Dr. Lauren DeRock

I graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1966 at a time when very few women were allowed in. We were 5 women in a class of 50, and we matched the guys in their toughness. Things are a little different now.

We also started the Davis Equestrian program, which has grown into a huge endeavor with the help of Dr. Lo and two other non-vet women friends of mine.

My first job was in a small animal clinic, as there was little opportunity for large animal work at the time. But I continued my interest in horses and spent a lot of time riding and training.

My favorite sport was endurance riding. It was during a training ride that my horse and I had a life-changing accident over a cliff. I thought we were both done for, but neither of us were seriously injured.

However, I noticed that something was wrong with my horse. Although he was not noticeably lame, he would quit after about 10 miles and seemed to be experiencing more pain in his back.

Eventually, I took a short course for veterinary acupuncture and cured him by accident. The horse teacher was not present, but I treated my horse’s back using the points for treating the iliopsoas muscle in humans.

This event drove me to begin my lifelong study of this muscle and its profound effects on horses. I then spent the next 35 years in a specialty practice fixing horses with similar problems, sometimes even traveling hundreds of miles to treat one horse.

I also studied human chiropractic acupuncture and other modalities and took what I learned from these sciences and arts and used them for horses.

Now, during my retirement, I feel that it is time to pass on to you the knowledge I’ve accumulated. You can help your horse more than you can imagine and enjoy every horse sport together.