2 These are the tools of the trade. They are called floats. When not being used on a horse, Brian soaks them in a Chlorhexidine solution, an antimicrobial disinfectant.
3 Each float is fitted with a sharp tungsten carbide blade made of chips that are bonded to the base. This is what files each tooth during the floating process.
4 Floats are about 21-inches long. The long handles allow Brian to get to the back molars.
5 The floats also come in varying angles for use on different teeth. By using these floats, Brian can file sharp enamel points to correct any dental imbalances.
6 This is an "s" file, a two-sided file used for finishing areas and for polishing the front of the molars section where the horse's bit sits.
7 Rutger is also wearing a McPherson full mouth speculum, which keeps his mouth open.
8 Brian often stops to feel each molar again to reassess the floating needs of each tooth.
9 Unlike human teeth, a horse’s teeth continue to grow, developing sharp edges, so it is important that horses are checked regularly.
10 All my Friesians have their teeth checked every six months, so they are quite accustomed to Brian, and the procedure.
11 Brian places the mouth speculum on Meindert next.
12 Although Meindert is very familiar with Brian and this twice-yearly visit, he still doesn't like getting his teeth floated. Brian is very gentle with him - being a lay equine dentist requires excellent horse skills.
13 Over the years, power floating has become more popular than traditional hand filing, but this manual method is more natural and does not require anesthesia - just a knowledgeable practitioner and a trusting relationship between horse and dentist.
14 Brian feels Meindert's teeth for anything unusual.
15 And, does a little more filing.
16 Each floating session takes about 30-minutes to complete. That wasn't so bad, was it my dear boy?
17 Ramon just returned from a morning ride - I think he knew he was next in line.
18 Brian soon determined that certain molars in Ramon's mouth were too sharp and long and did require floating as well.
19 Horses have 24-molars and premolars that are constantly growing and being worn away. Brian begins by filing the uneven and high edges of the front molars.
20 Then he worked on the low molars.
21 Each horse is different, and while Ramon remained very still, it did get a bit messy. The foam is the disinfectant on the speculum; however, Ramon did start to drool a little too.
22 Meanwhile, Rinze was saddled up for a morning ride. His mouth will be checked when he gets back.
23 Because his mane is so long, Betsy likes to braid it - I think it keeps him a bit cooler too.
24 Each horse went outside for fresh air and a little grooming after their floating session - Dolma uses a spiral metal curry comb to remove the debris from their gorgeous black coats.
25 It's a busy day at the stable.