Want to know more about John’s Farrier and Equine Dentistry services?
Read our FAQs below.


Farrier FAQ

How do I know if my horse needs shoes?

There are several reasons why a horse may need shoes. Number one would be for therapeutic reasons. They may be needed to manage an ongoing condition or disease such as laminitis. Some horses need shoes in order to perform properly. Reining horses need what are called “sliders” to help them do sliding stops. Arabian and Saddlebred horses use weighted shoes to animate their gait. Sometimes studs are needed for jumpers so they do not slip. Some horses may have very sensitive or weak soles and will not be sound without shoes.

Why hot shoe?

There are so many benefits to hot fitting shoes. First and foremost there is 100% contact between the hoof and the shoe making the shoe a perfect fit. It also kills bacteria in the white line.  Hot shoeing also helps moisture control. It helps seal the tubules, making them less likely to dry out in drought conditions or take on moisture in a wet environment.

How often does my horse need to see the farrier?

It is individual to each horse’s needs of course but every 6-8 weeks is a good rule of thumb.

What hoof dressing should I use on my horse?

Honestly, hoof dressing does more harm than good in most cases. Studies have found hoof moisturizing dressings start to actually build up on the hoof wall and the foot can’t breathe. Another study found that when hoof moisturizer was applied to cracked, brittle feet, it further weakened the protein in the hoof wall; and the hoof lost its ability to regulate the moisture content of the hoof. If you insist on using some sort of dressing on your horse use a hoof hardener.

Equine Dentistry FAQ

Do you sedate?

No I do not offer any form of sedation.  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Pennsylvania law dictates that equine dental technician activities “require direct or indirect veterinary supervision. Performing surgery; diagnosis; prognosis; providing prescriptions, including treatments, medications or appliances, or attesting to health status is prohibited”. This means it is illegal for me to extract teeth or sedate without the direct or indirect supervision of a vet. I do work closely with several veterinarians that will come out and sedate your horse for you if it is necessary. I have found that most horses do not require sedation for normal hand floating and are more than happy to participate.

How do I know if my horse needs dental care?

Mature adult horses teeth erupt 2-4mm every year. This means regardless of problematic signs you should get your horses teeth floated at least once a year. However, some signs there may be a problem are reluctance to eat, dropping grain, dropping balled up hay (quidding), chewing excessively on one side of the bit, head tossing, and weight loss. Halitosis (foul breath) and nasal discharge may be a sign of an abscessed tooth or infection.

Why do my horse's teeth need to be floated?

Because of domestication horses teeth do not wear properly. Sharp points may develop and cause lacerations, ulcers and soreness in the horse’s mouth. If this uneven wear is allowed to continue, horses can develop waves, ramps, hooks and other serious malocclusions of the cheek teeth that can lead to severe pain, infection or tooth loss. Additionally, horses may have wolf teeth which are technically the first premolar. Wolf teeth are comparable to wisdom teeth in people. They have no known function and can cause pain and/or discomfort when the horse wears a bit. For this reason they are generally removed before introducing a bit or any training.

When should my horse first see the dentist?

A foal’s first dental exam should occur shortly after birth to check for any congenital defects. A normal young horse should have dental work done between 18-24 months of age. Thereafter, your horse should see the dentist between every 6 months to a year depending on the dentist’s recommendation.

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord” Proverbs 21:31