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ETAA member Tanya Hind received one of the $500 Education Grants from the ETAA last year. Due to COVID, unfortunately her attendance at the dissection was delayed, but here is her experience of her first dissection. In Tanya’s words, it was the best thing she has attended in years!

Thank you for the grant that enabled me to attend a three-day standing dissection, with Sharon May Davis at Yarck Victoria, in April 2022.
I had read Sharon’s work on Equine Complex Vertebral Malformation ECVM prior to attending the clinic but didn’t really see the connections to other muscles, limbs, and behaviour within the equine body. This came ever so clear once I could see the malformations in 3D with all of the connecting tissues that interact with this area. I will certainly be including this issue in consultations from now on. When reflecting on the visual and verbal information gained regarding ECVM, I can think of a few clients that could not be rehabilitated no matter what was tried, all of the behavioural and biomechanical issues were exactly the same as those discussed.

Having taken part in the dissection I can honestly say that the anatomy books are inaccurate and the drawings that we study need to be revised. One example of this is the Nuchal Ligament and
Lamellae Funicular are shown connecting to C2 through C7 but on dissection are actually only connecting to C2 through C5 with the fibres very thin at C5. With this information working with this
ligament certainly needs to be approached differently to work with the connections that are actually in place. To be able to palpate the various deeper tendons, ligaments and muscles was invaluable. Getting a sense of these and their insertions and integration with other muscles within the body has enabled me to locate and focus on these deeper tissues with more accuracy now compared to previously getting “close” to the point via a diagram in a book. The results are also more profound.

Attending this dissection hasn’t changed the way I do things in my practice but has heightened my senses to “feel” deeper within the tissues and their integrations resulting in shorter rehabilitation
time. I plan to attend further dissections in the future, as Sharon would say each horse is different and each has something it can teach you.

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