Monday, August 28, 2017

Affordable Dental Care, Absolutely Possible

Remember my sticker shock from last years dental bill? Well I was not happy to go that direction again. So bless FaceBook, I saw an ad for a Virginia Dentist with reasonable prices.

McCarthy Equine Dentistry

Routine Float:

$85 if one horse is floated at a barn

$75/horse if two horses are floated at the same barn

$65/horse if three or more horses are floated at the same barn

Discount also applies to private owners that schedule themselves together and are within 5 miles of each other.

Farm Call Fees For Barns Greater Than 100 Miles

100-150 miles from our home $10/horse
151-200 miles from our home $15/horse
201 or more miles from our home $20/horse.

The most anyone will ever pay for one horse is $105. That would be for a single horse floated at a barn more than 200 miles from us. We believe you will not find many other practitioners out there that offer the quality of work we do for these prices. 

A routine float is where the sharp points are removed and the mouth is completely balanced. It allows the horse to chew more effectively, reduces dropped and wasted feed, and helps increase weight on older horses and those that are "hard keepers". For riding horses, bit seats are offered at no additional charge. There are also no additional charges for reductions of waves, ramps, hooks, or other occlusion abnormalities. Even if the horse requires an extensive amount of work, you will not see it added to your bill. We believe this is part of balancing the mouth and should be performed during every float. We realize this goes against the business model of many EqDT's who charge additional fees for these reductions. That is not how we conduct our business and you can rest assured you know what your fee will be before Sean even starts his work. 

This dentist also has a flat rate for Rescue Horses of $60. He travels to VA, WV, PA, MD and even Wellington and Ocala FL. It took a bit to get our guys scheduled because this guy stays busy. He was well worth the wait.
Sean worked with the horses, letting them meet him and settle. Since VA requires a vet for any use of power tools, he only used hand tools this visit. We did get to see his power float and it was much better than the drill kind the vet had. The big plus to his tools, no sedation needed. His website shows a horse being power floated without sedation. It is great to know that option is available if we need it.

DaVinci was up first. Sean checked his alignment and grind. He kept in mind his age when working on his teeth. He was even able to work on his incisors, which some horses are not thrilled with. Plus he made sure to remove a big spot of tartar.

Dottie came next. Though she is younger than DaVinci, her teeth are much older. Some are down to the gums. Sean checked for sharp edges, but decided to leave the little she has. Dottie has been able to eat her food and recently has put on good weight. Her chopped hay and chaffhaye diet is something she can manage with the little teeth left. Sean did not even charge us an exam fee.

With Rosemary we were able to feel her sharp edges. Some of her riding issues could definitely be caused by that. She reacted while Sean was working and he made sure to find the trouble spot. After he did the work, he put on her riding bridle and driving bridle to check the fit of her bits.

Ember got his introduction to dentistry during this visit. He has a bump on his cheek that Sean carefully checked out. He was patient with Ember's coltish behavior. Eventually he will take out Ember's wolf teeth, but this time he only did like rasping. He only charged the $20 exam fee. Ember was less cooperative for the vet the next day. His mystery bump should go away on its own. The vet thought it was from those sharp baby teeth.

Mystery bump

Comrade had some corrective work needed. He had a wave going on which Sean definitely wanted to correct before he had the cupping issues older horses get. Comrade also got incisor work too.

Roscoe was actually the hardest one for Sean to work on. He was a bit of a shit. He had some weird shifts of his rear teeth toward the palette. Sean dealt calmly with Roscoe's antics and got the work done. He did not address his "smile" because he wanted to end on a good note.

Bad hair day :)

Well if you have been keeping track of the totals at the bottoms, you can see that we paid under $300 for five horses. For comparison, we paid about $1200 for six horses last year. Sean actually went into dentistry after not being able to find affordable care for his own horses. He provides quality work for affordable prices so that horses do not suffer. Horses are expensive and sometimes things like dental work are put off to pay for day to day necessities. This guy was the answer to all our worries. My horses did not have to be sedated, were much calmer and received the work they needed. Affordable dental care is absolutely possible and McCarthy Equine provides quality without billing high quantity. Such a relief!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Summer Salute, Welsh Show

I was dragging as Sunday dawned. We did not make it to the barn with time to clean before loading. Ah well, we had time to do that later. Luckily both Ember and Roscoe seemed to still have white socks.

Ember loaded with only a little hesitation. And little man is not so little anymore...

Once we arrived at the show, we only had to wait for the Section B's to finish. Ember and Roscoe ate hay on the trailer and perused the area. Closer to the time for their classes, I squeezed inside with them and dusted them off. A quick spot clean of whites helped. Roscoe had to be measured now that he is six, so we headed over a little early. Mom took him while I led the wild one. Actually Ember was quite good. He only reared up once during the walk to the measuring area.

Unfortunately, the person who measured Roscoe made him lose an inch. That is not much for many horses, but it is the difference between a section C and a D. At the next show if they measure him the same, I will ask for a retake. Roscoe was so chill at this show. I guess with everything we have done with him this year, the show was nothing exciting.

When it was Ember's turn, I prayed I could keep up with him. The arena footing was a little deep from the rain. Our first run was good and we did not run over the ring steward. Ember missed the memo to walk toward the judges. They asked if he was 1 or 2? When I said 1, they said he will be a big boy. Our second trot was a bit more exciting since he went up. The people watching were impressed by his movement. Someone even mentioned he should be inspected and that he could make premium. Overall I was happy with his behavior. Pro shots can be seen here.

Then I had to switch ponies with Mom and run Roscoe. He was so quiet and boy did he look good.

After his class, Mom took Roscoe and I reclaimed Ember to go in for the Cob Champion class. It was pretty cool to see the boys in the same show ring. One judge said she would be interested to see Ember in a few years. His trot showed moments of greatness with even more extension waiting to come out. Roscoe took the class over Ember.

The next class was the Supreme class. Roscoe and Ember were up against the cute A's and B's. Most of the time Roscoe does not stand a chance. This time the second judge had all her Champions run again. I knew Roscoe did not win when the judge told us "Win or lose, you did great." Ah well, I was thrilled with both the boys. This was a successful show and a super end to the weekend.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Warbling, Cob Trot and Air Traffic

Saturday began our weekend of shows. Mom, Peggy and I powered through washing 4 horses. Ember and Roscoe were tucked into their stall, after being sprayed down with WOW. Our fingers were crossed that they would stay fairly clean.
After giving everyone dinner, I changed into show clothes and we loaded up to go. It was hot and a bit humid and I hoped Comrade and Rosemary had enough energy. I purposely asked for Comrade to go first to give Rosemary the later time. Luckily this venue seems to have a nice breeze. We left Rosemary on the trailer when I headed out with Comrade.

Well Comrade decided to call to her... over and over. He called some at the last show, but it was more this time. I told him he could warble all he wanted if he kept his frame and listened. At least this time I remembered the spurs this time. We got both our leads in warm up, which gave me confidence going into the test. He was really distracted though and it showed in his walk. I was a bit put off by some of the people in warm up, who did not keep track of the other horses. Every time they came by Comrade, I was forced to move off my line to avoid a collision. What ever happened to passing left to left? Anyway they continued to tick me off when it was my time to go in the arena. Warm up at this show is right next to the show ring and these guys did not clear the path along the show ring.

8 halt
Comrade and I made it work. We started and ended strong, with pretty solid trot work in between. His canter was not confirmed and his walk nonexistent, but it was a solid test. Comrade kept warbling during the test. Surprisingly, the judge did not mention it at the end. I agreed with her comments that he needs to be as confirmed in his walk and canter as he is at the trot. So put the volume up when you watch. You will also hear the sound of air planes.

7 track right
8 trot circle
6.5 Canter
8 Change direction

5.5 walk, Oh Comrade

7.5 last trot
8 halt

As we saddled up Rosemary, we saw the first hot air balloon. I guess during the August show last year a balloon had to land  in the field. Everyone hoped a repeat would not happen. There was an air show going on just down the road. So the air traffic was heavy with planes, balloons and motorized glider things. Rosemary noted it all.

As we entered the ring to warm up, she grew underneath me and snorted. She surprised me by picking up trot, a big bouncy COB trot. Her tail flagged, her head went up and she strutted. My normally so flat you can barely post girl turned into a pogo stick. I decided to just ride it. That much suspension is hard work and she is not in good enough shape to carry it long. She certainly wowed the audience while it lasted. Once she settled, we worked on transitions. She gave me canter both ways and her trot improved. It was hot, so I could not do much with her. She was a bit jumpy with the air traffic adding to the busy show environment. Despite that, I felt good as we went in for our test.

Air Traffic
Look at that step under

Ready to enter at A

Rosemary fought the first halt, then I did not see the judge salute and then we tripped at C. We smoothed out for our trot circle and blasted off for our canter. She needs balance, but I knew that. The canter did improve her trot and the change to the left was great. Her trot circle was improved and her canter about the same as the right. Where Rosemary shined, was at the walk. She rocked the free walk with stretch and over step. Her last trot was the best of the test even though we missed center. We finished straight with a better halt than the first. I could not have asked for a better first test out of Rosemary. You can hear the planes and see them in the sky overhead during her test. Comrade gave his two cents too.

6.0 first halt

6.5 Trot circle

Improved trot after canter

7 change direction

Trot after canter

7.5 free walk

7.5 final trot

7 final halt

Score wise, I felt they reflected the tests. Comrade scored 70.5% winning the class. He even got a 7 for impulsion and gaits. The judge called us a "talented team" and said I was a "secure rider." All of my rider scores improved. I guess doing a bunch of dressage tests has helped me too. Rosemary scored 66% earning third place. The judge felt that she improved as the test progressed and probably would have done great if she had rolled right into another test. She said her gaits were active and she just needs to work on balance. I love these Cobs. We pulled off two super tests despite heat, warbling, Cob trotting and heavy air traffic.
Rosemary was ticked because Comrade tried to eat her ribbon

Happy now after getting a banana