Horse Dentistry School
Equine Dental Education
Promoting Functional Occlusion for Optimum Nutrition and Performance
A Registered, Bonded and Insured Proprietary School
Idaho State Board of Education
Equine Gnathological Training Institute, Inc.
2050 East Medicine Wheel Lane
King Hill, Idaho 83633 USA
Dale's Cell: 208-869-1002
I would like to thank everyone @ WWE for always being helpful, knowledgeable and supportive. It is great having the continued genuine support of the people who taught you. Choosing your school was the right choice. Thanks Dale and Burt for the good start. Matthew Melendres
Comments On 3 Day Advanced Course
We used our molar cutters on 3 horses today. We fixed things that we would've never been able to fix without them and without the information we received from your course. We palpated each TMJ and Hyoid and watched every horse eat and made so many discoveries that wouldn't have been possible without your course. Thank you so much, it makes this job so rewarding and beautiful. Michall Broussard
Bert Lambert is a wizard! I truly believe no one but Bert could have saved my little Belle.
As you remember, I saw Belle trying to eat but pointing her nose to the sky and slobbering around what looked like a cud of her hay while having great difficulty chewing it. I could tell something was hurting her and thought it was a sharp tooth. What I couldn't understand is why it came on so suddenly. Had I just missed it when I was feeding? As the days passed while waiting for the equine dentist to arrive, Belle gradually worked something out because, while she still wasn't eating normally, she was not in such obvious distress.
When Bert came, I asked him to start with Belle. He did his usual magic trick of sweet talking a "darling" mare by rubbing her head in a special way that leaves them relaxed like putty in his hands. But, while Belle wasn't rude to him, she didn't relax. So Bert put that contraption in her mouth so he could reach in and feel around. She didn't like it but she stood. He rinsed her mouth with a syringe and chewed hay came out. Then he began exploring around in her mouth and said her cheeks had wedges of tissue that had grown in between her teeth--which were sharp. He used his finger to dislodge them. It looked like it took quite a bit of force. We figured that would relieve a lot of her pain!
Then he reached in again and felt around. This time he found a 1/2 inch diameter stick wedged up in the roof of her mouth, positioned from side to side between her teeth! We were all shocked at what he brought out in his hand! You could see pus on one end, green slobber all around it, and that it was worn smooth from rubbing. Bert said it had been there a while as her mouth was growing tissue around it!
So, when Bert was stroking the bridge of her nose to calm her, he was pressing on the stick inside! No wonder she didn't relax! And that explained why she had rubbed a little spot of the hair off her jaw on both sides. And why she had tissue from her cheeks grown in between her teeth! Dear little Belle! She had done her best to dislodge that stick. Now you could see the relief in her eyes. I am so glad Bert came for her!
After that, when Bert rubbed her face, she nearly collapsed in his arms. He did the usual "floating" so her teeth are fully functional now. When he finished he said Belle's mouth would heal just fine and that her breath had a better smell already.
Bert also told Ron that, had the stick been positioned a little differently, it could have cut a major artery in her mouth and she would have bled to death. Dear Little Belle! I am so grateful to Bert for removing it!
I know that stick came out of our hay! I find them in the manger all the time. Who would have ever suspected the pain and suffering one of them would cause my Belle?
Live and Learn? I sure learned a lesson today! See you soon! Anita
Hey Dale and all….
Good to hear from you all. Just wanted to check in and say hello and let you know things are going well for me. I’ve been doing teeth mostly around the Pittsburgh. PA area. Haven’t started my area yet. I’ve been so busy up that way on the that I don’t have time for people in my own area yet.
I also know this is long overdue, but I want to thank you again for all the training and time you spent with each of us and the kindness you and Lori showed each of us. Now that I’m out and actually working I wished I would have worked even harder during my stay. You packed our brains with so much information we were all on overload the first week but once you are out working it all comes back to you. Bert said it would. I can’t speak for your other classes, but I felt our class was a really great class and we all tried to work as hard as we could. You, Bert and Carl took individuals who knew nothing about floating teeth and gave us all the confidence we needed to succeed.
I have seen some scary things but I’ve been able to figure my way through the process. It’s amazing how happy the horses are once you have worked on them and how appreciative the owners are also. I’ve got nothing but compliments on my ability to handle even the worst horses with no problems and that is all due to the training I received at your school. A good part of that is due to Bert smacking my hands away and making me place them where they belong. Two words came to mind everytime he did that , “Damn It”, but I never said that to him. Drove me absolutely crazy when he did that. But Bert will be happy to know I have my placement down now and I guess his way does work well.
I would really like to come back for some additional training now that I’m out and working in the field. I’ll check back with you this spring to see what your summer classes look like and the availability.
Oh yeah, just a note. Most of us still keep in contact or know what the others are doing. Patrick is our contact person that is the glue that keeps us all together. He contacts each of us on a regular basis to see how we are doing and if all is well.
Tell everyone I said hello and hope to see all of you again in the near future. Scott
To Dale, Lori, Bert, Karl and EGTI Staff
This has been such an awesome experience I cannot thank you enough. The education and the housing are so far beyond what I expected. Thank you for your friendship and allowing me to spend time absorbing bits of your knowledge.Truly Thankful,Scott Wallace
Merry Christmas Dale and Bert... my Christmas present this year came from you both when I received my certification. It was an extremely tough week of hands-on exams working the horses but I'm glad that it was. It made the certification worth far more than just obtaining a certification because I made it thru 2 weeks of schooling. It's created a profound effect on me - I treat each horse that I work on now as if I'm being graded on my performance because in actuality I am. I want that horse to come away feeling far better than it did before I started to work on it. I was also pleased with the additional education that I picked up while I was there working on my certification. I believe that all the horses that I now work on are happier and healthier animals and that's all because of the two of you. You've helped to guide me down the path I was chosen to take and instrumentally shown me the correct way to get there. I thank you and all my client horses thank you also.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!
So excited to hear from you! We talk and think of you all so often... We made it back home and are doing pretty good. Cutter is crawling and climbing so much we cant hardly keep up with him, hes under the weather with broncitus and asthma as of now, but you wouldnt know it as happy as he stays! I have have had the wonderful fortune of getting to float many teeth!
I am so appreciative of your school and friendship... I know now that God had his plan... I value every bit of those two weeks and will never forget them and the wondeful people we had the honor of meeting.. We just love you all and pray and think of you so often...
I recieved the greatest compliment today..... Sunday I went and worked on three horses for a family that ropes and runs speed events... All three horses just were strange to me.. Ive done at least 8 horses a week, on some occasions 8 horses a day since we got home from school. So I was just expecting my normal sharp points maybe some etr and cut the k9. My most common occurances. But these horses all had diffrent strange things. One of which had a huge wolf tooth high on the number 2 acrade. It felt like a bone spur... On any account they took all three horses to a vet and asked him to check my work... I dont know the vet and I doubt he knows me, however he told them I did a fantastic job, he told themBetter than most vets... It was soooo honoring. Its made my week! I felt uneasy about it because they were so different which made his compliment better:) I hope it honors you... I am so greatful!
We have been talking about coming back since we left... Hell we wanted to come back in December! We have stayed in touch with Craig and Simon, they are so funny and wonderful. I call Bert probably once a week with a question... Ive come across a bad case of over floated teeth...
Im keeping a note book of all the things to ask when I come back. I cant wait! I am certain this is what God had called me to do... And I cant wait to serve him... Always thankful for you and your time you put into me!
The Benefits Of Gnathology Training For An Old Pro
By Steve Sampson
As an old friend of Dale Jeffrey's and one of his earliest students, I agreed to film a Gnathology Class for him and discuss the possible formation of an internet horse and ranch magazine. http://www.ranchhorsejournal.com/
Unfortunately, an overwhelming work schedule caused me to be several days late, but I assured both Dale and Bert Lambert I would film some class work hours and several days of wet lab, and that would be enough to put together some documentary footage for future study by students and for promotional purposes.
After spending most of my life floating horses and all my life as a professional horseman, I never thought about the possibility of learning new material and improving my dental skills; I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of new material and skills enhancement I was about to receive.
Dale's theories on equine dental care have continued to evolve; unfortunately, the rest of the industry assumed they had reached the optimum level of equine dental care because of the new instrumentation that allowed the minimally talented and experienced to grind massive amounts of tooth material in a relatively short period of time. Dale's theory of Gnathology is a repudiation of this overkill syndrome at the expense of the horse. His new theory of Gnathology concentrates more on achieving an optimal level of proficiency with a minimal amount of trauma to the horse, rather than an ease of effort for the technician.
I have always been a natural horsemanship type of equine dentist, and disdainful of those who need sedation to float every horse; naturally, I was skeptical of these new techniques and of the idea that advanced bite procedures can be performed without sedation.
But we must remember, I was there as a cinematographer, and I had a purely objective attitude toward the classes and wet labs.
It was Bert Lambert's intense dedication and methodical instruction to each student that aroused my curiosity and caused me to put my camera on auto and look up out of the viewfinder so that I could absorb more of this theory of Gnathology.
It was soon obvious, to even the most skeptical of observers and there were many, that this new system of Gnathology is far more beneficial to the horse to maximize the effect of the dental treatment by minimizing the trauma, rather than using massive amounts of sedation to create a text book dental correction and compromising the well being and health of the horse.
Eventually, I was leaving the camera (Cannon XL1S, it probably does better without me) to run itself on the tripod, so that I could feel the mouths and take part in the discussions. As the number of horses being shipped in for the school to float increased, I had to pull my equipment from the trunk of my car and intensify my learning and teaching skills on the job so to speak. It was an exciting and exhilarating period of learning new techniques and of learning new skills.
There was an excellent group of students from as far away as Ireland. They were all well versed young horsemen, and that made the teaching and learning experience that much more rewarding.
On one of the lab days, we did a necropsy on a cadaver and studied the internal organs and the hyoid sternum process in great detail. We managed to get the procedures on film and will be offering courses in anatomy, through the Ranch Horse Journal, for serious students of the horse.
Toward the end of the class, I was talking about how I might improve my floats by applying the carbide blades directly to the receiver; Dale seemed to have an epiphany and told me to take my floats to his brother's tool building shop in town. He called his brother and told him how he wanted the floats altered. Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive; I had designed these floats myself and for many years they formed the nucleus of a moderately successful instrument company.
A few hours later, I had the finished product, and what a difference. My fatigue level has dropped considerably, because of the lighter weight at the end of the float. It is much easier on the horse; especially on the distal and lower molars, because the thinner profile doesn't offend the sensitive tissues as much, especially when they are already traumatized from sharp teeth. I have more control and I am able to maximize my efficiency and accuracy with less effort. It doesn't get better than that.
For me, it was a winning experience, I upgraded my skills and knowledge, a fact that is already apparent in my practice, judging from the positive comments from my customers, and I upgraded my instruments.
I am anxious to once again, "film" another class in April. This time, my camera will be on autopilot most of the time. I am planning on upgrading my skills even more this time around.
Steve Sampson uses the principles of Gnathology and natural horsemanship in his dental practice. He can be reached at email@example.com
My Experiences at the Equine Gnathological Training Institute By Simon Gunson
All through my high school and college education I was always encouraged to make a decision about what profession to move into and what class subjects I should take to help me get there. I really had no idea what to do. My love and passion has always been horses, so, the logical thing to do would be to maybe find a career where I could work with them.
The man who inspired me to get into Equine Dentistry is Paul Waudby, the EDT who came to do our horses’ teeth after concerns they weren’t being correctly done and the EDT didn’t actually possess the desired qualifications. One of the greatest, kindest, honest men, I will ever know. I would recommend him above anyone as a dentist. He lives to help horses.
Paul would always tell you everything he was doing, why he was doing it and how it would help the horse. He has a huge amount of knowledge and is always happy to share it with anyone who wants to learn. As I was so fascinated by what he did and wanted to learn more, he invited me along on a few of his local rounds when he was in the area. He then alerted me to a ‘taster week’ in Doncaster, where a group of EDT’s had arranged lecture-demo’s with a yard of horses. It was mainly about dentistry with power tools and sedating horses, which I didn’t feel was the way I wanted to work to begin with. It seemed more about perfection and making money as opposed to what is best for the horse, making them comfortable and very importantly, making their mouths functional. Knowing what I know now, I’m fairly sure most of those horses won’t have eaten properly for weeks!
Whilst on this course, Paul made a big point of making sure I saw both sides of how people do dentistry, so I could choose the path I wanted to take. After talking to him about the course, he suggested going to America and learning the way he did, with the people that trained him.
As soon as their next course started, I travelled to Idaho, to Dale Jeffrey and Bert Lambert’s ‘Equine Gnathological Training Institute’. I was greeted at the airport by Dale Jeffrey himself; words can’t even describe how important he is to the dentistry world and how kind he is. He also dedicates his life to helping horses.
It was a two-week course with one week being purely theory and the second week focusing on working on the horses.
Day one, everyone got settled in and we met the other man who would be teaching us, Bert Lambert. We then introduced ourselves to each other and we all learned a bit about why we were there and what got people into deciding to come and learn about dentistry. After the introductions, we got a signed copy of, in my opinion, the best book ever written, Oral Health in Equidae, 2009 by Dale Jeffrey. (http://www.horsedentistry.com/100series/shop_books_charts.html)
It was then a guided tour of the museum and factory, where all the dental instruments are manufactured from start to finish, looking at how similar everything was done back then to how it still is now, although designs and ideas have been modified and perfected. The great thing about the history is that we can learn from things other people have done, mistakes they have made or information they have gathered and build on it! Instruments that are used in the present have been modified and perfected from instruments that had been used many, many years ago.
To get us ready for day two, we were asked to read over the history and the first chapter of the book. This would make it easier for us to understand what we were learning about.
From Tuesday to Friday, we covered the anatomy, aging, principles of 'balance and equilibration', performance and instrumentation. There was a lot to take in, but I made sure that plenty of revision was done and many notes made. Anything that we were unsure about was discussed at length, until everyone fully understood. Nothing was left out. Knowing the theory is hugely important for being able to do proper dentistry.
Over the first weekend, we were able to chill and make sure everything we had learned, stuck.
Week two was all practical. Horses were being sent in by owners and we were taught the basics about ‘running’ a float (over the teeth) and how to achieve the correct angles placement of the equipment. The main aim for the second week was for the ‘first-timers’ (like me) to be able to do the fundamental procedures, like being able to maintain a horse’s mouth, make them comfortable and their teeth functional.
Handling the horses themselves is an entirely personal, individual skill. For me, having ridden and cared for my own horses since a very early age, the interaction came naturally and easily. I don’t see them as objects or merely ‘broken things to be fixed’. To me they are wondrous creatures with the power to overwhelm or flee, yet choose to allow us to train and work them in a life so unnatural as to often be totally contrary to their evolution; and be our friends. Repaying this partnership is my mission and empathy comes readily. Horses are expert readers of body language and mood. Remember that and use it to your advantage, but also remember they can tell when you are acting!
On my very last day, Bert unexpectedly asked me to stay on and accompany him on his dentistry travels – an internship trip lasting eight weeks and an experience almost beyond value! I had commitments at home and was so completely unprepared for the extension, I had to decline. No matter, Bert revised his generous offer, and I came home, briefly, got a little practice in during the following month and set off back to Medicine Wheel Ranch!
Whilst working on these first actual ‘clients’, I realised how much more I needed to learn. Going back out for more training was an absolute must.
This time around, I was a lot more confident and knew what to expect as regards the training, but being ‘on the road’ with Bert and his wealth of experience and outrageous anecdotes was going to be a huge adventure!
The first week, I just built on my theory knowledge, going over it in more depth and at a more advanced level. On the second week, I did slightly more advanced procedures, worked without sedation and tried to get as little help/input as possible before Bert or Dale did a final check on their mouths.
It then came to setting off on Bert’s dentistry rounds. Suffice to say, there was a lot of driving! Going between one state and another was like travelling the length of Britain, and it was a privilege to be able to work alongside Bert and learn as much as I could from him. His horsemanship is second to none. Horses love and immediately trust him implicitly. I’d been given the opportunity of a lifetime and was making the most of it! Not only did I build on my dentistry knowledge and skills, I saw life in a new light after travelling with him. I worked on many different types of horse and their variety of work, equally diverse.
I learned that dentistry is essentially about the individual horse. What do they need? What job do they need to do? Do they just live in the field? Are they a ranch horse? How old are they?
You need to look at all those different aspects to be able to help the horse in the right way. Every horse is an individual; although they all should have the same amount of teeth (excluding anomalies) they will all develop individual problems, specific to their mouths, so it is a gnathologist's responsibility to make sure they help the horse in the correct way and just enough to make the right difference.
On the way back, it was discussed that I was ready to certify, so I decided to cancel my flight home and stay for another course. Week one, I was tested extensively on my theory knowledge and also contributed by helping the new intake with what was by now very familiar. Week two was then me trying to certify on the practical side. Essentially, there are four age groups to certify on; 0-5 years, 6-11 years, 12-18 years and 19+. This is perfect, unlike the English certification where you certify on one horse, of no predetermined age, and yet become qualified to work on any individual from any of the other three age brackets. Satisfactorily treating four age groups shows that you are able to deal with problems that arise from those different ages, all very unique and specific. The real pressure stemmed from being tested by people who had trained me and are two of the greatest equine dentists there are. That I passed on every age group and each horse I worked on, means they are confident in putting their names to my work and think I am able to properly balance and maintain a horse’s mouth to a high standard. This means everything to me.
It is now June of the following year. I have got a solid client-base which I am building on slowly and the clients that I have are all impressed with my work, how I am with their horses and will recommend me to anyone. It means a lot to be able to help as many horses as I can. But I owe it all to Dale Jeffrey, Bert Lambert and Paul Waudby. Thank you!
I will remain eternally grateful to Bert, for how much he helped me learn my trade, how to help horses, how to work with them and get them on your side, working with you rather than against you, how to deal with owners and probably the hardest thing, putting up with me for two months!
Simon Gunson United Kingdom