Back to School: Equine Chiropractic Accreditation

I have to admit – 6 years ago, when I wrote my final board examination at the start of 4th year vet school, I was so excited to be finished exams!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved school, I loved learning, but after 6 years of university I was so excited to be done with all the studying.  I figured all my big exams, all the paper, all the studying was over.  Sure I would continue to learn everyday, and take small courses but no more sitting for hours with a binder on my lap.  That was until recently…

I have become very passionate about sport horse care.  Horses are amazing animals, and I want to be able to do whatever is needed to keep them feeling and performing at their best.  Therefore I wanted to be able to offer chiropractic care.  After a little research, I found the Veterinary Chiropractic Learning Center in Brantford Ontario.  It had a stellar reputation and was an accredited course available to veterinarians and chiropractors only.  Both Melissa McKee and I eagerly signed up.  I didn’t even consider what was involved, because really, isn’t chiropractic just “putting a bone back in place?”

Wow was I WRONG!

The course is 5 weeks long, spread out over 6 months.  Each week is Wednesday through Sunday, and days are long – 12 hours or so.  And after being in practice for the past 5 ½ years, which means I’m constantly on the move working on horses, 12 hours inside a classroom makes for a very long day!  It consists of in depth anatomy, and physiology, not to mention neuroanatomy (anatomy of the nervous system) and neurophysiology (how the nervous system works).  Some of the information is familiar, but a lot of it was never covered in this detail in veterinary school.  There is also a lot of practical time – in the barn working on horses, and in the classroom working on dogs.

Oh, and yes there are exams; every week – practical, oral and written.    I am now spending evenings in an old, familiar position – sitting with a binder on my lap studying and in the barn practicing on horses.  We have covered the neck, thoracic and lumbar spine and the pelvis.  I am anxious to put all the pieces together.  My understanding of chiropractic is growing every day and it is definitely not “putting a bone back into place”; that I learned on the first day of class.  What we will learn by the end of the course is an exciting possibility.

Kathryn Surasky DVM

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