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RE: Equine Dental Work

Just to add a little to this – I went to a week long seminar last year (The Horse Gathering, hosted by Mark Rashid).  They had trainers, chiropractors, dentists, Deb Bennett, lawyer, web designers and a whole host of horse related presenters.  The dentist gave a classroom presentation in which he talked about how horses will chew one bite on one side of the mouth, then the next bite on the other.  If they don’t alternate, but favor one side, there will obviously not be proper wear on the teeth of one side.  Now most people shouldn’t go sticking their hands in their horse’s mouths to check teeth (Michelle!!!!), but one easy thing to look for is the development of the muscles of the forehead.


The dentist talked about this and said that horses that chewed primarily on one side would have those forehead muscles bigger on one side.  Then we went to check the teeth of one of the demo horses.  This horse was blind in one eye and had chiro issues too.  And probably all the issues were related, but he had obvious differences in those muscles. 


When I came home, the first thing I did was check all our horses for this and a lot of things we learned at the clinic.  We had just picked up 2 mustangs, which had received minimal care when captured, and almost none by their previous owners.  One had obvious differences in the development of those forehead muscles. 


I’m very lucky and have a vet/chiro/dentist/saddle fit expert all in one, so when she came out for my mare’s regular chiro session, I had her check the mustangs teeth.  Yep, he had very sharp points on one side.  She got the worst of it and said he’d need one more session in 6 months and could go to a normal dental schedule after that.  Within a couple months, the muscle development was even.


Sorry this was a little rambling, but I just wanted to pass on a very easy way to check to see if things are out of whack.  Now just because the muscle development might look normal, doesn’t mean you don’t need regular dental checks – thinks have been bad for a while when it gets to this point.





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