January 23 to 26 and February 9 and 10, 2023, always between 17:00 and 22:00 hours Central Europe Time

Several anatomical variations and pathological changes of the equine cervical vertebral columns are known to cause pain-associated or neurologically mediated gait disorders. Other variants are blamed to be causes without evidence-based certainty of their clinical relevance. Among these are the congenital anatomical variations or malformations of the sixth cervical (C6) to first thoracic (T1) vertebrae! This series of webinars has been set-up to present and discuss the actual information about the clinical relevance of anatomical variations of the caudal cervical and cranial thoracic regions of horses. The recordings will be available for those registering during 6 months after they are stored.

The Academy for Continuous Veterinary Education (Akademie für Tierärztliche Fortbildung, ATF) credits each webinar with 5 hours.

A Special Issue for articles on the subject has been set-up with the Journal Animals. If interested in submitting your research work, please check https://www.mdpi.com/journal/animals/special_issues/34TUOD70X3

Persons participating in the webinar series can obtain at least 20% discount for a submission to this Special Issue.

Several contributors have a chance to publish their papers in the Special Issue free of charge. If you are interested, please send a short abstract or tentative title to the Editorial Office in advance (nicolas.gai@mdpi.com)


Philippe Benoit, Ian Bidstrup, Helen Davies, Sue Dyson, Christine Gee, Karin Leibbrandt, Steve Reed, Nicole Rombach, Sheila Schils, Stefan Stammer, Filip Vandenberghe, Natasha Werpy


January 23 (Monday)

Which finding is clinically relevant?

  1. Physical connections versus neurological responses. What affects what? Helen Davies
  2. What tells necropsy? Steve Reed
  3. What can we & can we not learn from CT now? Sue Dyson
  4. Contrast CT findings. Natasha Werpy

January 24 (Tuesday)

Which finding is clinically relevant?

  1. The use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) for the identification of cervical muscle abnormalities. Sheila Schils
  2. Prospective follow-up through treatment up to necropsy of a horse dangerous to be ridden. Christine Gee
  3. How the natural crookedness of the horse affects the posture and movement of the horse and therefore can be cause of lameness, problems in the spine or unrideable horses. Karin Leibbrandt
  4. Panel discussion on findings that are (most often) clinically relevant. Sheila, Karin, Natasha, Christine, Helen and Steve. Moderated by Sue Dyson

January 25 (Wednesday)

How to prevent, treat and manage horses with gait disturbances without lameness?

  1. A method to manage hypermobile horses: 4DimensionDressage. Karin Leibbrandt
  2. With functional stabilization and medical training therapy. Stammer Stefan
  3. Augmenting cervical chiropractic with dextrose prolotherapy, a game changer! Ian Bidstrup
  4. Treatment and outcome of horses with gait disturbances, pain and not (well) rideable. Filip Vandenberghe

January 26 (Thursday)

How to prevent, treat and manage horses with gait disturbances without lameness?

  1. Prospective follow-up through treatment of a horse with unusual gait anomalies. Stefan Stammer
  2. The importance of vertical balance and fascia activation in horses with gait disturbances without a lameness cause and horses that are not well rideable. Karin Leibbrandt
  3. The use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) for treating cervical muscle abnormalities. Sheila Schils
  4. Movement retraining with cervical spine dysfunction. Nicole Rombach

February 9 (Thursday)

Prevention, treatment and management of horses with gait disturbances without lameness

1+2. Panel discussion: Ian Bidstrup, Philipp Benoit, Filip Vandenberghe, Karin Leibbrandt, Sheila Schils, Nicole Rombach and Stefan Stammer. Moderated by Helen Davies

  1. What is the “falling apart horse” syndrome? Diagnosis. Factors that may play a role. Philippe Benoit
  2. From the Rider’s Perspective: The transition of horses from Europe to the United States. A discussion focused on maintaining cervical health. Sheila Schils

February 10 (Friday)

The special case/s: The “falling apart” horse syndrome: Anamnesis, prevention, treatment and management.

  1. Veterinary measures. Philippe Benoit
  2. Training measures. Karin Leibbrandt

3+4. Panel discussion including cases: All speakers. Moderated by Steve Reed

How it works

All information on procedure and technical requirements will be given to you after registration.


January 23 to 26 and February 9 and 10, 2023, always between 17:00 and 22:00 hours Central Europe Time

How much does it cost?

Until January 15: One webinar € 220 / two or more webinars € 200 each / all webinars € 1,100 (net prices in Euro, please add 19 % VAT in Germany for EU citizens without VAT ID and always for German citizens). The price includes 6 months of free viewing of the recordings. Those persons registering for a webinar will be granted access to the recordings only.

After January 15: 10% more for all choices

Further information

Arbeitsgruppe Pferd – Task Force Horse
Arno Lindner
Heinrich-Röttgen-Str. 20, 52428 Jülich, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 2461 340-430; Fax: -484;
contact@agpferd.de; www.agpferd.com

Philippe Benoit

graduated from Alfort Veterinary School in 1989 Paris, France. He did a Master in Exercise Physiology from 1990 to 1992, and was Team veterinarian of the French Jumping Team from 1992 to 1999, and in 2000 for the teams of Saudi Arabia and Brazil. He established a clinic next to Versailles (France) in 1993 and monitors since 2012 constantly show jumpers of clients in USA. His main interests are orthopedics, shoeing and back problems of horses. He became Diplomate of the American College of Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2014, and is now living in Cardiff (CA – USA) practicing as a consultant with local veterinarians and a large show jumping facility. 

Ian Bidstrup

the last 28 years of Ian’s veterinary career has been devoted to treating spinal pain and spinal dysfunction of horses. Additional qualifications include a Masters Degree in Chiropractic Science and Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS) and considerable training in Medical Dextrose Prolotherapy. Particular interests include birth trauma associated asymmetry, girth pain, kissing spines, stifle lock, sacro-iliac dysfunction and saddle related spinal pain. Between 2002 & 2009 Ian was one of the principal part time lecturers in Animal Chiropractic at RMIT University Graduate Diploma in Animal Chiropractic. From 2000 to present he has been one of the principal lecturers at the annual ASFA Saddle Fit Accreditation and Advanced Accreditation courses and is the Editor of the course manuals. He is rated as a Master Saddle Fitter by ASFA, his specialty being saddle design and suitability. Ian is a Past President of the Animal Biomechanical Professionals Australia, formerly known as the Australian Veterinary Chiropractic Association. 

Helen M S Davies

is a veterinarian, teacher, rider, trainer, and research scientist with a life-long interest in communication, posture, and movement, especially in horses and their riders. Her PhD (1995) was in the response of the equine metacarpus to locomotory stress. She taught functional anatomy of the locomotory and nervous systems to DVM students for more than 30 years and is currently an honorary principal fellow at the university of Melbourne where she works with her research students and colleagues in a range of research projects. These projects are primarily aimed to maintain soundness in working horses and understand the basis of locomotion and locomotory control in all animals through increasing our knowledge of the underlying functional anatomy and control systems.

During the last 40+ years she has gradually developed and tested a range of non-invasive ways to encourage improvements in communication, posture, and function, including in individual horses and riders that have congenital or acquired disabilities or damage. This process continues with regular clinics enabling ongoing learning and improvement for horses and their handlers and/or riders. 

Sue Dyson

graduated from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. She was Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England for many years until 2019 and is now an independent consultant. She has a passion for the investigation of poor performance using a holistic approach to the horse, tack, rider triad in order to try to maximize potential. Sue has also ridden at top British level in Eventing and Show Jumping and has trained horses that have competed at the Olympics and World Championships.

Christine Gee

graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2001. Since then, she has practiced in equine and mixed animal practices in Australia and worked and travelled in the UK. She undertook a graduate diploma in animal biomechanical medicine at RMIT University in 2008 and completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Certification in 2011. In 2009, with the guidance of Ian Bidstrup, she left general veterinary practice. Through her spinal medicine practice, she developed an interest in lower cervical spine morphological variations and started PhD studies through the University of New England and the CSIRO in January 2020.

Karin Leibbrandt

is a certified veterinary surgeon specializing in horse rehabilitation and training. Twenty years ago, while working as a mainstream vet, she found herself regularly called upon to deal with equine lameness and neck, back and pelvis complaints that existing therapeutic treatments could not remedy on a lasting basis. Karin developed the 4Dimension Dressage approach to training based on equine anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, to improve equine posture, balance, and strength. Myofascial release is an important part of her work, because a good functioning fascia system makes good posture and movement possible. Her overriding aim is to train strong, healthy sport horses that respond to their riders’ wishes – and do so both happily and effortlessly.

Steve Reed

graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1976. He completed an internship and residency at Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. He began his teaching career at Washington State University (1979-83) and continued at Ohio State University. Steve taught there for 26 years. He is a diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He moved from University to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in 2007 where he focuses on neurologic problems of horses. He is an adjunct Professor of the University of Kentucky, Gluck Equine Research Center and emeritus Professor of The Ohio State University.

Nicole Rombach

holds the Equinology Master Equine Body Worker® certification (USA), and the Post-Graduate and MSc qualifications in Animal Manipulation (small and large animals) with the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and University of Wales (UK). She founded her educational company, Equinenergy Ltd, in 1999 in the UK. Nicole earned her PhD from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. Her main interest lies in the effect of spinal dysfunction on equine performance, and the subject for her doctoral research was investigation into equine neck pain from the perspectives of pathology, neuromotor control and equine behavior associated with spinal dysfunction. Together with her business partners, Debranne Pattillo, and Carrie Schlachter, Nicole owns the USA-based educational Academy of Animal Sport Science. In her equine sport therapy practice she works in direct veterinary liaison to design individualized therapeutic programs for sport horses in various disciplines, with a particular emphasis on neuromuscular rehabilitation for cases with spinal dysfunction. Her main focus is on neuromuscular facilitation and movement retraining, incorporating  Neurokinetic Therapy.

Sheila Schils

education includes a PhD in Biomechanics/Kinesiology and a Masters in Equine Nutrition. She was a Professor of Equine Science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she taught for 20 years. Currently Dr. Schils has developed a clinical practice focusing on the evaluation of human biomechanics and rehabilitation techniques and how those may be applicable to advance the science of equine rehabilitation. Dr. Schils specializes in the use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) for muscle evaluation and treatment. Her associated commitment to riding has led to 2 recent placements in the top 20 horses in the United States Dressage Finals at Intermediare 1. 

Stefan Stammer

is a physiotherapist and a sports and gymnastics teacher. In 1999 he became an equine osteopath. Since then he treats horses and has introduced a complete physiotherapy system to manage and keep sport horses performing well up to the international elite level and also for rehabilitating them after injury. His biomechanical and therapeutical concept STAMMER KINETICS is part of the rehabilitation program at the University of Zürich and the International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic runs an advanced course to learn about this concept. 

Filip Vandenberghe

Filip graduated in 2001 and joined immediately after the orthopaedics department of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University. In 2004 Filip joined the Bosdreef and became partner in 2008. Over 15 years ago Filip pioneered amongst few others in the world, on the clinical use of standing MRI in the horse. In 2011 he was awarded Associate LA ECVDI, the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. The last years Filip has focused as well on the poor performance of the competition horse.

Natasha Werpy

graduated from the Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO (CSU). After completing an equine internship in 1999-2000, she completed a year imaging internship with Norm Rantanen. Then she did a diagnostic imaging residency with Norm and at CSU. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology. She worked as the Medical Imaging Director at the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center at CSU under Wayne McIlwraith from 2004–2011. She is currently an Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Florida in Gainesville with a 1.5 Tesla Toshiba MRI system and a CT system. In addition, she does private practice work, primarily reading MRIs from the Hallmarq system from several sites in the USA.

You will receive a confirmation of your registration within 24 hours, otherwise please send an email to arnolindner(at)t-online.de to be attended properly.