New User
26 May 2009
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With the lighter evenings and the occasional sunshine most of us are finding a little more time to spend with our youngsters.
noticeable the winter coats are falling out and the summer coats coming through.
So too are the baby teeth falling out as the permanent teeth pushing through.
I receive many calls from worried owners finding what looks like a broken tooth in the stable/yard, or that the youngster looks like its
just walk en into a wall teeth first.
Don't panic this is normal.
Between the age of 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 the young horse will shed 24 baby teeth pushed out by permanent teeth.
6 months pyre to the young horse shedding baby teeth, hard bony lumps will appear to the undersides of the horses lower jaw,
these are commonly known as dental lumps,
again no need to panic as these are permanent teeth (pre-molars) forming in the jaw waiting to push through into the mouth,
and if all goes to schedule these lumps will disappear 6 month after the shedding period

These lumps are more noticeable in horses with more defined heads, or in the summer when the coat is smoother.
The same thing is also happening in the upper jaw but not usually noticeable to the naked eye.
Pressure from over tight nosebands is to be avoided.
The wild horse would probably have an easier time shedding baby teeth having full time access to gorse type bushes to pull onto and of course no bit to contend with.
However the domesticated youngster will often be seen rubbing the side of its face on a stable door or chewing a lead rope.
Many horses today are turned out in purpose designed horse friendly paddocks with access to grass and water only secured by electric fencing and sometime frustrating for the teething youngster.
Ok so that's life we all have to go through the teething process.
Unfortunately for the young horse, smack bang in the middle of this process, we want to put a bit in the horses mouth so as we can communicate hand to mouth.
If however the youngster is feeling oral discomfort then this communication can feel some what fuzzy leading on to what we think are behavioural problems.
One of the biggest problems I come across in young horses are root silvers,
these are tiny sharp root fragments left stuck in the gum from the shedding of a cap (baby tooth)
These very often go unnoticed and are regular found in adult horses.
I know these root fragment are very painful as I often get a sigh of relief from the horse as I remove them, and the feedback from clients on the change of attitude of the horse.
Inside cheek lacerations are also common in horses of all ages.
Every horse has its own individual character and deals with things in its own way.
I meet many horses with horrendous mouths that carry on regardless, yet another horse with a minor problem will throw its toys out the pram.
The male horse tends to have a slightly harder time with the teething process than the fillies does, having 4 extra teeth known as the canine teeth these are always the last to push through
the soft tissue, and can sometimes take up to the age of 6.
Not to be mistaken for wolf teeth,more on wolf teeth another time.
So what is the best time to introduce a bit to the young horse.
My personal preference would be at 2 years old
because the youngster has a nice full set of baby teeth.
if the youngster is already familiar with the bit before the shedding starts at 2 1/2 then hopefully the youngster wont associate this with the bit.
It is always a good time to have an equine dentist look at the young horse before any proper bridle work begins. Its always a good experience for the youngster to meet the dentist


Well-Known Member
30 June 2008
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Wow that's really interesting - my youngster is just turning 5 and chews on anytthing he can get his mouth around at the moment - particularly lead ropes...

Interesting idea about biting youngsters earlier... thank you...


Well-Known Member
29 March 2008
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Interesting read.

Confirms for me that I'm right to be thinking of bitting my youngster when she's 2. Have a way to go though as she's only 9 months old atm


Well-Known Member
20 January 2009
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Thank you for this.

My 3 year old has a terrible chewing habit. The unprotected wooden fence line is testament to it.

I'm now much more optimistic that he'll grow out if and perhaps at the same time, will stop trying to chew me too.


21 April 2010
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This may be an old post, but I've been trying to learn about teething youngsters having my own for the first time - and it's so helpful, thank you! My chap is 2 1/2 so I still have a while to go! thanks for the information.


Well-Known Member
15 January 2011
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When the dentist came last year to my youngster he pulled a few very loose teeth out - and my friend showed me some teeth her youngster had lost which where hiding in his shavings bed! :D


Well-Known Member
23 June 2007
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My youngster is 2 nxt month and is having her first check up with an edt.
Is it likley that there would need anything doing at that age?