Tartar Build Up vs Bit/Contact Issues

gum issues in horses2The fact that dental problems can lead to contact issues and mouth discomfort is a pretty common knowledge among horse owners but having witnessed a great improvement in bit acceptance in a pony with tartar build up I thought I would make a quick note about it 🙂

The pony had mild head shaking issues coupled with a bizarre behaviour where he would try to spit/push the bit out of his mouth throughout lessons. The owner tried various types of bits and bitless. He was much better bitless but continued to be busy with his tongue and lips every time the rider used reins to turn.

I noticed he had quite a few incisors covered with tartar and his gums looked irritated a little and so suggested for his teeth to be seen to and tartar build up removed but in all honesty didn’t expect it to have much influence on contact as no teeth other than front teeth seemed affected.

A week later, with no other changes in tack, rider or style of tuition the pony worked without problem and with quiet mouth…

Has anyone seen similar problem before? Does your horse suffer from tartar build up?

2 thoughts on “Tartar Build Up vs Bit/Contact Issues

  1. My project horse got worse and worse with bridling. Finally, the owner had him checked out: tartar, irritated gums and sharp molars. The dentist is about to come. Will be interesting to see if/how he changes.

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