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‘Equine tooth fairies’ to visit FENCE March 21

TRYON — At the racetrack, they are called “tooth fairies.”

Equine dentists are an important addition to a horse’s health. Foothills Riding Club is sponsoring an Equine Dental Care seminar at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center on March 21.

Dr. Jamie Ashbrook will give a presentation about equine dentistry, why there is a need for proper dental care in horses and how it can ultimately lead to preventative care.

Because horses’ teeth continue to grow their entire lives, they can develop sharp edges, which can cause pain when chewing or from the bit. Symptoms of dental problems can include dropping lots of grain when eating, loss of weight and poor health quality, difficulty chewing, resistance to the bit, and tossing of the head when being ridden. A horse in great pain may even rear when the reins are used.

Most veterinarians and equine dentists recommend a horse’s teeth be checked at least once a year. The dentist uses a file to smooth out sharp edges, called “floating.” He or she will also remove loose or infected caps in young horses and check for wolf teeth that can interfere with the bit.

In horses ages 4 years or more, the dentist will check for contact and balance of the bite surface, jaw balance, abnormalities of wear and overall oral health.

The seminar is free to FRC members, and a small fee is requested for nonmembers. All proceeds will go to TROT.

FRC will serve snacks and offer a social time at 6:30 p.m., with the seminar beginning at 7 p.m.

Ashbrook, who has a special interest in equine dentistry and how it plays an important role in the horse’s overall health, graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She completed a yearlong ambulatory and hospital internship at Brazos Valley Equine Hospital in Salado, Texas, and is currently with Freer Equine Mobile Veterinary Services. 

For more information about the seminar, visit www.foothillsridingclub.org.