Hey! Are you checking those front teeth yet?
If you've met me with your horses, you've likely gotten to hear some of my thoughts on your horses' feet and their front teeth, or incisors.
I have a wonderful advantage getting to know horses and watching them over the years...and I'm learning such cool things about the hoof-dental-body balance.
This adult Tennessee Walker mare has been barefoot for 15 months now, enjoying pleasure and trail riding, moving along great and usually without boots.
She has a "preference" turning left and usually has more weight on her left front quarter. She can go in a circle to the right ok, though I can tell she isn't as keen about it--she pulls a bit more and holds her head to the left while going to the right! Going to the left is easier, less stiff and more animated.
Solar view of her stronger left front foot.
Solar view of right front foot with slightly more upright heel (less use of any foot or leg almost always leads to a higher heel.)
Lateral view of her left front foot that she uses more--compare with right front foot to note subtle heel differences.
Her right front heel is slightly more upright due to her preferences of using her left front more.
Here are her front teeth as they appear when carefully parting her lips.
In which direction is her jaw?
What has happened to her incisor alignment?
Can you see the "longer" teeth at her upper right and lower left?
On this left lateral view, can you see how her lower left third incisor is longer and growing up and crowding the shorter upper third incisor?
On this right lateral view can you see how the shorter lower third incisor is "tucked under" the longer upper one?
Here is a top view of how she holds her nose more to her left, which puts her whole body into an s-shape.
This front view shows how careful filing of her upper right and lower left incisors makes the bite plane straighter. This makes it biomechanically easier to move the jaw to the right.
Left lateral view after filing lower side...
Right lateral view after filing upper side...this frees up jaw movement to the right.
Where the jaw goes, so the head goes, so the horse goes.
It takes 3-4 months for the front right foot to get more symmetrical to the left. These cases are really interesting to me as I watch them season to season.
Please consider treating yourself to a whole book full of these sorts of ideas!
Dr. Tomas T.