Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Wolf Teeth Causing Resistance to Bit


Wolf teeth are non-functional (vestigial) remnants of the first premolar teeth that occur in a high percentage of young horses. They are located just in front of the row of cheek teeth. They usually develop by 9-18 months of age, are small (about the size of a pea or smaller) and pointed.

Most wolf teeth are upper teeth, as lower wolf teeth are rare. A high percentage of females than males have wolf teeth.

In some cases, wolf teeth can create pain or irritation when mouth tissues are pinched between them and a bit. Due to this, they are often removed.

In our vet practice, we remove wolf teeth in male horses during routine castrations.

my vet's role


The prognosis is excellent after extraction of wolf teeth.

my role

Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • Are these wolf teeth really the cause of my horse's misbehavior or poor performance under saddle?

If there is doubt about whether or not wolf teeth are to blame for a behavior, they are typically removed.

Many breeders and trainers have their horse's wolf teeth removed at castration or between 1-2 years of age.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP