Saturday, April 18, 2009

Teeth Talk

The 'ponies' had a visit from their tooth fairy this morning. All went well; both had a couple of small jagged edges on the sides but no cuts in their cheeks. They get their teeth floated every six months. The equine dentist, although only in his late thirties, is from the 'old school' of thinking which is exactly what I prefer. No fancy machines that 'over file', just careful, knowledgeable, good old fashioned floating with mouth friendly tools. I watch him closely. His ears are tuned in and his eyes are constantly noticing the horses' reactions. He has a very calm demeanor and the horses respect him. He told me a story about him training a man from Ireland. He mentioned that he finds it difficult to break down every detail since the process is so automatic for him. One example was when he demostrated a certain skill for his Irish student, the horse was well behaved. When the Irish man attempted the same skill, the horse acted up...funny, some people just have a way with horses. Speaking of such talented souls, my grandfather was a member of that club, so to speak.

Floyd Fuller was a well known equine dentist in Vermont. He was interviewed numerous times and held seminars for regional veterinarians who wanted to better themselves in the art of properly floating teeth. He never used sedatives and could gentle any horse. He was a genuine horse whisperer. I remember him telling a story about a man with an extremely difficult stallion with a bad reputation. The man's veterinarian experienced problems with the floating process and chose not to continue. A friend of the owner's suggested using Floyd Fuller. The owner quickly dismissed Floyd due to his age (and said 'that old codger?') but finally relinquished and asked Floyd to come over to his farm. Grampie had no problems whatsoever. His patience, love and 'know how' in handling horses along with his gentle style and floating expertise showed the shocked owner that age has nothing to do with skill. I miss my grandfather tremendously but am very thankful that this young man has the strength, skill level and desire to float teeth the proper way and chooses carry on this important tradition.

If you want to see more photos of Gramp, just click on Floyd Fuller. The article was written August 31, 1990 in the Valley News when he was almost 89 years old. What will you be doing at that age and will anyone be interested enough in you to write an article about your talents? Most of us will be forgotten about when and if we reach 89 years, but Grampie was special and I am lucky to have been born his youngest granddaughter.


JAN'S PLACE said...

great story.. he sounds like he was an amazing man.. good for you to write a post about him!!!


Michelle said...

Great and interesting article!! I am new to horses and I love learning everything I can about them. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. :)