The dentist

The dentist came today, time carefully coordinated with our vet so that he could sedate both Ben and Rosie. Last time she came, she could not do anything even with Ben without sedation. Poor Ben was not impressed with her, kind and sensitive though she is. He saw those heavy buckets, metal ends sticking out, he watched that yellow extension lead cable be uncoiled and finally he saw our vet. That is when he tried to break away from my hold. He can recognise a vet from afar, although he has thankfully had very little to do with one here. Ben does not worry about too many things, but when he gets worried, he gets very worried and that expressive face of his registers it all.

Even sedated he was not too happy. I held Rosie and watched and only realised that my teeth were clenched shut by the ache in my jaw. However, it was worth it. He had quite a hook on a back tooth which would have been hard to get at if he had not been sedated.

Rosie was more relaxed, and looked quite small and fragile once sedated. Interestingly, her top front teeth on the left had grown long which would have been affecting how she chewed. I have been worried about Rosie and asked the vet to look at her and maybe take a blood sample. He was not worried. He said that she has mild, chronic laminitis but is in very good condition and that I am minding her well. She was perfectly sound on grass, her only problem was on harder ground. Which leaves me with a dilemma: the track is quite hard now, even the formerly soft, muddy parts, so she is happier on grass. I am alternating – giving her grass time, on really starvation-type paddocks, and most of the time keeping them on the track. The dentist also commented on how well she is doing. She also said that her back teeth are no older than twenty, which surprised me as I think of her as older than that. Maybe her body looks older because of her previous on-going severe laminitis.

Afterwards, they were left in the stables for an hour to recover before I let them out. It took them a while to wake up. Rosie was first and my daughter ran out with the camera when she saw her gallop by outside the window.

Here they are waking up:








How great to be able to discharge your stress like that. Or maybe Rosie was just celebrating – that she really is a healthy old lady – and wanting to show Ben that she has more spring in her step than he has.  I want to celebrate too and when I can afford it I will order her a pair of renegades for her front hooves.  Then she can join us as we ride out.



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7 responses to “The dentist

  1. Glad to hear they got on ok with the dentist. I hate the experience too but it is soooo vital. I wish there was an easier way of doing it though. 🙂

  2. There is a book about trauma that talks about how important it is to be able to RUN when stressful events happen – if you are a prey animal. The author likens this process in nature to human trauma victims who so often get stuck – and suggests several methods of helping them do what they need to physically after the fact to unstick the trauma and let their bodies process it chemically.

    It makes so much sense.

    I love the photo of Ben coming back at the end. He is so tuned in to you.

    • Hi Billie, I’d love to know the name of that book, sounds very interesting. I think a good run around would help humans a lot too! Jogging does it for some people I suppose 🙂

  3. Billie, I thought you would be referring to the work of Peter Levine. Are you familiar with Mark Rashid’s book Whole Horse, Whole Heart (I think it is called)? He has a good chapter on horses that won’t be caught – and how he has learned just to let them run, rather than follow them, and he recalls the Old Man saying that “Sometimes a horse just needs to run”. He tells of a psychologist coming up to him and asking him how he knew about trauma, after he just waited for a horse to stop running.