Regulation of the Day 91: Horse Floaters

As horses age, their teeth often wear down into points. This can cause the animals great pain if they bite into their tongue or cheeks. Chewing can also become problematic. A horse floater’s job is to keep that from happening. They are a kind of equine dental specialist. Floaters anesthetize the animal then grind its teeth into smoother shapes.

But regulators are clamping down on horse floaters. Many states want to require them to be licensed veterinarians. This would throw a lot of floaters out of business. Most of them specialize in horse teeth and have no need for full veterinary training. That’s why few have bothered to get it, since it takes years of school and thousands of dollars.

Horse floater Carl Mitz told a reporter, ‘Saying only veterinarians can do this profession … if they’re successful, it eliminates me. After 25 years, I’ll no longer have a job.’

Mr. Mitz is fighting back in court. But he shouldn’t have to. He has a right to make an honest living. And he has been for at least 25 years. Regulators should respect that right.