Seelye explains, “Flaccid muscles produced by sedation can allow the skeleton to move unnaturally and the horse can be compromised physically.
Paul Turchi, DVM, has been practicing equine veterinary medicine for 22 years.
He predominantly sees float cases in his clinic where stocks, a speculum and a halter to position the horse’s head are used.
Do not separate him from his herd or buddy prior to floating.
Avoid adrenalin rushes at all costs; isolation in an unfamiliar environment can build anxiety in the horse quickly.
Unfortunately, some situations do require sedation to adequately address existing problems.” THE DOWNSIDE OF NOT SEDATING An equine dentist from the south [anonymity requested because he operates in a state where it is currently illegal for equine dentists to practice without the supervision of a veterinarian] works from this perspective: “Unless a horse is extremely quiet or needs very little work, in most cases sedation is preferable.” He does his evaluation before sedation and is willing to accommodate a client requesting he not use drugs.
However, based on his experience he states, “Without sedatives, horses tend to bunch up in a corner with tensed muscles causing an improper head position and jaw misalignment.Her experience is that many horses will accept the procedure fairly quietly, especially if the work needed is minor or the horse has had previous positive experiences.She suggests that you prepare your horse by setting him up for success.Arranging for the horse to be floated in a familiar place will help.Do not ask him to go to a strange area or stall for the treatment.“It is not safe for the horse otherwise.” He does not use stocks or any special restraints.