Tom Howell, from Crawfordsville, Ind, has carved out a unique niche forhimself as the only practicing equine orthodontist in the United States,according to an [removed]article[/removed] in the Columbus, Ind, newspaper The Republic.Howell’s interest in the field was sparked some 10 years ago after oneof his own horses died. Howell believes that the horse’s death wascaused by an equine dentist who did not know what he was doing.

Howell practices nonsedation orthodontics on both domestic and racinghorses. He believes that proper alignment of a horse’s mouth is key toits overall health, helping with both performance and balance.

Howell aligns a horse’s mouth by filling specific teeth. He said hefrequently finds himself fixing the mistakes of dentists who use powertools or air tools.

"If the person working on your horse can’t tell you what is wrong bylooking at them, you shouldn’t let them in the horse’s mouth," Howellsaid. "I have built my reputation on being able to fix those horses. Youhave to understand that everything works in harmony with a horse."

Currently, Howell is working on two books: one for horse owners to teachthem what to look for, and another for people who want to go into thefield. In addition, Howell is considering starting a school inCrawfordsville to teach others his specialty.

"I never thought that it would get to this level," Howell says. "It hasturned into an adventure and a labor of love. It’s not just my job, itis a hobby."