I took Annie and Feather to the best Equine Dentist this week - Spencer LaFlure. He lives in New York and travels to Northern CA every 6 months. He has a different approach to dental care than a typical vet or dentist - he says it is not about the activity of eating alone, it is about the muscles and the motion of the mouth that affects the TMJ and the whole anatomy and movement of the horse. Natural Balance Dentistry. He has seen lots of horses that have bad teeth, that are plenty plump. However, he has also seem incredible results that when the mouth is correctly balanced, the horse moves much freer and it even changes the top line of the horse for the better in about 2-3 months. He doesn't use power tools, which seems to be all the rage these days - he claims the heat burns the enamel and causes growth issues. Spencer works on the Parelli's horses and has giving clinics at the Savvy Conference. His approach is more like orthodontics for the horse, and he uses very little sedation. I was blown away at how little he did compared to my previous experienced with equine dentistry. It seems very similar to natural hoof care - less is more, balance is imperative, and what you do to the mouth/hoof affects to overall carriage of the horse.
Spencer has written a ton of papers on his approach to dentistry. He has a school where you could learn how to do this, or get your vet to learn his methods. He also has a CD you could order to better understand the horse's mouth, which I found very informative. I am going to have my other 3 horses done the next time he is in Northern CA. I would like him to come to our area - Cool or Greenwood - and spend a day doing horses. He needs about 8 horses to make a trip. I have 3 so I need to get together 5 more. Let me know if you are interested.