1 Brian starts off gently with each horse. Here he is saying hello to Rinze. Being a lay equine dentist requires excellent horse skills. This is no easy task.
2 After slipping on Rinze's halter and after some gentle words, the exam begins.
3 Taking a good look at the front chompers. These large incisors are used for cutting grasses when grazing and rarely need any sort of adjustments.
4 Brian runs his fingers over the gums.
5 He then feels the insides of the cheeks looking for scratches, cuts, sores, or anything unusual.
6 Last spring, with the help of the veterinarian, one of Rinze's lower teeth was extracted, which had become loose. Brian was happy to see that it had healed very nicely.
7 These are some of the tools of the trade, soaking in a dental disinfectant.
8 This file is called a float.
9 Brian begins by filing the uneven and high edges of the front molars. Horses have twenty four molars and premolars that are constantly growing and being worn away.
10 Filing is required because the teeth don't always meet well. Where teeth don't meet well hooks or enamel points develop.
11 To reach the back molars, a full mouth speculum is fitted into the mouth to hold it open. Those sharp hooks eventually begin to cut the cheek or tongue.
12 Checking first by hand to determine which back molars need floating.
13 First the upper molars - Unlike humans, a horse's nerves end close to the gum line, so there are no nerve endings in the teeth to feel any pain from this procedure.
14 And then the lower molars
15 There's a lot of horse drool involved with floating.
16 Feeling again for rough edges
17 A bit more floating
18 One final check
19 Brian is satisfied and removes the speculum.
20 After completing each one of the five Friesians, Brian updates his records. It looks like he went home with a copy of my latest Pies & Tarts book!