Check Your Horse’s Teeth

Maintenance and regular check-ups are a must.

Maintenance and regular check-ups are a must.

If you ask a horse to back and he rears, it might not be disobedience; it could be pain, says AQHA Professional Horseman Patti Carter.

“Make sure that your horse has a good dental program. The teeth are the first thing I check on a horse when he comes to me for training.”

“If you’re finding resistance to backing, check the teeth to make sure there are no sharp edges or that the bit fits correctly or that you’re not asking a young horse to back up with wolf teeth.”

“Horses go into pressure. If their faces are sore, they will push on the bit.”

“I have my younger horses’ teeth floated twice a year and the older horses once a year unless they have problems. Then I’ll have them done twice, too.”

Click here to read Patti’s entire training story on backing straight.

5 thoughts on “Check Your Horse’s Teeth”

  1. When backing my young horse, she would turn left or right. After turning her shoulders in the same direction she turned she began to back straight. It did not take long at all.
    Thanks again.

    Wil W.

  2. Thank you for bringing up the need for proper dental care. So many horse owners do not really understand the importance and need to maintian their horses teeth.

  3. From some good equine vets I have learned that the wolf teeth do not need to be removed unless there is a problem with the bit hitting them to cause pain. The wolf teeth are usually next to the first molars so if the bit gets back that far the bit will most likely hit the molars also.
    Your horse should be able to back on the ground very good before pulling so hard to hit the canine and molar teeth. I have show horses in western pleasure and in reining and they all have there canine teeth.
    My thoughts are that some old trainers would pull teeth just because they thought it was the normal thing to do.

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