Skip to content

Adjusted Attitude



It took a lot of finagling to get Mark Wooten to the chiropractor. To put it in his words, Woo-ten,a 1982 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, thought chiropractic was a bunch of “hooty.”

But his back pain persisted, and he finally visited a chiropractor. “Chiropractic gave me my career back. I wondered if there was anything being done for animals, and my chiropractor told me about a course for learning animal adjustments,”Wooten says.

Wooten practices at the Nolensville Veterinary Hospital in Nolensville, Tenn., where Vol fans’ blood runs orange. Barry Fly, a CVM graduate of 1980, started the clinic in the early 1980s. He was soon joined by his brother Brad, a 1982 graduate of the college, and then Wooten came on board. Tony Kimmons, a 1995 CVM graduate, is the latest alum to join the team.

The hospital is a mixed practice, but Wooten and Kimmons do strictly equine work. Some weeks, Wooten personally sees as many as 70 horses, and a lot of those consultations are for chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture.

Wooten, who specializes primarily in lameness in the horse, became a certified chiropractor in 1998, and a certified acupuncturist in 2000. He says chiropractic doesn’t apply to death’s door situations, rather it is a tool used to improve performance. “I often hear complaints from owners and riders about lameness, yet you can look at a horse all day and not see it limp.” In fact, it often turns out it’s more of a resistance than a lameness problem. A misalignment is causing them pain. Chiropractic frees them.

After an adjustment, clients who thought they had a training problem with a horse often see marked improvement in horses with behavioral problems. “Ultimately it’s not really a training problem.Chiropractic saves some horses that are about to be cast away as useless or dangerous. It makes them safe horses again,” Wooten says.

Wooten, who calls chiropractic and acupuncture complementary not alternative medicine, says the demand for these services is growing. “I now get referrals from practitioners who at first thought ‘Wooten has gone off the deep end with this chiropractic thing.’ Now they see the benefits of what it’s doing. But most of my referrals come by word of mouth from clients, and that’s the best referral you can get.”

Wooten still maintains close ties with the CVM.“UT was probably the most fun I’ve ever had. It was a lot of hard work, frustration, and worry that you’re not going to make the grade—but it was the best time of my life. A lot of people there are still the first ones I get on the phone to talk to when a tough case comes in. I call them for consultations on the practice of veterinary medicine and also because they are close advisors and good friends. Dr. Henton,in particular, is kind of like a dad to me.” Dr. John Henton is a professor in Large Animal Clinical Sciences and coordinator of the Continuing Education and Alumni Relations programs.

Wooten says once you’ve graduated from veterinary college, you still have a lot to learn. He wants to make sure he continues to adjust to life along the way.

(Reprinted with permission of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.)

More Stories

  • Tuesday Evening Summary

    We thought Monday night was stellar, and it was, but tonight’s session might have stepped it up to even another level. For those who preach doom and gloom for the American Saddlebred and Hackney you certainly couldn’t tell it here, in the house where legends are made. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you the REPORT Leaderboard from the World's Championship Horse Show through the end of classes on Tuesday, August 22. Read More
  • Monday Night Action

    Welcome to prime time! That’s exactly what the Monday evening session was. The big shooters came out in droves as the lineup of classes offered was spectacular.  Read More
  • X-Tremely Enthusiastic

    Ryan Barlowe (l) and Jason Harrell with X-Tremely Grand, the pony they co-own. Barlowe showed the pony Monday evening at Louisville and was top three in the Amateur Gentleman’s Hackney Pony class. Read More
  • Tuesday Matinee High Points

    Classes were extremely well filled on Tuesday morning with several being split. It also turned out to be a record-breaking morning of dual wins for several exhibitors and one horse. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to expand our Leaderboard standings to include Leading Amateurs, Junior Exhibitors, Owners, Professional Exhibitors, Hackney Trainers and Exhibitors in addition to the Leading Trainers and Leading Sires from the World's Championship Horse Show through the end of classes on Monday, August 19. Stay tuned for the latest developments. Read More
  • Sunday Night Excitement

    With the Junior Exhibitor Park class being split, 14 events were held on the Sunday evening session, which started at 6:30 p.m. with the ASR Sweepstakes Four-Year-Old Fine Harness class. That class gave the general spectators their thrill for the night as Debbie Foley lost a wheel on her buggy and the horse got loose momentarily. Everything ended okay but she could not get everything back together in the allotted time.  Read More
  • Monday Matinee Highlights

    The first 9:00 a.m. session of the week kicked off Monday's competition with a couple younger age group equitation classes and a slew of pleasure classes for both the American Saddlebreds and Hackneys. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to present the New REPORT Leaderboard winners which tabulates the leading trainers and sires, both within the American Saddlebred and Hackney Pony classes, at the 2017 World's Championship Horse Show through the end of classes on Sunday, August 20. Read More
  • Interview with Jimmy Robertson

    In the interview that follows, Jimmy Robertson shares his thoughts following his win at the World's Championship Horse Show. Read More