Observations - Circle Z Ranch
Equine Dentistry is an important piece in the health of any horse. The teeth of horses are designed to grow and change throughout their lives, and physical issues can arise when the teeth grow unevenly or become damaged. The digestion of food begins in the mouth from the side to side chewing motion of the horse’s mouth. When their normal chewing motion is affected by hooks, broken teeth, or sores in mouth and tongue from sharp points, horses can display a variety of physical problems: Inability to keep on weight; sensitivity in the pole, topline and hocks; and a change in the level of performance on the trail or in the arena.
For 5 years, we have worked with Equine Dentist Morgan Pearce. Morgan likes to begin her dental checks of our horses once they are 3-4 years old and ready to get under saddle . Morgan comes to the ranch 2 times a year and spends a full day assessing and floating teeth. We have done as many as 25 horses in a day! Each horse has their own needs for how often they need to be floated, depending on their age and their previous dental care. With diligent care over the years, most of our horses are purely maintenance and are on a 2 year schedule for floating. The floating is done with a speculum to hold the mouth open, a power float to even out the teeth, and light sedation to keep the horse calm.
Morgan grew up in South West, Virginia and moved as a young child to a ranch in Arizona with her parents. Morgan is a true cowgirl, raising and training Quarter horses and competing in rodeo events, mainly roping. Morgan also raises AKC Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Morgan is a certified equine dentist and studied dentistry at the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. She now does yearly continuing education to keep up her certification. Andi if this isn’t enough, she is studying Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Arizona State University.
According to Morgan, “The overall purpose of equine dentistry is to make sure horses teeth erupt (grow) yearly. This growth can cause uneven wear, leading to sharp points that irritate the cheeks and tongue, causing major issues when eating and riding. This also leads to weight loss, pain and decreased performance. Regular teeth floating enables full nutrition and peak riding performance. If you don’t get this done the horse can have major health issues. It is imperative for overall health maintenance”.
We are grateful for our partnership with Morgan and the difference she has made for our herd! We hope if you own horses that you have a qualified Veterinarian or Equine Dentist to help you with your horses needs.