Why Do Horses Need Their Teeth Rasping?
In the wild horses are designed to eat low quality coarse food for up to 18 hours per day. To acheive this the lower jaw, which rotates within the upper jaw, must attain good lateral movement to work effectively.
Domesticated horses are kept on good quality grass and hay and in doing so do not ware their teeth as efficiently or evenly. This create sharp enamel edge's and hooks. These can make your horse uncomfortable and affect their performance and health.
At What Age Should I First Have My Horses Teeth Checked?
Young horses create sharp teeth as soon as they start eating. This happens at a few day's old, this therfore dictates that animals of 6 months old upwards will have some degree of sharpness.
A small amount of sharpness will not cause a problem until a bit is put in the mouth, possibly pushing the lips and cheeks onto the hooks. Therefore, depending on when a bit is being put in the horses mouth, depends on when you get your animlas teeth checked.
I would reccomend between 2 and 3 years of age, to check for deformities also, and between 6 and 12 monthly check ups after that, but definatley before being broken to ride or drive!
What Are Signs To Look For When A Horse May Need His Teeth Checking?
Horses with poor teeth may drop food from their mouth while eating, loose condition, excessive saliva dripping from the mouth, resist the bit when ridden or driven, undigested food in their droppings, bad breath where food is trapped in gaps between their teeth.
Sometimes there are no signs at all but this doesn't mean that they dont need their teeth checking. Some horses are very genuine and long suffering!