Well, both of my horses were due for a good dental checkup. In fact, at last Fall's vet check, doc had made a note that my mare would need some work done this year. Talk about an understatement! She has been out-of-sorts for most of this spring; very touchy about her back, giving me grief over any downhill work. I soon decided it was probably a tooth problem so I made arrangements with the Livery to have the equine dentist/chiropractor (he does both) check her out when he was up here.
So today was the day. I had made appointments for both of mine, hoping my gelding's teeth wouldn't prove problematic. He had to have some major work done as a young horse (4 yo) - a lot of filing and a tooth pulled - but has been good since. He's now 13 and has just had the light floats our vet does, about every two years. Turns out, his teeth were in 'great shape' and the dentist suggested a two year plan. He does, however, have a cracked wolf tooth (the one he still has), but said as long as it doesn't cause him any problems with a bit, we should just leave it. He reaches for the bit when I offer it, so I guess it's not an issue and we were doing OK.
Not too surprising that Jesse's teeth didn't fair as well. She had several hooks and a couple that were keeping her jaw from sliding forward, which meant she had trouble bending at the poll - which is exactly why she was hollowing out, throwing her head up and crow-hopping when I would ask her to go down hills. We have some pretty steep hills here and this was quite telling, since she is usually great about being a 'mountain goat'. Other than that, he said she had great teeth and should be good to go. He did notice though, that she happens to have wolf teeth under the skin. He asked if I rode in a bit, which I do, but my guys have never shown bit marks on their teeth, so he said if I was ever to go to a harsher bit (why would I do that?) or work dressage, that I would need to have those removed as that pressure could cause enough pain for her to go over backwards on me. It's quite an extensive surgery and he suggested we not bother for the way I rode.
He uses a light sedation, and the best part was that he was able to adjust her hips while she was more relaxed (he could barely touch her before), so when she came out from under the meds, she had her normal walk back. It was sooooo nice to see... and actually the really best part was how well behaved both horses were for him. It always makes me happy when my horses don't give their 'helpers' any trouble.
It was a good day, and maybe tomorrow I can hop on my girl and see if she feels better!