Dental health is important for maintaining a healthy, high-performing horse. Good dental health helps horses wear their bits comfortably and perform without pain or discomfort. They can also chew their food comfortably while avoiding soft tissue injuries inside the mouth. A horse with healthy teeth can get proper nutrition and take in enough calories.
Without receiving proper dental care throughout their lives, horses are, unfortunately, especially prone to developing a variety of dental problems.

Why Are Horses So Susceptible to Dental Health Issues?

The primary reason horses are highly prone to developing dental health issues without ongoing dental care is their domestication.
Wild horses spend around 18 hours each day feeding on forage. So, wild horses spend the vast majority of their days chewing with a broad horizontal grinding pattern. Additionally, while chewing on forage, wild horses predominantly hold their heads at an angle that keeps them low to the ground.
Domestic horses, on the other hand, do not have the opportunity to forage or to feed on forage as often or for as long as wild horses. They also often eat feed from elevated containers which changes the angle of their jawbones and the way their bites come together when they chew.
Despite their domestication, the teeth of domestic horses still grow to accommodate and are designed for a wild lifestyle of foraging. As a result, they can suffer from a variety of dental problems that arise from the odd, unnatural wear patterns that develop on their teeth while spending their days eating a domestic diet comprised of few foraging opportunities, elevated hay feeding, and grain-based feeds.

Common Dental Problems in Horses

Comprehensive Equine Dentistry With Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley

At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, we place a strong emphasis on lifelong dental examination and care for horses because we know the detrimental effect that even minor dental problems can have on a horse’s health, wellbeing, and performance.
Equine dental care should begin when horses are foals to ensure proper development, and comprehensive dental care should continue throughout adulthood to ensure thorough maintenance and the early detection and treatment of any developing dental problems.
To learn more about equine dentistry or to schedule an examination for your horse with an experienced equine veterinarian, we welcome you to contact Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley today.
If you’re here, browsing our website, then we already know you’re interested in horses. Not only do our equine veterinarians and staff love horses, but we also find these creatures to be truly fascinating. Horses are beautiful, graceful animals, and each has its own personality.
Beyond their obvious allure, the companionship they can provide, and the countless reasons we choose to raise and care for horses, they are quite unique. Keep reading to learn 5 surprising facts about the animals we adore most, horses.

5 Interesting Facts About Horses

1. The Earliest Ancestors of Horses Were Quite Small

The Hyracotherium is the earliest known ancestor of modern horses. This little creature was a very small ungulate, about the same size as a golden retriever.

2. Horses Physically Can't Burp

The horse’s unique digestive system only runs in one direction, which means horses can’t burp or vomit.

3. Horses Can Sleep Standing Up

Horses usually sleep standing up. While they sometimes sleep in a resting position, they only do so for short stretches of time.

4. Horses Can't Breathe Through Their Mouths

Horses are only able to breathe through their noses, which means you should never call one a “mouth breather.”

5. Horses Can See Almost 360-Degrees at Once

With their eyes located on either side of their heads, horses have a field of vision that wraps almost 360-degrees around. They can see an awful lot at once, but they do have two blind spots: one is located directly behind them, and the other is directly in front of them just beneath their noses. As a result, horses can’t see the grain or the grass on which they feed and they need to use their highly sensitive whiskers to feel the apple slices you’re offering in your outstretched hand.

Horse Husbandry and Comprehensive Care With Our Equine Veterinarians

Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley is an equine veterinary practice that’s as uniquely special as each of its patients. We are fully staffed with a team of board-certified veterinary specialists. From pre-purchase lameness examinations to wellness and preventative care plans, nutritional counseling, sick horse appointments, equine breeding, and everything in between, we are highly experienced in providing comprehensive veterinary care to horses of all ages, breeds, and uses.
To learn more about our full-service equine veterinary practice or to schedule an appointment for your horse, we welcome you to contact Advance Equine of the Hudson Valley today. We look forward to meeting you and providing high-caliber, personalized care designed to optimize performance and keep your horse healthy for life.