Chazot Thoughts


It was actually the horse that offered this choice first.”    

                        (Claudine Erpelding Braga)


You know the routine. He comes in the barn, spends a few minutes with each of us and serves us breakfast. Then, as we eat, he reads his e-mails. This morning, one comment caught his attention. He looked at me with a large smile saying, “you need to read that.” I can’t read but I can follow his mind when he reads. It was a question asked on the forum of the online course.  “At the end of the IHTC 2 Navicular segment you discuss Dominique's inverted rotation on bend left. You decide to address it thru shoulder-in right instead of shoulder-in left. I'm trying to figure out why. On the model, the correction from lowering the haunch in shoulder-in left is very clear.” (Karen Young)  He really liked the question. They have designed the online course on the belief that most riders are intelligent peoples and advanced, pertinent and extensive explanations can teach riders, trainers and therapist how to analyze and therefore resolve horses’ difficulties. The question was appropriate; the problem presented on the DVD could effectively have been resolved, at the least theoretically, by using the left shoulder in. It was a rational analysis and perfectly logical thought. Then, he was absolutely delighted by the comment of another member of the course. “It was actually the horse that offered this choice first. When realizing which 'auto correction' the horse seems having figured out first, it is a matter of efficiency for the rider to start there.” (Claudine Erpelding Braga)

This was exactly what happened and listening to what us horses try to tell you, is an absolute perquisite for successful rehabilitations.  I never meet Dominique but he has let in his mind a great deal of respect and dear memories. Dominique suffered from a severe case of navicular syndrome and the source of the kinematics abnormality causing excessive pressure between the distal sesamoid bone and the deep digital flexor tendon was a spastic scoliosis that kept the thoracic vertebrae laterally bend to the left. The lateral bending was then coupled with an inverted rotation shifting the dorsal spines to the right. As a result, excessive weight loaded the right front limb which adapted to the load through a kinematics abnormality causing intense pressure between the navicular bone and the deep digital flexor tendon.

He restored soundness by correcting the back muscles imbalance causing the spine torsion. The kinematics abnormality of the right foreleg was a consequence of the vertebral column dysfunction that directed the weight on the right foreleg. By addressing the source of the problem, the back dysfunction, the kinematics of the right foreleg returned to normal and the remodeling process restarted. Soundness was fully restored in about ten months. Dominique was 19 years old when the whole rehabilitation was made. Dominique had many more sound years as he died by accident when he was thirty six years old. dominique is still very alive in his mind and he often thinks about Dominique’s courage. In spite of very somber diagnosis, he attempted Dominique rehabilitation because, as he says, “Dominique wanted to live.” This was in 1988 and six years earlier, a pertinent research study suggested that navicular syndrome was not an ischemic necrosis due to poor blood supply as previously believed, but instead a remodeling disease. Intense stress shut off the remodeling process and degeneration occur because dying cells are no longer replaced by new cells. The study concluded that the disease could be reversible if the kinematics abnormality shutting off the remodeling process could be corrected. This is exactly what he did. The novelty is that he did not concentrate on the lesion like everybody does. He focused instead on the source of the kinematics abnormality causing the lesion.

Correcting the inverted rotation associated with the lateroflexion of the thoracic spine could have been corrected through adduction of the left hind leg as obtained in left shoulder in when the movement is properly executed. However, while it was a rational working hypothesis, Dominique did not like it. In Dominique mind right shoulder for was easier to process. Biomechanically, the move was logical too. They have observed in the necropsy room that quite often, inverted rotation induces greater rotation of the dorsal spine than correct rotation. Based on this observation, he explored the thought that Dominique might have to reduce the inclination of the dorsal spine in order to bend right. Logically one would have expected that the mental processing associated with this theory would be more complex than the almost natural correction of the spine rotation that is associated with adduction of the left hind leg. For whatever reason, Dominique preferred the more complex approach.

No intelligent education can be completed without engaging our mental processing. He regularly emphasizes the concept in the online course. He also explains that we are very willing to work for our soundness and comfort. He was happy and also proud the read these pertinent thoughts being elegantly worded by a member of the course. “It was actually the horse that offered this choice first.