Here is the first horse of the day and the first step in a floating. I always work in the horses own stall since they tend to be more relaxed there. The examination is accomplished by reaching inside the horse's mouth and feeling all the molars. I'm feeling for sharpness, high teeth, shallow teeth, broken teeth. I will run my finger up and down the inside of the horse's cheek to feel for scratches, cuts, sores or anything unusual. I'm also using my sense of smell in case anything doesn't smell right indicating pocketing food or a cracked tooth. This initial exam can be accomplished rather quickly and further research is done while the horse wears the speculum.
Here is the second horse of the day. After I decide he needs his teeth floated I introduce the first tool I use. I can reach the first two teeth along the upper molar arcades with this tool. By starting slow without the speculum the horse has a chance to relax and understand what I'm doing. What I hope to be doing is making him feel much better.
Here is the third horse. I am finishing up with first tools I use without the speculum. Many reluctant patients are beginning to see the light by now and if they were anxious they are starting to relax. This fellow started very suspiciously, but by the end of the float was putty in my hand.
This mare needed floating prior to leaving for a broodmare facility. Every horse wears the speculum which enables me to examine all areas of the mouth. I find my fingers can give me the clearest understanding of what needs work inside the mouth. The speculum also enable me to file all aspects of the patients mouth.
This is another youngster getting what might be his first float. His mouth was in terrible shape. Huge hooks. Deep cuts and sores due to sharpness. Wildly uneven arcades. Terrible shape for the bit. He started out very jittery, but started relaxing about half way through the floating. Horses that are young or have problem mouths should be checked again in 6 months.
Here is a six year old getting the second float from me in a year and a half. Although his floats are infrequent he behaved like a star. All his molars had enamel points causing cuts and scratches in both his cheeks. I would suggest he have his teeth floated more often.
Here is an old pro getting his teeth floated. I've known this horse for years, but I hadn't seen him in a while. I've finished with the speculum work and I'm setting up the bit seat. This means beveling the molars at the front of the arcades to accept the bit comfortably. Who is funnier looking? Him or me?
Believe it or not this four year old is getting his first floating. He started as a bundle of nervous energy, but relaxed and softened very fast. I have finished the work in the speculum with him. He had an assortment of cuts all along his cheeks. He also had one very high spot along his lowers which had been cutting the poor guy's tongue.
Here is the last horse of the day. I am finishing him up using an S file. This tool allows me to polish the front of the molars section for comfortable bit seat. Each horse took around a half hour to finish. None needed restaint, sedation, or twitching. All were benefited by patience, kindness and understanding. That's how it should work !