what clients say

Marieke’s skills preserve competitive careers.

Breeding and competing horses in dressage means Janelle is responsible for a wide range of horse types and ages in her Blenheim stables. Competing at a high level in dressage competitions means she also requires her horses to be in premium health – she likens the demands upon them to those placed upon elite athletes expected to perform repetitive, demanding exercises on a regular basis places unique stresses on all aspects of a horse’s health.

Any horse arriving at her stables receives an assessment in four areas – teeth, feet, nutrition and muscles, key areas where health status will determine that horse’s potential in the competition arena, and explain any behavioural issues that may have been a problem in the past for the owner.

For the past five years Janelle has used Marieke’s dental and veterinary services on her own and her clients’ horses, typically with Marieke visiting every three months to examine a range of six to eight horses in a day’s work.

“We find Marieke is very professional and has a really relaxed, nice approach to the horses. This is particularly important with the younger horses that may not be used to being handled as much.”

Experience has taught Janelle that poor dental care can be the precursor to career ending conditions in competitive horses.

“Often the horse might be experiencing other problems, but it takes someone with Marieke’s experience and skill to identify that the source of those problems lies in the horse’s teeth.” Janelle appreciates the “whole horse” veterinary perspective that Marieke brings, and her deeper understanding of equine dentistry.

Her ability to understand cues reported to her by clients, like pushing against the bit, head shaking and dropping food as signs of teeth problems are critical for Janelle.

“Getting them sorted right from the start with Marieke means the horses here start with a clean slate.”

Janelle appreciates Marieke’s self contained facilities, particularly the ability to weigh her horses in the specially designed horse crate.

Marieke’s veterinary qualifications also mean she is able to sedate horses before inspecting them.

“This is really important, the only way to properly inspect their back teeth and soft tissues of the mouth is when they are sedated, and it is also safer for the horses, and for us.

“It is also very cost effective – we are not paying two people to do one job, and things get addressed quickly and on the spot.”

Janelle has Marieke to thank for saving the competitive career of one horse in particular that had baby cap stuck, preventing its adult tooth from erupting correctly.

Early detection and removal allowed the adult tooth to develop correctly and straight so as the horse did not have ongoing issues.

Another horse that was sent to the stable for training as it was behaving dangerously when ridden and Marieke examined the horse.

He was found to have infected remains from a wolf tooth that had tried to be removed by someone else - after Marieke removed the remains the horse was almost instantly better.

“It would have been like having a headache fixed. He was a different horse after that!”

Janelle Sangster-Ward
Horse breeder, competitive dressage rider, trainer and coach, Blenheim.

tough choices eased with quality advice

“I have nothing but good things to say about Marieke from what was a pretty tough situation. She fully explained all the options I had. 

“At no point did I feel I was just doing what I was told, it was nice to have the support in either direction.

“Marieke visits with all her equipment and can sedate your horse at home for a full examination, it is a lot less stressful, and she can check on other issues while she visits.”

Hayley thomas, show and pleasure rider

Buddy has got something to smile about after removal of a diseased cheek tooth.

Horse dental health - the full treatment.

Sally Johnston, owner of Silver Linings Complete Equine Care has been using Marieke’s equine dental services for the past year on her and her client’s horses.

She says the fact Marieke is a fully qualified veterinarian puts her “over and above” alternative dental practitioners.

“Marieke’s ability to understand a horse’s entire health and well-being means she can join the dots on what she is seeing, and understand the link between other aspects of a horse’s health, and its dental health,” says Sally.

Sally has found Marieke’s experience also extends to understanding a horse’s behavioural issues, and links they may have to the state of a horse’s teeth.

Marieke’s fully self-contained service trailer and equipment also make her visits stress free and easily accommodated into the centre’s routine. Marieke’s veterinary qualifications and state of the art mobile facility give her the ability to sedate and examine horses easily.

Recently one of Sally’s show jumpers had started to act up, and a visit from Marieke identified three individual problems in the mouth which caused pain.

Sally also appreciates Marieke’s ability to explain and show owners what the problems with their horse’s teeth are.

“She invites you into the process the whole way to help educate you about what your horse is experiencing, and what the outcomes are likely to be.”

Sally Johnston – Silver Linings Complete Equine Care.