From Endurance to Dressage
Hey, Tooth Fairy!
Boy do I have a good one for her. Hopefully she leaves me enough money to cover Speedy's latest vet bill. His tooth got pulled yesterday.
In mid-March, Speedy whacked his jaw on one of the poles that supports the roof over his shelter, knocking a tooth loose. He has a frustrating habit of whirling and pacing when he's anxious, so that was our best guess. Hoping to save the tooth, my vet anchored it to the neighboring tooth with wire. You can read about it here. When after two months the tooth still hadn't settled back in place, Dr. Tolley said it needed to come out.
Equine dentistry is very similar to human dentistry. Speedy first got a tranquilizer/sedative and then just like you'd do to a human patient, Dr. Tolley numbed Speedy's gums and lips. After that, he snipped the two wires that were holding the tooth in place. He first tried to pull the tooth with a good wiggle, and then he grabbed a tool similar to a flat-tipped screw driver and attempted to dig it free.
When neither of his first attempts accomplished the job, Dr. Tolley grabbed a pair of good old pliers. With a firm tug, Speedy's tooth popped free.
Just like when a kid looses a tooth, there was a fair amount of bleeding that Dr. Tolley mopped up with gauze. Once he cleaned up Speedy's mouth, the bleeding stopped. He next examined the hole searching for fragments.
The incisors, like all equine teeth, attach deep within the jaw bone. Without an x-ray to confirm it, Dr. Tolley wanted to be sure that the fracture had been a clean one without tooth fragments hindering the healing process. It should be completely healed in about three weeks, but I am to check it daily for any signs of an infection.
When I asked Dr. Tolley about aftercare, he shrugged and said there wasn't a therapy that he thought would hasten the healing process. He said to just ride him. By the time we got home, Speedy was happy and appeared pain free. I gave him nearly an hour to graze and wander. He might have still been numb of course, but he happily chomped on the grass, pausing for a long drink at Izzy's trough.
Hopefully he ate dinner last night. I warned the ranch owner, who doles out Speedy's morning Prascend, that he might be particularly grouchy about getting his pill this morning. Hopefully the text I get is a good one.
5/30/2019 08:35:32 am
I waited in line at my doctor's office yesterday to get a few pills that will make it easier for me tomorrow when I have to go to the dentist.
5/30/2019 09:41:36 am
I know what you mean, Lytha. I HATE going to the dentist for the same reason - too many bad experiences as a kid. As an adult, I've had EXCELLENT dentists who are so very careful. Their hygienists too. Participating in Speedy's dental care has actually helped me be less anxious. Weird, huh?
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: