To assess the dental needs of each horse I use an oral speculum and a head torch for examination. A lot of my routine work is performed with motorised tools. When I first started it was all performed with hand tools, which nurtured shoulders not befitting of a lady!
A horse’s teeth erupt throughout its life. In the wild a horse will browse and graze for many hours, wearing their teeth down at a steady rate. Due to domestication and many other factors they now need help from a dental technician to prevent their teeth from getting sharp. Whether they’re a highly-tuned athlete or simply a pleasure horse they deserve to be comfortable in all the work they do.
I’ve been around horses since my childhood. Working with animals can be incredibly rewarding; if you are kind and caring they will rarely do you harm. Much of my work is based on mutual trust.
The worst moment at work was when a horse collapsed and unfortunately shattered my left leg. I’ve since had reconstructive surgery using a donor knee. It’s an amazing gift that’s left me incredibly grateful to whoever signed the donor register.
We cover an extensive area across Sussex. Most treatments can be performed on the yard, including sedation and analgesia if they’re required. Any horses that need advanced treatments such as tooth restoration, extraction or further diagnostics can be cared for at our clinic in Laughton.
I passed the British Equine Veterinary Association exam in 2007 and am now a fully qualified member of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians.
Sugar lumps cause the same problems for horses as they do for humans. A mint would be preferable, ideally sugar-free!
First published in Viva Lewes magazine issue 96 September 2014.