Yes, our vets never tranquilized a horse to float its teeth and I never saw one resist. Amazing when you think about it. I'm sure an occasional one did. The vets never forcefully held the mouth open with a device either. That could be the reason they did not need to sedate. Teeth were floated in the pasture, by the vet truck, or in a barn aisle or paddock while the horse was held by the handler.
Exactly! The dentist I use is an older man, who keeps threatening to retire. I tell him that if he does retire, that he might find me knocking on the door to his house, holding a lead rope with a horse on the end of it.
I really believe he has a gift with horses. I really want to apprentice with him, and learn from him, but my none horsey husband is so very against that idea. He is convinced these animals will kill me one day. I think I might ignore him and do it anyway. The worst he could do is divorce me, and I don't think he'd ever do that.
Anyway, the dentist will come to the horse, in whatever environment they are in. Remove the halter I have put on, and put on a huge oversized Draft halter. I asked him why he does that last visit, as the halter he likes, looks to be about as old as he is. He says the less resistance he puts on a horse, the less he gets back.
He then rubs the horses face very briefly, but that includes covering the horses eyes for a second with his hand. He says if they allow that, he usually knows they are fine. He them opens up the mouth, and puts his hand in starting at the front, and heading to the back so his arm is in up to his elbow with no device holding the mouth open at all. He talks to the horse quietly and smoothly - heck I feel more relaxed and he is not doing anything to me.
He is just one of those very rare humans who are amazing. Even my foster kids are so much better when he is around. I am not sure if he remembers my horse or not, as he has only seen him three times, in a three year period, and he sees a lot of horses. But every time he sees Lucas I get the same speech from him. Lucas was only 5 the first time they met, and my dentist was just in awe of him. He spends as long praising him afterwards as he did doing his teeth in the first place. I hope he is right, but he tells me that with my horses heart, he would do anything I asked of him. I always love Lucas more after the dentists visit than I did before.