Headshaking Article Letters From Our Readers

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Add Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation To Headshaking Tools

I read with interest Dr. Grant Miller?s June 2013 article on Headshaking in Horses, and I thought he did an excellent job on the subject. ?There is only suggestion that I would add: ?In my number of years of practice, I have had quite good success using the Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation Technique {VOM}. ?The TMJ and cervical area respond well with this method of adjustment.

Dr. Warren Pennell, Texas

Chiropractic Solutions

The June 2013 headshaking article by Dr. Grant Miller was excellent article and offered good possible solutions.? have two to add from personal experience:

1-Head (and neck) shaking can also be caused from misalignment of head, neck, or shoulders (from injury, conformation, poor riding or undeterminable causes). Shaking is an effort to release the tension. A certified equine chiropractor can evaluate and bring relief.

I would also recommend obtaining training suggestions from the chiropractor. Misalignment can cause or be caused by muscle imbalance which inhibits the ability of the muscles to maintain correct alignment. Specific training can build muscle strength which over time will allow the adjustments to be spaced further apart and eventually discontinued.

2-Forelocks in the breeze can feel like pesky flies to a horse with sensitive ears or low tolerance for distraction.

Keep up the good work.

Crystal A. Bingham, MSOT, OTR, Kansas

Start Simple?

In regard to your June 2013 article on headshaking, a mare that I loaned to a friend as company to her single mount began shaking her head and stomping to such an extent that she refused to ride her again. My horse started acting similarly. Knowing that he enjoyed a face rub after work, I coaxed his head toward me and rubbed his face, noticing that it was quite sweaty. This stopped the shaking ? a simple solution to a simple symptom. Your comment that shaking began in late spring could give credence to my theory.

I read a similar article in EQUUS some years ago, concerning a mare driving horse that the owners couldn?t show because of this syndrome. Many show horses have their faces coated with baby oil to enhance their expression. This would certainly add to the itching. The owner said she only did the shaking while being shown (in the summer!).

So ask your perplexed readers to try the first resort, a simple rubbing of a sweaty face before any more expensive last resorts.

Love your magazine!

Leona Drushin, New York