, and the left hind in extreme cases is stepping in the track of the right fore. I see a lot of Arabs with this type of imbalanced mechanics and the more obvious hoof differences that go along with it. These horse also tend to graze this the left foot out in front and the right foot back.

Thanks for clarifying. I look forward to your next article. I have really been enjoying the series in Equus.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 02:36 pm
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And I would observe and predict the exact opposite, Leslie. We both acknowledge that it is because the horse is leaning on a given foot that his body becomes convex in the direction of that foot. In other words, if a horse habitually leans toward his right feet, his body will be convex to the right, concave to the left, and if longed to the right, he will fall in or "be wrongside out on the curve" when going to the right. And we both acknowledge also that there will be certain compensatory actions of the head & neck and the hips, i.e. that if the horse leans to the right, his neck will swing left and the hips will try, as best they can, to square with the head.

The question is merely whether the weighted feet will be contracted/encastellated (as you say) or will rather be the flat feet (as I say). I don't think this will change whether we are speaking of statics (the horse at a standstill) or of dynamics (the horse in movement). Look at the picture posted below and think what this is going to mean: it MUST mean just what you see pictured -- especially valuable photo because there's no chance that the picture itself could be tilted, with the vertical panels there as guide -- the weighted foot will be flattened and the unweighted foot contract over time; and it also means that both forelimbs will ROTATE away from the direction of lean, so that (as you see there) a horse that might originally have toed out "evenly" let us say 20 degrees each side in front, will instead if he leans to his right as this one does, toe straight forward on the right forelimb while toeing out 35 or 40 degrees on the left. This will cause him to "paddle" on one limb as you see him coming straight toward you. (You will also have reviewed the "Lessons from Woody" paper in the Knowledge Base section of our website at http://www.equinestudies.org, in which there is a photo of a somewhat simpler, less athletic and more phlegmatic "Gumby").

Most horses do not lean quite as much as either of these, even when standing around perfectly relaxed. In the real world, "Gumbies" are actually rare; they are the exceptions that illustrate the rule. Most horses are more like the red one posted here; they are not, for example, quite content to proceed down the road with their head tilted and/or cocked, leading very definitely with one eye, as "Gumby" will do. As soon as they try to square their head to the direction of motion (and the righting reflex kicks in which squares the pelvis to the head), in that moment the picture gets more complicated, in that the horse acquires several kinks in his back that "Gumby" does not have. The situation is further complicated -- the greatest factor of all -- when a rider gets on, especially if she is of the competitive dressage type who has been taught that "contact" means continually shoving the horse forward off its balance into a fixed hand. This, and not the mere posture/weighting of the horse, is what really creates the muscle spasms and chiropractic lesions.

For these reasons, I don't hold out "absolute" expectations when I ask somebody to longe their horse for me. If the animal is a "Gumby", he will do exactly as Woody Theory predicts, and lay on the flat feet the whole time. If he is a more complicated, stiff, kinked-up job like the red horse pictured here, he may do any number of things, including go crooked both ways. One thing he will NOT do, however, is weight any diagonal pair, i.e. simultaneously weight right fore and left hind. Try this yourself while crawling and you will quickly see why. Therefore, if a horse be observed to lay to the right in front, he will also always lay to the right in back. You are correct to say that crooked/wrongside-out movement not only usually, but inevitably, causes the horse to step long on one side and short on the other, for indeed it would be very difficult for a horse to step evenly when "back dynamics govern limb dynamics".

I think one other thing that you're going to want to go over in your mind is, to go back to a statement you made in your first post, to explain exactly HOW "weighting the front of the foot" is going to "make" the horse develop higher heels. Horses that grow higher heels come from a couple of sources. One source would be the exact opposite of what you say, i.e. it is from heel corium that is getting hyperstimulated, i.e. because the animal strikes too hard on its heels (overweights the heels) when landing. A good foot-strike begins with heel strike, it is true; but the strike is soft and "rolling", so that although the heel comes down first, weight is soon transferred off it in a forward direction. Another source is animals that have very hard feet, either because of genetics (i.e. donkeys and mules and some domestic horses), or else because they live under conditions of climate and substrate that tend to make the hoofs hard. A third source is relatively low mass, i.e. ponies and Arabs and any horse weighing less than about 900 lbs. is far the most likely to have upright feet.

None of this, by the way, is to say that I disagree with Dr. Kerry, for whom I have the highest respect. He has heard my presentations concerning Woody Theory, but unlike me, Dr. Ridgeway is a healer and practitioner. I am the maker or generator of Paradigm. This difference often comes up between the academician/educator and the veterinarian, which is to say, the difference between what the laws of physics show us when we build a succession of biomechanical models of increasing complexity and therefore increasing approach to reality (that's what I do), vs. the practical matter of figuring out how best to give the horse relief and promote healing.

We therefore all would say, at bottom: riders -- you need to learn how to ride. You need to learn that your first job is to help the horse achieve inner equanimity, and that if he loses his inner equanimity at any time, what he needs most from you is not physical technique but refocusing or re-education so that he can be confident that he can fulfill the task required of him (always in hope that the rider provides him with some REAL task).

And second, riders, you need to learn that your horse does not, all by himself, know how to perform his most important job, i.e., he does not know how to carry you with ease and balance through all gaits, paces, and movements. In order to do this, your first job is to teach him to carry himself, and you, straight; in the absence of which he can never move in balance. This requires that the RIDER, not the therapist and not the theoretician either, learn to be able to TELL when the horse is moving crookedly.

I often do this demonstration, then, in one of two ways: more commonly, as you saw on the GHM tapes, I have the riders crawl, so that they may feel it in their own bodies. Less commonly, because it is uncommon that I get the opportunity to teach a riding clinic off my own horse's back, I have the students gather at one end of the arena and then I ride straight towards them. The first time I ride down the line, I deliberately set Ollie crooked. The second time, I have him come straight. They then, one way or the other, begin to see, and this in my belief is the most essential basis for healing their horses, for it is the RIDER who is the most important single factor in the physical development of any horse. -- Dr. Deb

Attachment: Forum 17YO Gelding Front view leaning.jpg (Downloaded 335 times)

Leslie
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 05:34 pm
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Thank you so much Dr. Bennett for the indepth discussion. I will be taking a closer look at all of this in my work. It is so helpful for me to have the views of a variety of experts on these things and I love it each time my eyes are opened again.

SueH
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 Posted: Fri Jun 28th, 2013 06:55 am
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Dr Deb I just wanted to say I just watched the lecture on true collection - AWESOME! I told my instructor about your comments on martingales and her answer: 'I love this woman already". I have a project horse TB and a youngster TBxISH and your work is helping me help them both so big thanks.

Ride A Grey Horse
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 Posted: Wed Jul 3rd, 2013 11:45 am
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These are invaluable.
I really liked how George Morris' eyes were shining at points in Dr.Deb's lectures.  I fully believe him when he tells the team, in introducing her, that he invited Dr.Deb to come speak to the them for them of course, but mostly for himself.
Something Dr.Deb mentioned in one of the talks came at a perfect time for me.  Since we got back here to the northeast this year, we've been fostering a lovely young mare as a  field companion for my horse, and though she's six years old she's never had much blocking, never much been asked to yield, etc.   The good news is, nobody started her.   
At one point in the lectures, Dr.Deb is telling the USET riders that nobody should teach riding without having started a horse and finished a horse; and she says:  Think about a baby horse.  Has he ever had to do much, besides eat, sleep, saunter over to the water tank, and hang out under the trees? 
I turned off the computer at that point and went for a long, long walk. 
This was back in May.
Since then I think it's going quite well with the mare.  She 's smart as a whip,  comes up to be worked with, etc.  I think I make sense to her, which I sure wouldn't have a few years ago.  Some combination of auditing Buck's clinics,  everything I've learned here, especially -  a dozen things I've learned here are "especially," but especially especially  - about consicousness and focus.  What's also helped me learn is my dumb persistence and my probably inappropriate confidence.
So I took in this idea about a young horse until I forgot I ever heard it; it's like I naturally know it and naturally use it.  But today I noticed this thread again, and it dawned on me that I learned it, not two months long ago, from Dr.Deb and I never said thank you.
So, Dr. Deb, many thanks. You make this classroom for us and cast your bread upon the waters, and beautiful things happen.
Cynthia
 






 

cath338@btinternet.com
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 Posted: Fri Jul 19th, 2013 04:41 pm
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I have just finished watching these lectures. They were really interesting and thought provoking, some really good points. They tie in really well with what I am already doing with my horses' clicker training (Alexandra Kurland) also with my current reading book 'twisted truths of modern dressage'. Thoroughly enjoyed thank you.

Dorinda
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 Posted: Thu Aug 1st, 2013 07:42 am
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Hi Dr Deb

I have just finished watching these videos also. I wish I had been more attentive and watched them earlier. They are truely awesome. Is there any way they can be put onto a DVD as reference material. I could listen to them over and over and still feel that I could learn more from them.

I also really liked Dr Tim's talk too. I can understand why you and he are on the same page.

Thanks heaps.

Cheers
Dorinda

diz
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 Posted: Sun Apr 30th, 2017 11:19 am
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I appreciate it is now some years on, but I'm wondering if anyone has ideas about how I could revisit Dr Deb's video presentation/s mentioned at the beginning of this post. I'd love to watch again but don't seem to be able to access them. Maybe I've just left my refresher a little too late? I did find a snippet on YouTube but not the full version that I recall seeing?
Many thanks, Di

devvie
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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 04:54 pm
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USEF Network has added a paywall to their website (although the Rolex 4* three day event still streams free to the public). You must now purchase a $25 Fan membership to access the Dr. Deb lectures from the USEF horsemastership clinic.

Well worth it I think as there is lots of content.

B


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