Senior with poor teeth?

Chewing is the first step of digestion — referred to as mastication. As horses age their teeth change and chewing can become difficult. It’s important to monitor the health of their mouth.

Signs your horse may have poor teeth

Losing weight

Poor dentition can lead to unexplained weight loss. A horse cannot properly absorb their food’s nutrients during digestion if they cannot properly break down the food in their mouth.


Check for clumped balls of feed or hay. If your horse is dropping food or spitting out quids, this could be a sign their teeth are uneven or have sharp points causing pain and difficulty chewing.

Age increases health risks

Throughout their life, horse’s teeth experience constant shifting. A portion of their tooth, called the reserve crown, is hidden in the jaw. As chewing wears their teeth, the reserve crown moves down and outward, changing shape and angle. With modern horses living longer, the reserve crown can run out resulting in missing teeth. Horses may experience uneven wear due to gapping, angled teeth, as well as loose or fractured teeth, and infections.


Uneven wear

Teeth that have sharp points or rough edges can make it painful for your horse to chew. Some horses may benefit from floating. Floating is a method of filing the teeth to be a more even, flat surface for more efficient and comfortable chewing.