Originally Posted by Wallaby
Apparently my vet's thinking is that younger horses get yearly floats but older ones ideally get 24-month floats with the goal of preserving as much chewing surface as possible as the horse ages. I'm not sure how much I buy that idea, that it actually works, but I know she wouldn't refuse to float Lacey if Lacey needed a float in a year vs 2 so she can have whatever theory she wants. After all, she IS the vet! Haha
That's because the teeth on a young horse are very soft. They tend to have many sharp points and uneven grinding surfaces on their molars. Because their teeth are soft, you can not do a lot of work at any one time or you will take off too much tooth. A hand float on a mature horse might take upwards of an hour but you will only do about 15 minutes on a young one. Again because the tooth is soft, they develop points quicker which in turn leads to more biting and training issues. Young horses are also still getting in their permanent adult teeth into their 5th year so if they retain caps or have other problems with the adult teeth, you can catch any problems before they are a bigger problem.
You float teeth when they need it done not by the calendar. Some horses can go for years because they have good alignment of their jaws and molars so they have even contact with the grinding surfaces and wear their teeth down naturally while others can't and need some maintenance at 6 month intervals.