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I know that if you don't have a horse's teeth floated, some of them will get sharp edges and/or grow too long and limit chewing ability. But, earlier my friend asked me "Why do you have to have your horse's teeth floated? The horses in the wild are fine." Does anyone know why this is?

That got me thinking, and I know that a lot of people say that horses lose weight if they have a tooth problem, but how is this possible if they are eating all of their feed?

Just some things I've been wondering about, please let me know if you know the answer! :D
 

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Our pet horses live cushy lives. Their hay and grass is provided for them in the form of open pastures and bales of only forage. The amount of small rocks and sand in their feed is minimal. For a feral horse, this is far more common, in additon to having evolution on their side. If their teeth got as sharp as our pampered pets to the point of hindering their ability to consume food, their energy levels would drop and boom. Someone else's dinner.

But it depends on the individual horse how often they need their teeth floated. I know some that can go a couple of years and be fine, whereas one of my mare's are very sharp by the time her yearly appointment rolls around.
 

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horses in the wild eats sage which is a lot tougher than hay. and that's why horses in the wild don't live very long either because their teeth can get really bad they don't have anyone to take care of them
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We also don't put bridles on wild horses and expect them to give to the bit. A proper float makes a horse much, much easier to ride.
 

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Yeah, different diet, different management, and on average, feral horses don't live as long & it tends to be their teeth that govern their life expectancy.... whereas with domestic horses it's their feet that are the 'weakest link'.
 

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It is necessary to have them checked and floated as needed. Is it always needed? Depends. Some horses have chewing patterns that result in the teeth needed to be floated more than others. My older mare hasn't been floated in a couple of years and my younger one just needed a light touch on one side last year, but they're checked at least once every year (sometimes twice) to make sure.
If the teeth aren't checked you won't know if they're getting sharp little (sometimes needle like) edges that start sticking the inside of their mouth. It can lead to behavior problems.
Always best to have their teeth checked and floated if needed.
 

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Feral horses live an average of 10-15 years, while domestic horses can live into their 30s, and in some rare instances, even beyond.

Feral horses who are prone to colic, have bad feet, wear their teeth down improperly, and all the other things that can plague horses DIE because nature isn't kind to her children who aren't healthy. Once a feral horse is compromised health wise, they become something else's dinner.
 

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I think the domestic diet has a large impact on it. I've had air ferns that only needed basic grass hay/pasture and even though their teeth were checked yearly they rarely, if ever, needed a float. On the other hand horses I've had on pelleted feed or grains almost always need a float.
 
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I have my horses checked yearly they never need them done ever year though. Every two to three years for my horses none of them have any issues teeth wise.
 

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Also, some (not all) domestic horses have bad habits such as grinding their teeth, cribbing, or windsucking which cause damage and uneven wear that wild horses don't experience. For example, my two year old filly. She's been a cribber/windsucker (can't figure out which to call her...she bites wood and wind sucks when she does that, but doesn't chew) since she was a tiny little baby and recently she broke a tooth doing it. It means she needs dental work done pronto to fix it even though at her age, you'd THINK she would have very nice teeth. Hers are actually very pointy/have hooks because of her habit!
 
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