When I first got my colt Dandy, he was quite the fire breathing dragon. 3 months later he’s turned into a very nice, attentive, and well behaved companion. Still grass green under saddle, but with some nice intermediate skills on the ground, and (me hopes) a solid foundation. But from the get go he showed a some reluctance about putting a bit in his mouth, or, surprisingly, removing it once it was there. Obviously the action of opening to let it in, or out, had caused him some discomfort and he was highly wary of it. On the other hand, he likes to chew on the soft lead rope that I always work him with, so he can be mouthy, in his own way. Him having just turned 2, obviously, a dental check-up was in order.
Turns out that he not only had wolfteeth (my first mare, the sweet Utopie, had to live and work with them for weeks before I even thought about checking, poor thing, but Joli, the Crusado, didn’t have any), but guess what, he also had their bottom counterparts, amusingly called “pig teeth”. Today, we extracted all 4 of them.
A very groggy Dandy after getting sedated by the vet for a tooth extraction
Our equine dentist offers owners the choice. They can either have the procedure done “hot”, the horse usually constrained with a nosetwist (my heart bleeds just thinking about it), or at an extra cost, have the vet drive over to properly sedate the horse (since dentists do not have the prescribing power of vets, they cannot legally administrate anaesthetics). Guess which I chose ? I know dentists are adamant that horses’ teeth do not have strong roots like our do and that it “doesn’t hurt them that much”, but I’ve also had male obgyns telling me such or such procedure didn’t hurt, when for God’s sake they don’t even HAVE a vagina… See the analogy here ?? Try to pull a tooth out of a vigil horse, he’ll let you know with no uncertainty that it’s painful, and if I can spare my horse useless pain, why not do it ??
So I now joke that the dragon (think nuts), wolf, and pig (think teeth) have all been pulled out of my horse, and that I now should be left with the best part of him. The plan is to keep on riding in the rope halter for the next two weeks, then transition back to the snaffle. Stay tuned to find out how it works out 😉