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Horse Teeth

Tue Jan 22

Horse Teeth and Age

  • 1 yr:  have 24 baby teeth
  • 2- 2½ yrs:  will have second set of permanent molars
  • 3 yrs:  2 permanent central incisors erupted
  • 4 yrs:  canine teeth erupted (males and some mares)
  • 5 yrs:  all permanent teeth are in, grinding surfaces are oval from side to side
  • 6 yrs:  permanent incisors showing wear
  • 7 and 8 yrs: cups of the middle, lower incisors disappear
  • 8 and 9 yrs: cups of the corner, lower incisors disappear
  • 10 yrs:  Galvayne’s groove appears at gum line
  • 11 yrs:  cups in corner, upper incisors disappear
  • 12 yrs:  chewing surfaces on central incisors become round instead of oval
  • 14-16 yrs:  corner incisors develop ridges
  • 17 yrs:  all incisors have round surface
  • 18 yrs:  central incisors become triangular
  • 20 yrs:  Galvayne’s groove runs the length off the corner incisors
  • 23 yrs:  all incisors become triangular
  • 24 to 29 yrs:  The grinding surfaces become oval again, but this time from front to back
  • 30 yrs:  Galvayne’s groove gone
  • Over 30+ yrs:  short teeth, small tooth nubs, loss of teet

    An adult horse has 36 teeth: 12 incisors, 12 premolars and 12 molars.

    A foal will have 24 teeth: 12 incisors and 12 premolars.

    Young and old horse teeth
  • Anatomy of Horse Teeth

    A horse’s tooth has a very long root that resides deep into the jaw bone. Very slowly over time tooth grows (pushes out). A very young horse will have a small bit of tooth exposed with a long root. A very old horse will have a small bit of tooth exposed with hardly any root left; as they have ‘used their tooth up’ over time.

    The permanent teeth change shape as the horse grows older, because what you are seeing is the ‘root’ portion of the tooth that is slowly emerging from the jaw.

    The front teeth, or incisors, are used for biting grass. The back teeth, molars and premolars, are used for grinding the grass. The horse has a large inter-dental space between the incisors and the molars. That’s a fancy term for what we call the bars, the space in the horses gums that have no teeth at all.

    A young horse’s teeth will be shorter and straight up and down. The older a horse gets, the longer the tooth becomes, giving rise to the term “Long in the tooth.” The incisors become longer and more and more slanted at a forward angle as the horse ages. 

    Horse Teeth and the Galvayne’s Groove

    At about the age of 10, the upper corner incisors begin to show a groove at the gum line. This is the Galvayne’s groove. Over the next 10 years the groove will grow all the way down the length of the tooth.  A 20 year old horse will have a Galvayne’s groove all the way down the upper corner incisors.

    Then the groove begins to disappear, starting from the top. By the time the horse is 30 the groove will be completely gone. Eventually those long incisors will grow very short as the old horse has very little tooth left.


Living With O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome

Fri Nov 21




Living with O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome

By Scooter Grubb

Just recently, after years of research, I have finally been able to give a name to what my wife and I have been living with for years.


It's an affliction, for sure, which when undiagnosed and misunderstood can devastate and literally tear a family apart.  Very little is known about O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome. But it is my hope this article will generate interest from researchers involved in the equine and psychological sciences. You will, no doubt, begin to identify similar symptoms in your own family and hopefully now be able to cope.

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE EQUINE ATTACHMENT NEUROSIS SYNDROME O.C.E.A.N.S) is usually found in the female and can manifest itself anytime from birth to the golden years. Symptoms may appear any time and may even go dormant in the late teens, but the syndrome frequently re-emerges in later years.

Symptoms vary widely in both number and degree of severity. Allow me to share some examples which are most prominent in our home.

The afflicted individual: 

1. Can smell moldy hay at ten paces, but can't tell whether milk has gone bad until it turns chunky.

2. Finds the occasional "Buck and Fart" session hugely entertaining, but severely chastises her husband for similar antics.

3. Will spend hours cleaning and conditioning her tack, but wants to eat on paper plates so there are no dishes.

4. Considers equine gaseous excretions a fragrance. 

5. Enjoys mucking out four stalls twice a day, but insists on having a housekeeper mop the kitchen floor once a week.

6. Will spend an hour combing and trimming an equine mane, but wears a baseball cap so she doesn't waste time brushing her own hair.

7. Will dig through manure piles daily looking for worms, but does not fish. 

8. Will not hesitate to administer a rectal exam up to her shoulder, but finds cleaning out the Thanksgiving turkey cavity for dressing quite repulsive.

9. By memory can mix eight different supplements in the correct proportions, but can't make macaroni and cheese that isn't soupy.

10. Twice a week will spend an hour scrubbing algae from the water tanks, but has a problem cleaning lasagna out of the casserole dish.

11. Will pick a horse's nose, and call it cleaning, but becomes verbally violent when her husband picks his.

12. Can sit through a four-hour session of a ground work clinic, but unable to make it through a half-hour episode of Cops.

The spouse of an afflicted victim: 

1. Must come to terms with the fact there is no cure, and only slightly effective treatments. The syndrome may be genetic or caused by the inhaling of manure particles which, I propose, have an adverse effect on female hormones.

2. Must adjust the family budget to include equine items - hay,veterinarian services, farrier services, riding boots and clothes, supplements, tack, equine masseuse and acupuncturist - as well as the (mandatory) equine spiritual guide, etc. Once you have identified a monthly figure, never look at it again. Doing so will cause tightness in your chest, nausea and occasional diarrhea.

3. Must realize that your spouse has no control over this affliction. More often than not, she will deny a problem even exists as denial is common.

4. Must form a support group. You need to know you're not alone - and there's no shame in admitting your wife has a problem. My support group, for instance, involves men who truly enjoy Harley Davidsons, four-day weekends and lots of scotch. Most times, she is unaware that I am even gone, until the precise moment she needs help getting a 50-pound bag of grain out of the truck.


Calories Burned in Horse Activities

Sun Oct 21

Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!

Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:

ACTIVITY: For 130 lb person: For 155 lb person: For 190 lb person:
Shoveling 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding: 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr 176 cal/hr 216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot: 384 cal/hr 457 cal/hr 561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain 325 cal/hr 387 cal/hr 474 cal/hr
Fencing 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Polo 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...) 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load: 207 cal/hr 246 cal/hr 302 cal/hr
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