You'd wonder why, given that they don't drink fizzy or eat lollies, horses would need a dentist. But they do, because horses chew funny and they make their own teeth all sharp round the edges and give themselves mouth ulcers. They're clever like that.
Last week it was that time again - the one everyone dreads - yearly dental check-up time.
No, not for me.
It was my horse's yearly dentist visit.
I don't know who told the horse, but someone must have because when I went out to catch him he ran away.
There's little you can do when you want to catch a horse and it wants to stay not caught. Even if I was kindly disposed to running (I'm not) I would still be slower than the smallest of our ponies, let alone the one I was chasing - Chalkie, who as a racehorse once even won a race.
I walked after him for a bit, in the hope he would get tired and stop, but he didn't. Then I stopped, and hoped maybe he'd feel sorry for me and come and get caught, but he clearly lacks empathy and just kept running. He even threw in some bucking and some fancy sideways moves.
So I walked all the way back to the shed and got a bucket with some food in it. By the time I'd got three paces into the paddock Chalkie was right in front of me, standing stock still and salivating.
I tied him up and went to catch my second victim, because I'm a sucker for punishment and had decided to take not one, but three horses to the dentist, so they could all be cross with me at once and get it over with.
Well - when I say horses, the other two were actually a short pony called Nigel-No-Mates and also Philip the miniature horse. Who probably make up about half-a-horse between them.
Giant 36m inflatable obstacle course this weekend at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park
Nigel was easy to catch, as he had no mates for so long that he's grateful for any attention. The reason he had no mates was because he used to bite everyone, so it was his own fault all along, but he's a reformed character now.
As I led Nigel up the paddock, Chalkie galloped past me in the opposite direction, having broken his lead rope and escaped. I tied Nigel up, refilled the feed bucket and tromped back down the paddock to recapture Chalkie.
Tying Chalkie up for the second time, with a second lead rope, I went and caught Philip who is always happy to be caught because he'll take any chance to get out of the paddock and closer to the feed shed.
As I led Philip up the paddock Chalkie galloped past again, trailing another broken lead rope. I set again with a third lead rope. This time I decided I'd put Chalkie straight into the horse float ready for his trip to the dentist.
That sorted him.
Then I loaded Philip, who is so small he fits in the front part of the float where the luggage belongs.
And off we went.
Our horse dentist is a vet, who is trained in equine dentistry, and the practice has a specially designed horse-sized dental clinic. Without a chair of course, but instead of a chair the horse gets a lovely big dose of sedative to put them in their horsey happy place for the duration of the procedure.
And just as well. Because the first thing that happens is the horse gets a big old rinse and spit...via a huge syringe of water and a bucket, then his mouth is levered open with a metal contraption. With a torch attached.
Sounds scary? Not half as scary as the drill. Yep, drill. Big old carpentry-style cordless drill. With specialist equine teeth-grinding attachments.
The vet puts on earmuffs for the teeth grinding procedure. There should be some for the owner as well. More rinse and spit, an invitation to the owner to have a feel of their mount's molars, not for the faint-hearted, and then some more grinding.
By the third lot of grinding and some spectacular plaque removal I was thinking maybe Chalkie had been right to run, but it was all for his own good and soon he was standing back outside, teeth as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Nigel was next and drew compliments for his lovely set of gnashers. Not that he's ever brushed or flossed but he does eat his greens.
Then Philip the mini horse, at which point the vet donned a sturdy set of knee pads and plonked himself on the floor at Philip-level.
I felt for him, as I have to do that to trim Philip's feet, and bending over to put his horse-cover on him makes me dizzy.
When the happy-injection had worn off I stacked the boys back in the horse float and took them home.
"You'll feel much better now," I told them.
I don't think Chalkie was feeling grateful.
Because this morning when I went out to feed him he only had three of his shoes on. He had a look on his long face that I swear said..."take that!".