From The American Quarter Horse Journal
They cause bitting problems.
They are not needed.
They need to be pulled.
These are the comments from trainer who routinely have wolf teeth pulled from riding horses.
“As a general rule, I recommend that wolf teeth be pulled on all horses, and I would especially advise doing so on performance horses and racehorses,” says equine practitioner and reining horse competitor Dr. Tim Bartlett of Vincennes, Indiana. “It’s one less problem to worry about, and there is no purpose for them.”
Wolf teeth are frequently present in front of the second premolar, or first cheek tooth, and are the first permanent premolars to erupt in the horse’s mouth. They are usually located on both sides of the upper jaw, but they can also form in the lower jaw and if found there are often smaller.
“Occasionally, only one tooth may develop,” Dr. Bartlett says.
These horse wolf teeth appear in both sexes and generally erupt by the fifth or sixth month, whereas the neighboring permanent second premolar doesn’t surface until 2 1/2 years. Wolf teeth have considerable variation in shape, size and location. They could be two to three centimeters in front of the second premolar or could even be imbedded against it. Usually they are somewhat tubercular, but occasionally one is observed with a crown, resembling a small molar.
Wolf teeth are vestigial teeth, meaning they are remnants of teeth that were well developed in the Eocene ancestors of the horse. However, in the modern horse, they appear to have no function. Dr. Bartlett speculates that since horse wolf teeth are similar in appearance to canine teeth but smaller, that is probably why they are called wolf teeth.
Horses that shake or throw their heads, duck away and mouth the bit could be experiencing wolf-teeth problems.
“People have become more aware of mouth problems, rather than thinking it’s just the horse’s attitude,” Dr. Bartlett says. “I have found that as a veterinarian and rider, a lot of training problems can be eliminated by routine dental care.”
When a rider is having trouble bitting a horse, he should look in the animal’s mouth or have his veterinarian examine the horse to see if there might be a reason why the horse is rejecting the bit.
To read more on the removal of wolf teeth, go to America's Horse Daily