Floating a horses teeth is one of the most important things you can do for your horse. Teeth should be floated yearly whether you are riding or if it is in the pasture. Teeth play an important role in whether your horse is eating properly so they can maintain weight. A clue that your horse needs his or her teeth floated would be to see them drop grain when eating. Often times a horse will raise its head up and possibly turn it to the side to keep the food in their mouth when chewing. Horses chew from side to side so as they eat they are grinding their teeth together creating ridges and sharp points. The floating process is a procedure to even out the teeth and to smooth out the sharp points. This is so often overlooked by a horse owner simply because it costs money to have the teeth floated. There are options for having your horses teeth floated. A veterinarian can float teeth and there are specifically trained equine dentist. For the most part our veterinarian floats our horses teeth. For a difficult mouth you might want to refer to an equine dentist. Look at your horses mouth, check for sharp points, watch your horse eat. If you horse is thin and you have been feeding and you have been worming then you can probably bet your horse needs to have their teeth floated.
How Often do you need to have teeth checked
As a horse training facility, we will not take a colt to be broken if you do not have its teeth floated before you arrive. We feel this is so important that if you are not willing to do this we are not willing to put your horse through the pain of having a bit in its mouth causing stiffness throughout your horse. This is so important in keeping a horse soft and pain free. We have all of our horses teeth checked each year. If we notice a horse that starts to chew on the bit or that seems to be stiff on a side when turning then we may have them checked again to ensure we are not causing pain and having the negative action. We also want you to have the wolf teeth pulled before we start training. These are practices that will keep your horse from having a bad experience. Most horse owners want a good outcome and if you can eliminate the pain from a bit in the process you have just made your horses experience a much more enjoyable one.
Do all horses have wolf teeth? No
Most veterinarians will pull wolf teeth when you have a stud colt castrated. Fillies also have wolf teeth and you need to be sure and have them checked and pulled. These teeth are not always present but when they are a major problem when riding. The bit hits the wolf teeth making them sore and the horse will have a problem tucking their head to give a proper rounding of the back for proper movement. Theses are simple things that will improve your horses experience when training or riding.
Parrot mouth horses, can they be fixed?
Horses mouths need to fit together properly so, if you notice your horses bottom lip does not meet the top lip properly you should have an equine dentist look your horses mouth over. Many times an equine dentist will be able to help this under bite and help bring your horses mouth closer to the correct chewing position.
Do horses suffer from TMJ?
Yes, horses do sometimes suffer from TMJ or jaw pain. If you suspect your horses is having jaw pain you might check the distance behind the jaw bone to see if they have the same amount of room on both sides of the face. There is a crevice on both side of the jaw just under the ear that you can run your hand down and check to see if you have equal distance on both sides. A massage therapist, a chiropractor, a veterinarian or an equine dentist can check this for you and let you know if they feel like your horse needs to be adjusted.
Keep in mind we guide our horses by their mouth using a bit. This is our only actual contact with the horse and we want it to be as enjoyable and as comfortable as we can make it. These few tips will help ensure your horse is not in pain wile you are enjoying yourself on your horse. Please leave a comment below about your experience with your horses teeth.