Why ruling out pain is IMPERATIVE! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-06-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Why ruling out pain is IMPERATIVE!

Well today was my first trail ride on Spirit in 6 weeks after breaking my rib in a fall. I was so excited to get back on and I was excited for her that she got to do what she loves out in the woods! After grooming, I saddled her up and put her bridle on. A non event. I went to lead her out of the barn and she seemed hesitant. I thought well I guess she's not as excited to get out on the trail as I thought she would be. My lazy girl walked along just fine until I had to turn her left. She started doing this weird thing shaking her head and I thought she had a fly on her face. My riding partner in front of me said well I don't see a fly on her face. She kept shaking her head constantly and this has never been something I've seen her do. So my riding partner said she's probably just not wanting that bit in her mouth after not having one in there for so long. I ride with a snaffle on loose rein. After this continued I said something is wrong. She's telling me something is wrong. We dismounted and checked everything. Everything seemed normal. Got back on....same thing, shaking her head and she seemed very disturbed. I thought this is REALLY wrong. So I dismounted, used my packed lead rope, wrapped it around her neck and took the entire bridle off and decided to walk her back much to the dismay of my riding partner. During the long walk back I told Spirit that she was in BIG trouble if nothing was wrong with her. At the barn, I took my fingers and rubbed her mouth, including her interdental space and discovered two teeth breaking through the gums on the bottom of the jaw. The gums around the teeth were swollen and red. 28% of mares have CANINE teeth also known as fighting teeth. It is a leftover from prehistoric days of the horse. When I found them with my finger she just let out a huge sigh of relief and put her muzzle in my chest and I could see her eyes relax. She was like, yes, mama, right there it hurts. Those teeth are right where the bit goes. I was so glad I listened to my instincts and Spirit telling me she had a real problem. I was so proud of her that through her pain, she kept good care of me up top. I love her and I think she learned to trust me today even more because she knows that I listen to her through the best communication she knows how to give. I am very proud of her. I've only had her for 4 months and what a strong bond we have already!

Last edited by Spirit Lifter; 08-06-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 12:36 AM
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Good for you for paying attention and staying safe! Usually when people ignore them they will tell you more forcefully. Good for you!
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 01:49 AM
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I'm glad you didn't pin it on attitude :) Way to be an investigator
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 08:16 AM
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Wow...what a great example of listening to your horse and knowing when something is wrong.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 08:32 AM
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Very we done! I'm glad you trusted your horse and yourself and believed that she was tryin to tell you something.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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How involved are canine teeth being removed? They definitely interfere with the bit! Calling the vet today to get the equine dentists phone number.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 09:04 AM
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Seems like we know when something is wrong w/ our animals. Following our own instincts is a great idea.

Good for you.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
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And love like crazy"
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 09:13 AM
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Good for you for listening to your mare. And you are correct in thinking that you just earned a notch in the trust department with her. Great way to show her you are a leader worth following!

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 09:20 AM
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It is not a nice sight, the horse hates having their teeth pulled. I recently had teeth pulled from three of mine. My gelding did much the same as your mare, suddenly shaking his head. Called the equine dentist, turned out he needed wolf teeth pulled. I'll admit wolf teeth were the last thing on my mind, he's 20 years old for goodness' sake. But after a few weeks recovery they are all doing much better.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Two weeks recovery I can live with. If I am there, will she associate me with the one who caused or allowed the whole nightmare of having them pulled? Just wondering. I want to be there to calm her but geesh. Pulling teeth on a standing horse sounds awful! Poor baby to have to be in the 28% group. They say they are found in dominant mares but she is not a dominant mare. I would think it's genetics based from her breeding. I'm halfway curious about looking into riding her bitless!

Last edited by Spirit Lifter; 08-07-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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