Dental Work

Teeth floating is a bit of a sensitive topic in my household. The hubby has very strong opinions on the subject which is odd since he does his best to have no opinions when it comes to the horses having long ago decided equine medicine was not his thing.

I have very strong opinions based on…nothing really but I can still have them. 

We tend to go round and round on the subject and have come to the compromise of every other year to avoid my anxiety about being a bad horse mom yet taking his experience and education, which has taught him that the vast majority of horses are over floated thus resulting in senior horses with no teeth and no way to eat, into consideration. He has shown me numerous articles and has had his educated opinion substantiated by every single vet we have had out for the horses the last 7 years. 

This just looks wrong. Poor Petey.

What this means in real life is that we don’t float our horse’s teeth very often. In fact, it has been three years since they were last attended to. I’m comfortable at every other year and felt three was pushing it. 

In any event, we finally came to an agreement and the vet came out to do them. I was very worried that we would be yelled at and that their mouths would be full of waves, hooks and bad ulcerations. 

Why hello there Gemmie. Feeling the good drugs, are you?

The reality? The vet said they looked fantastic and that they were happy to see us not floating any more often than every two years. Gem had some very minor hooks and Pete had two superficial ulcers just starting to form. 

I was a happy owner until they added that they were both very fat and needed a diet. I knew Pete was fat. We have safely gotten about 100 lbs off him since we moved him from two barns ago. But Gem? I didn’t think she was that bad. Rose colored glasses and all. 

I’m sure I will pay for this the next time I ride

I should have taken her off her competition feed when I stopped competing her last summer. It wasn’t such a big deal where we boarded last because there wasn’t really any grass. The Duo is out on a ton of grass now though and it is showing in thier expanding girths. 

So Gem is now officially taken off her snickers bar equivalent competition feed until such a time as I amp up her training again. Now it’s kale: Triple Crown Lite with only 9.3% NSC to help offset the rich grass and 3 flakes of hay at night to keep them eating. 

Waddling off into the sunset

She won’t be happy with the change, but it is for her own good. Once I start riding her more regularly again, hopefully later this month once things settle again at home and work, and the grass burns out in the summer heat she can have her feed back. 

10 thoughts on “Dental Work”

  1. aww poor girl coming off her yummy feed!! isabel was kinda the same way where she could swing pretty quickly from one end of the weight spectrum to the other almost before i could even recognize it.


  2. I’ve been feeling terribly guilty about how long it’s been since Val’s last floating.

    I live in the middle of nowhere. The natural balance dentist I found in 2009 – and love – quit us last year. We were just too far out of her way. She doesn’t use power tools + evens out the incisors as well – which not all equine dental practitioners do.

    Because 7 hours round trip is a major hike to get to the nearest equine vet, and I’m afraid of trailering home with a horse under anesthesia that’s not supposed to eat – it’s taken me until this spring to find and convince a practice to make the trek down to the island. I’m going to stay mum about when his last visit was and see what they say. Maybe we can do every other year too!

    Thanks for this post!


    1. Our two have done great on this schedule. Neither have any significant dental issues which helps. Our very first equine dentist was a vet and recommended every other year which is why we stared doing it that way. This new vet said he wouldn’t have guessed it was three years and we likely could have gone another but that’s a bit much for me


    1. I think this one used power tools to start and finished with hand. I am not knowledgable enough to have much of an opinion on one versus the other. I trust the vets I use to do what they think is best.


  3. Hmmm. I have mixed feelings about teeth floating too, but I tend to agree with your husband. I don’t float very often. My one gelding has teeth worn down to the gums and has to be on a soaked complete feed. I never even considered this could possibly be from excessive floating lol. (Though that would’ve been before I got him – he’s only had them done once since he’s been with me!)


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