In which I put my hand farther up a horse’s mouth than would strictly be wise

Were he not lightly sedated and did he not have a speculum holding his mouth open, that is.

Lucky is probably a much happier horse tonight. The dental specialist came out, and his mouth was a complete mess. Not just his #11 molar was bad. His ridges felt like a “bumpy road” (one reason she wanted me to feel it) and the bad molar had actually caused a sore and damaged the opposite tooth. The baby teeth could come out and did (though I didn’t notice the smell she described them having. Then again. Puff had been throwing up last night and I think he has been surfing the litter box, so my tolerance for disgusting smells may have been higher than usual.) She also filed down his canines after fixing the back teeth.

He did get mildly sedated–xylazine and another sedative agent (I didn’t recognize the name, I’m only familiar with using xylazine with ketamine and we didn’t knock him out!) and he was pleasantly loopy. Even considering he was sedated, the dentist commented on how well-mannered he was. Apparently even when they’re out of it a lot of horses will try nibbling while she works on the front teeth. Lucky just accepted it. The dentist and her assistant were both happy with how he handled it. So was I, and I’m hoping that when I work him again, some of that inversion and resistance will go now that he isn’t biting himself in the mouth.

The dentist mentioned that her mentor, the owner of the school she trained at, had worked in Kentucky, and encountered a lot of resistance or just indifference from race owners and trainers to doing more than a filing. In her opinion, this results in horses who no longer want to lower their heads, lean into the bit and run. Given how Lucky uses his head, and how much he disliked a D ring snaffle (which could pinch and poke when he’s already pinching and poking himself with his own teeth) I could see that. It seems like it would be a cheap way of getting better performances out of them to just do their teeth better. I’ll find out how much he does improve tomorrow or Sunday–I have to work tomorrow, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to get out there and be able to get home in time for the Derby. No, I don’t have a favorite. Anyone I pick will just be jinxed! If I were betting, I would pick Lookin At Lucky, and I would probably also bet the filly, Devil May Care, just in case. Well, that, and we’re not supposed to have much better weather than they are in Louisville.

After the barn (Lucky got a bit of recovery time, then I put him back out and puttered cleaning up his stall and where he left a ‘deposit’ while she was working on him, until he looked like he was moving around a bit more and didn’t seem to be too groggy) I had to head over to Mishawaka for a dance lesson. It’s only my second with New Pro, but so far, so good. And it’s surprisingly easy to get there from the barn. And after that, shopping. I actually bought plants, as I’ve been meaning to do something with the yard. I need more border plants, so I got a boxwood and a Colorado blue spruce (yes, I know how big it’s going to get. That’s rather the point!) I also put in some ground cover flowers, Alyssum and Lobelia. I still need to find something for the front yard–vinca minor would work well, but the garden center didn’t have any. Hopefully it won’t all be drowned by rain. Even if I had a lawn mower, which I don’t, I still wouldn’t be able to mow the lawn. Maybe I should get a goat. I don’t have enough land for a horse per township regs, but they might not notice a goat. (Or, given all the animals the neighbors have, care.)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica
    May 01, 2010 @ 13:19:08

    When we had Bar’s teeth done last year, our vet said if he’d ever had them done, it was a long, long time ago. He has a ramp, which we need to stay on top of, and had severe points–including one in the back digging a hole. Poor guy!

    He did seem to improve on the bit after we had him done, so I suspect that it will help Lucky, too!

    Reply

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