Spencer LaFlure, our Director of Dental Studies, was born on a pack trip through the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Spencer grew up on his parents’ two dude ranches there. He has had a lifetime of experiences with all kinds of horses. After a successful rodeo career, he trained horses but decided he could better help the horse through dentistry. He is currently the director of Advanced Whole Horse Dentistry Learning Center and founder of Natural Balance Dentistry™. He now practices extensively throughout the United States.
After five years of research, Spencer developed a procedure he calls Natural Balance Dentistry™ which consists of equilibrating the front teeth first according to each individual horse’s bars of the mouth, then going on to equilibrate or balance the back teeth to restoring centric relationship of the TMJ. He has had tremendous success with this procedure, and as he puts it, “I haven’t had a horse yet that it hasn’t worked on with fantastic results!”
He presented his theory of Natural Balance Dentistry™ at the 2001 Parelli Savvy Conference in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It was well received and that led him to Australia and Indio, California and the Jumping Horse World. One of the horses he worked on went on to win a $75,000 Grand Prix. Spencer was also invited to work on young horses at the LaCense Ranch in Montana run by professional horse trainer Ron Willis. Ron commented on the marked improvement it made on the horses in the 2002 colt starting. Spencer has used this procedure on horses owned by such top horse handlers as Pat and Linda Parelli, Tom Curtin, Mark Rashid, Craig Johnson and Brian Reed to name a few. His goal is to educate horsemen on the importance of this procedure for whatever discipline they are in.
After years in the making, Spencer introduced to the public the first DVD of its kind entitled “Horseman’s Guide to Natural Balance Dentistry ™”. It shows, in great detail, in very simple terms for the average horse person, how totally balancing a horses’ mouth will balance his body and enhance his performance to its highest potential! Spencer specializes in bite realignment; restoring proper bio mechanics of the jaw and restoring the centric relationship of the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which then turns on and enhances neurological signals from the teeth to the entire body.
Spencer’s unique landmark development of addressing the inclination of the incisors first makes profound changes throughout the horse’s body and in the stomatognatic system as well. A balanced mouth is much more than about how the horse eats. It’s about proper neurological function; more than anyone has ever thought of before Natural Balance Dentistry.
“I’ve been studying Horse Dentistry for about a decade and learning something new every day.”
In the first few years of my study and application, it was from other people’s research & development that we all relied on, but I found out that most of that information, other than terminology, did not fit the horse at all. I believe that Horse Dentistry, when done properly, with natural balance in mind must have its point of beginning with the front teeth.
Neurologically speaking, the relationship of the anatomical alignment of the TMJ and the incisors to the body should be our goal. I proved in a thesis that the natural length and angle of incisors along with the restored neurological signal to the teeth and motion of the TMJ will maintain or increase muscle mass in the body of the horse. Natural balance of the Equine mouth is more related to motion and mass than what we have been led to believe. Also critical is the centric relationship of the TMJ and neurologically correct communication of teeth through bite planes as it anatomically fits the horse!
Another part of my studies has evolved over the past years on our own ranch. Being able to see top line changes in our own horses and realizing these transformations were brought on by rebooting the neurology of the stomatognatic system, through re-establishing the curve of Cameron, anatomically correct the centric relation of the TMJ, and allowing the function, dynamically speaking. We could see young and old horses would maintain and improve overall body mass and performance. We continue our research here at our ranch on the positive effects Natural Balance Dentistry® has on the performance of the horses.
If we take NASCAR as an example: In order for the race cars to run at peak performance, a PIT CREW is used. Each professional, specializing in a certain area (bodywork, mechanics, electrician, tires, etc.) works with the team, in conjunction with the crew chief. In order for the horse to be at the peak of its performance and in the best shape health wise, they too need a (pit crew) team of professionals, in conjunction with a veterinarian, working together with each in their area of expertise.