Monday, May 11, 2015

Equestrian Spring Maintenance - Equine Dentistry

Ah, Spring.  FINALLY!  Actually, in Northeast Ohio we skipped Spring and went straight to early Summer.  We had snow still falling clear up through mid-April and then BAM!  We've been hitting the 70's the past couple of weeks and it's glorious.

Springtime has a lot of meanings.  New life, fresh starts, clean abodes (Spring Cleaning) and for people with horses, it means a lot of $ expenditures.  People who shoe their horses for the summer are getting the iron nailed to their horse's hooves, many have the vet give annual vaccinations, massages, chiropractors and dentistry.  All to make sure our ponies are the healthiest and soundest they can be before the riding season gets underway.

Monday May 4th was Guinness and Beezley's day to get their teeth inspected and floated.  Good thing too, because there were issues with both horses.  If you've never watched a horse get it's teeth floated, it's quite a different experience involving Mouth Speculums, specialized power tools and buckets of antiseptic liquid to keep everything nice and clean and sanitary.

Bucket 'O Tools

It's generally convenient to perform the procedure in the stall, as the horses are given make-you-dopy medicine and sometimes they need a wall to lean on to stay obliviously upright while the dentist does his work.  Guinness was skeptical of the goings on at first, and with good reason.  Nobody really likes going to the dentist.  Or having the dentist come to you, for that matter.

"I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm pretty sure I don't like it."

Once the dopey drugs are allowed to do their work (about 30 seconds) our Equine Dentist was ready to start his work.  Guinness was a little extra dopey from the drugs for some reason this time, so we backed him into the corner of his stall and I held him up by pressing on his hip to keep him leaning against the stall wall.

It's very important to have a horse's teeth floated about once per year, as their teeth continue to erupt, or grow, throughout their lifetime.  As the teeth grow and are worn down, they do not wear evenly and get very sharp edges, ramps and hooks on their teeth which make it difficult and painful to chew or carry a bit.  Guinness had one tooth that was so sharp, it was cutting a large sore into his cheek.  :(  Many times when people have issues with their horse undersaddle, the problems stem from pain and discomfort in the horse.  They can't speak English, so they tell us something is wrong the only way they can.  It's up to us to interpret the signals that they give us and make them whole.

Sleepy Guinness Zzzzz......
While Guinness certainly had his own set of tooth problems, Beezley definitely got the short end of the stick.  Not only did he have the regular work needing done, he had recently broken a tooth and it needed to be pulled.  Poor guy.  But again - good thing that we had the dentist out to take a look at all of this stuff.  Now Beezley can heal fast and be healthy and comfortable.  They were both out munching grass a couple of hours after their dental appointments once the dope wore off and it was safe to turn them out again.

Beezley getting some extra love from his momma.

That's about the extent of interesting extracurricular activities for me, it's been more work than play.

Ride Safe All!

~The Road Queen