The Fundamentals of Horsemanship Dentistry™
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- Horsemanship is better than drugs and force.
- Proper and judicious use of pain medication is indicated in about 1 of every 10 horses, not in every horse.
- The use of hand tools and the hand as a mouth speculum is effective in addressing every edge of every tooth.
- Every edge of every tooth must be made smooth to achieve comfort for the horse.
- Horses between 2 ½ and 5 years of age should be floated every 3 to 6 months depending on their training schedules. The teeth are softer and become sharp more quickly plus 24 baby “caps” are shed during this time and are replaced by sharp permanent teeth.
- Floating should be done every 6 months in horses between 5 and 25 years of age to be preventive in bit issues. On occasion some horses need it more often. Some, due to limited use or if they are over 25 years old only need an annual float. Every horse is different due to their own personal threshold of pain. PREVENTION is key.
- If it is no longer is fun to ride your horse and in fact it is becoming dangerous.
- If the horse you ride does everything to avoid the bit. Head tossing, head tilting, fighting the pressure you place on the rein sometimes to the point of irrational behavior.
- If your horse won’t let you place the bit in his mouth or maybe he won’t let you take it out.
- If your horse goes well either lounging or with a bitless bridle, but with a bit he turns into a horse that obviously is uncomfortable.
- If your horse is ineffective in the sport or activity you compete in.
- Removal of the source of pain from the mouth of the horse is the primary purpose of equine dentistry.
- Most problems or pathology of the horse mouth are secondary to pain.
- After removing all sources of pain and allowing the horse to chew with comfort, the teeth actually align themselves after about 2 years of dental care as if they were waring braces.
- In addition, pathology including local gum infections often resolve themselves once the jaw and the tongue are allowed to move pain free.
- We respect your horse while effectively removing all sources of pain from your horse’s mouth.
- We use horsemanship skills to communicate with your horse to determine the correct approach for each horse.
- We have very effective pain medication which Dr Tucker uses in 1 horse out of every 10. We do not automatically drug each horse.
- If we do medicate the horse, it is with light sedation plus potent pain relief. We even have a special medication for the fearful horse.
- We do not restrain the horse with a head stand or hang the head from the ceiling. We believe that this can injure the horse.
- We do not use a mouth jack (speculum). We use a technique where the arm keeps the mouth open and the fingers feel each edge of every tooth.
- We do not use power tools.
- We believe in education. There are 8 short videos of this process as well as 29 video Questions And Answers to help you understand equine dentistry. In addition there are an abundant number of blogs I have written as well as a weekly newsletter you can subscribe to called The Equine Practice Rounds™.
Locate a dentist certified in Horsemanship Dentistry™ in your state
- You are offended by the lack of horsemanship used by equine professionals today.
- You are opposed to power tools, over sedation, mouth jacking, and slinging the head from the ceiling.
- You have had a bad experience with an equine dentist in the past. Either nothing was accomplished or your horse was mistreated or injured.