How Much Does It Cost To Float Your Horse’s Teeth?

For horses, it’s extremely important that they are in the possession of a very decent set of teeth in their mouth, seeing as teeth fulfill numerous notable functions for them. Hence, it’s your responsibility as a horse owner to make sure that your horse gets the proper dental care they deserve on a regular basis. One aspect of that important dental care is floating your horse’s teeth when they have become sharp and pointy due to normal wear and tear. Of course, this floating procedure isn’t free, since every medical procedure has its price tag. However, how much does it cost to float your horse’s teeth exactly?

What Is Floating a Horse’s Teeth?

Before diving into the exact cost involved when it comes to performing a floating procedure on your horse, it’s truly beneficial to get a good picture of what such a floating procedure actually entails.

As your horse gets older, their denture undergoes certain changes due to the wear and tear that comes along the natural aging process. More concretely, because of the constant chewing movements and such that your horse makes on a daily basis, their teeth wear down a little bit every single time. Unfortunately, this mostly doesn’t happen evenly and as a result, certain sharp edges and hooks may start developing. These sharp edges and hooks can cause your horse a very intense amount of discomfort and sometimes even a lot of pain, besides other negative health consequences such as losing unintended weight.

Because of the process described above, there’s a technique required that can make the surface of your horse’s teeth flat again to make sure that your horse can get back to just chewing and eating without experiencing pain at the same time. That’s exactly what floating is!

While performing the floating procedure, the vet or equine dentist at hand will use a particular rasp or file, also known as a float, to even out your horse’s teeth. Consequently, the surface of your horse’s teeth will start evening out again and as a result, your horse will be able to keep going for a couple more months. This whole process might sound a bit brutal and painfully, but that’s actually not the case at all! Floating will be a little uncomfortable for your horse at the most, but it certainly won’t cause them any pain, unless a nerve gets hit during the procedure. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often!

How Much Does Floating Your Horse’s Teeth Generally Cost?

As for the question of how much you’ll have to eventually pay to float your horse’s teeth professionally, this really only can be answered in a very nuanced way. In general, you should know that the procedure of floating a horse’s teeth usually costs about $100 to $150, give or take. However, you need to be very aware of the fact that this rather should be considered as a guideline. The final cost price will namely depend on a great number of things. To make this all a little less abstract, it’s important to take a closer look at some of the different factors that can play a role in deciding how much money you’ll need to pay to let your horse’s teeth get floated professionally.

Relevant Factors


With some horses, it’s necessary that they are sedated during the floating procedure and this can be necessary because of numerous reasons. When the vet at hand decides that it’s necessary to sedate your horse, this obviously also means that the cost price will increase slightly. Even though you won’t have to pay a lot more money in this scenario, you’ll still have to pay about $20 more, on average.

2.Your Horse’s Age

While this next factor doesn’t play a big part when it comes to deciding the average cost price per floating procedure, it does have an effect on the total cost associated with each horse. That is to say, your horse’s age is very pertinent as regards the number of times you will need to float your horse’s teeth on an annual basis.

When you have a horse that’s younger than 2 years on the one hand or you have a horse that’s older than 20 years, on the other hand, you’ll have to get their teeth checked at least every 6 months as regards floating. If you have such a horse, you’ll thus have to pay the cost price associated with floating multiple times each year, but the standard price will remain the same, logically speaking. With horses that don’t fit in either of those age groups, it generally suffices to float their teeth once every year, unless there are additional dental problems present, of course.

3.The Expert In Charge

Furthermore, it’s also the case that a floating procedure can be performed by both a licensed equine dentist and an actual veterinarian. This decision ultimately also has an effect on the eventual cost price. For example, it’s generally so that you’ll have to pay more when the procedure is being done by a vet than would be the case with an equine dentist.

Even more so, there are certain differences between vets when it comes to the general cost as well! For example, when you go to a vet who’s very renowned in their field, you’ll have to take into account that you’ll also partly be paying for that vet’s reputation, so to speak.

Besides a vet’s specific reputation, their respective expertise is also remarkably relevant to decide on the final cost price associated with the floating procedure. To give a concrete example in this aspect, there are vets who are specialized in everything that has to do with miniature horses. So, if you have a miniature horse and you go to such a specialized vet to perform a floating procedure, then the cost associated with that procedure will be higher than would otherwise be the case. Again, in this scenario, you won’t just be paying for the procedure on its own, but also for all the efforts that it took for the vet to gain all his expertise.

4.Possible Complications

When you pay a visit to the vet to get your horse’s teeth floated, the vet will naturally also check whether or not there are any other dental problems present that need to be dealt with. Therefore, when there indeed are such dental problems present or when possible complications arise while the vet is in the middle of performing the floating procedure on your horse, this can also cause the general cost price to increase significantly.

For example, if certain teeth need to be extracted during the procedure, the vet will consider this as an additional procedure and you’ll have to pay more money accordingly.


Even though this seems rather unfair, it’s still the case that some living areas are more expensive than other regions when it comes to floating your horse’s teeth. Hence, the cost of floating depends on the region you live in for a big part. Generally, the differences between the various regions aren’t that big, but it’s still something to keep in the back of your mind when you’re deciding where to take your horse.

6.The Equipment

Now, every horse is unique and vets need to adjust their strategy and approach to each individual horse. Consequently, This is absolutely no different when it comes to deciding what the right type of equipment is to use in a floating procedure as a vet.

Floats can appear in basically every shape and size and so, the vet at hand has a lot of freedom of choice in this aspect. They won’t only have to determine which size and shape float they are going to use, but they will also have to determine whether or not they will use a manual float during the procedure.

It’s important to note that the floating procedure will be a tad more expensive when the vet chooses to work with a non-manual float. This shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as there’s a lot more high-quality technology involved than is the case with a manual float, which vets have been using for decades. A float, driven by electricity or that works on the base of an air compressor also just is more complex to work with in general. This doesn’t mean that a manual float is inferior in this aspect, but the distinction needs to be made to make it clear what effect the chosen equipment can have on the final cost price of the floating procedure.

7.Possible Fees

Lastly, it also needs to be said that some vets will make you pay certain fees on top of the basic cost price when you take your horse to get a floating procedure. Again, this heavily depends on which vet you’re going to and the fees themselves also are extremely diversified.


Even though the average cost price associated with a floating procedure thus ranges from $100 to $150, the above-mentioned factors can thus significantly increase that price. Of course, there’s also the possibility that the final cost price will be even lower than $100, it all depends on the specific situation you find yourself in. Whichever way you choose to look at it, floating is an extremely important procedure that your horse has to go through regularly to keep their teeth healthy and strong. From that point of view, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth, so that’s something to keep in mind, for sure!