I’ve been busy.
I’ve got two outside horses to ride this week, and I have been giving some lessons. I had the hoof trimmer out to do a barefoot trim on Gump and Shuttle. She’ll come back on Monday and do one of my outside horses. All the horses that we ride on the ranch are barefoot trimmed. I never thought I’d be a barefoot girl, but I love it!
Thursday morning, Jill and I loaded up and went to Garner, TX to the Texas Institute of Equine Dentistry.
What does an equine dentist do, exactly, you may ask? I will briefly explain…
It basically boils down to the way a horse’s mouth works. Horses are designed, obviously, to graze. If all a horse ever does is graze and all they ever eat is grass, their teeth should wear pretty normally. Unfortunately, the winters in SD require feeding hay, and I feed my barrel horses enough grain to give them a supplement. When you feed them hay, you change the angle at which their teeth operate, if you’re not feeding the hay directly on the ground. A horse’s mouth moves laterally as well as forward and backward. So if they eat anything other than grass or hay that’s unrolled and placed only on the ground, it causes their teeth to wear differently, creating any or all of theses conditions on their teeth: hooks, washboard, ridges, waves, etc. Horse’s teeth also grow well into their teens, so good dental care is essential. Also, there are teeth that should be removed before you start riding them, called wolf teeth, and when they are 4 and 5 they get the last set of their adult teeth and can need dental work done at that time to get rid of the caps (which are basically the baby tooth over the adult tooth). That’s sort of the short story on equine dental work. When a dentist does this corrective work, it’s called a float, or tooth floating or floating. Don’t ask me why it’s called that.
This was Gump’s second trip to see them. He has a shattered tooth on top and two broken teeth on the other side of his mouth, and his shattered tooth creates a great deal of trouble for him, as it’s still rupturing through his gum. Due to this abnormality he’s on a 6 month floating schedule. They removed some more of his shattered tooth and shaped him up. Poor guy. I bet he feels better now. Shuttle was the shortest case of the day, and the head instructor/owner, Randy, said he feels like she’s 5. I have paperwork to prove otherwise. Scary though! I think the reason for her lateness in getting her adult teeth is just simply that she’s behind developmentally because of her being starved her yearling year, into her two year old year.
I got up early this morning to ride- I needed to beat the rain, and I absolutely had to get on Gump and Shuttle to see how their feet felt and how their mouths felt before I run them this weekend since I haven’t been on them since Tuesday. I ended up getting rained on the last half of Gump’s ride and now it’s a muddy, nasty mess outside. I think I’ll just haul all 5 horses that are here with me to the barrel race tomorrow, and ride them there since the whole facility is covered.
I’ll also be setting up a jewelry booth tomorrow full of juicy, pretty, chunky creations. I will have a busy-fun-filled weekend to be sure. Winning a check also wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit!