Dr. Cooks problem

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Dr. Cooks problem

Post by lightertouch on Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:45 am

Hi everyone,

Marty has been resisting the Dr. Cook by tossing her head indicating discomfort and it looks like it may be as a result of one of the crossunder straps crossing precisely the lump of an unerupted tooth on the underside of her jaw.

Has anyone else had experience of or heard of a similar problem? Wendy (or anyone!), do you think the Nurtural may avoid this problem as the reinstraps cross further back under the cheeks?
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Re: Dr. Cooks problem

Post by Sydney on Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:52 am

I know for sure they would stay in their place and you could adjust them so they don't slide back.
Unerupted teeth, especially if they abscess can be painful. Poor Marty. I know a gelding that had one and because it abscessed on the bottom and he was in a bit at the time the bit jammed and compacted the tooth. I believe they had to remove it :C
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Re: Dr. Cooks problem

Post by Bitless in the USA on Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:50 pm

I emailed Dr. Cook about this issue and received this reply:

"Bony enlargements around the developing cheek teeth roots of young horses (3-4 years of age) are normal. Unless the root is infected it will not be painful. So before assuming that this bump on the bottom edge of the jawbone is the cause of headshaking, please double check the status of the enlargement. Does the horse throw up its head in pain if you squeeze the enlargement gently between finger and thumb? If not, look for some other cause of the problem. For example, is the noseband too low or the browband too tight. Was the horse shaking its head before when ridden in a bitted bridle and does it just need more time to recover from bit-induced facial neuralgia?"

My own two cents worth, if you are looking to change the position of the crossunder straps temporarily, you can do this with the Dr. Cook bitless bridle by loosening the noseband and shortening the cavasson straps, which will position the noseband higher on the head, changing the path of the crossunder straps. Keep in mind that this will reduce the amount of leverage you have for collection, reduce the level of communication you have with your horse and reduce the amount of control you have over your horse's head. This would only be a temporary solution for a temporary problem, not something that you would want to change permanently.

This reduced communication and reduced control would also be true if you switched to a different bridle that placed the crossunder straps farther back under the jaw - generally speaking, moving the position of the crossunder straps towards the back of the jaw reduces the area of effective contact on the horse's head which reduces the amount of communication/control you have.

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Re: Dr. Cooks problem

Post by lightertouch on Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:22 am

Thanks guys! I don't think it has abcessed, as she will let you fiddle with it. She's been bitless for 14 months now, and was only bitted for approximately a year. She'll be 6 in April so it may just be a late erupting tooth. It is the rein that crosses the raised area that causes the reaction.
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