Farriers and horse owners alike should be aware of the importance of regular visits and services every 6 months, if not just annually. Teeth grow as the horse grows, just like the hooves but maybe not as fast. Sharp points, decay, abscesses and jaw out of alignment are only a few reasons why a true Equine Dentist should examine your horse annually. We highly suggest someone who uses power tools for a truly through exam and service.
These are photos from the 2009 BWFA Convention with Dawn Mannira, a Certified Equine Dentist and wife of BWFA certified farrier Sam Mannira. San is assisting in explaining the details during the procedure. These onlookers are all farriers. A bird’s eye view is the best way to learn. These particular horses upper and lower bite where out of alignment. One is over 20 years old, the other his daughter about 10. His bite was definitely out of alignment and was an easy fix. She had a molar that had grown so tall causing her bite to be out that she was causing an ulcer in her jaw from the sharp points. All of this was unknown by the owner but she did notice shying away from haltering and petting in the jaw area and she was always irritated while eating so she would paw the ground.
Relief was possible by grinding down the tall molar and leveling out her front upper and lowers to meet and grind normally. The results where evident when Dawn moved the jaw from side to side upon completion, which was an excellent demonstration.
Farriers are not encouraged to float teeth or even try these days due to laws. This topic was covered so they could continue their education about the overall health of the horse to better their own equine profession.
We want to thank Dawn and Sam from Florica for their involvement in the many conventions and clinics held in Georgia. Since that time, Dawn has moved on to another career.
Thank you Dawn.
She suggest that you search for a certified Equine Dentist in your own area, probably the best way is by the Internet or contact World Wide Equine, Inc in Glenns Ferry, Idaho for a graduate referral
You can learn how to evaluate the side to side grind and proper jaw action in the class by Dan Marcum on Equine Flexion Therapy also hosted at the BWFA. Actually Dan and Dawn could compare notes at the convention on the arriving horses.