Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pearly Whites

Steen usually gets his teeth floated in the fall, and yesterday I got an email from our barn's owner, saying our vet was coming out to do teeth today, and would we like to be included? When Bear got his vet check a couple months ago, the vet's one comment was that he would need his teeth done soon. So, we put both our guys on the list.

It was a damp, dreary day at the barn. Brian and I headed out in the late morning and our vet, Jim, had already worked on a few horses by the time we arrived. We decided Bear should go first and also that I should do the handling because Brian's shoulder is still very sore from his recent fall. So, not knowing what sort of experience we would have, I let Bear into the stall and Jim gave him a sedative. He took the shot without protest and things continued in that vein. I have now helped a number of vets float the teeth of quite a few horses and I think Bear might have been about the sweetest about the whole ordeal of any of them. He was inclined to get droopy when Jim left to change the attachment on his pneumatic file, and I'd have to lift his head up and prop it on my shoulder, but I'm pretty sure his feet never moved, and he definitely never tried to pull his head away. He also took the cleaning of his sheath manfully and afterwards he perked up quickly from the shot.

Steen was not quite as great as Bear. While not bad, Steen is just such a sensitive horse, floating his teeth is never great. Mostly, he tries to back away. Even after two shots of sedative, Jim and I had to wedge him in the back corner of the stall. Even then he continually tried to raise his head above where Jim could reach it. I was pretty worn out by the time his teeth and sheath were done.

Afterwards, we gave the very wide awake Bear a snack of chopped hay and turned him back out. It took Steen another 45 minutes to perk up sufficiently that I felt OK putting him out with the herd. In the meantime he was pretty entertaining, making funny noises and plodding in circles around the indoor arena behind Brian even though he didn't have a halter on.

So, though I never enjoy the dental work aspect of horsemanship, this was a fairly easy round. It was good to get out to the barn again, at any rate, to see our two guys and say hello. Our two hard falls definitely took the wind out of our sails, but hopefully next week I can get back on the ball and start riding again.


  1. Heh, yeah. Trekker gets the "good stuff" when he gets floated...saves having to give him more later. Tranikla is pretty good though, he's been done with no sedatives, but I usually just have them give him a bit to make things easier.

    On the upside, hopefully you won't have to deal with it again for another year or so. :)

  2. Agreed! Not having to do it for another year is a definite bright side. :)


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