So tell me how do I know my  horse needs to be done?

In most instances the tale-tell sign that something is wrong is your horse has a hard time chewing.  You will see him
twist his head to make chewing more comfortable.
You will also notice your horse dunking his hay in his water, some horses do this as a habit but 9 x out of 10 it is because his teeth are sharp and the hay hurts his mouth so he softens it to chew it.
You will notice your horse dropping weight under normal conditions.
There are alot of signs your horse is due to see a dentist.  If you have question give Joel a call he is always willing to
talk to people about their horse's dentistry needs.

What kind of equipment do you you use that big metal thing in their mouth..doesn't that hurt them?

Yes, we use a speculum to examine your horses mouth and to hold his mouth open while Joel works on the teeth.
I know it looks like a scary piece of equipment and like any tool if not used properly and with care could damage your horse.  Joel is very careful and concerned for the comfort level of your horse, years of experience training horses has taught him to notice those little signs the horse has had enough. 
This is a very necessary piece of equipment though and without its use, we would argue that a thorough job cannot be done. 

Explain to me how having my horse's teeth floated can help his performance?

Simply put  a horse without pain makes much gain.
If your horse has pain in his mouth, his attention is not on you.  We train our horses to give to pressure on the reins, our seat,   no matter what discipline you ride this is the key to training so it stands to reason if your horse has pain in his mouth even when the pressure is released he will not trust the pressure you are applying and in turn the relationship between rider and horse is damaged.
A rostral hook(in the front of the mouth) unattended to can create severe pain in your horse's mouth when you pull on the reins, such as in transitiions.   You  may notice your horse kicking out, wringing his tail, or how about the wonderful feeling of having your horse grabbing the reins out of your hands as you apply pressure.   Yes, a good trainer can teach a horse to
respond to pressure regardless of the pain in their mouth but it will not be a pleasant experience for your horse.
A caudal hook(in the rear of the mouth)  can create even more behavior issues, and unfortunately if your horse has a rostral hook he will have a caudal hook .  With caudal hooks your horse cannot hold the flex in his poll.  Oh a good natured fellow will try his hardest but the pain always wins out.  Your pleasant partner will take to bucking, or becoming very stiff to one side or the other, he will root on the reins when asked to collect.  Not ALL training issues are related to the mouth but why take a chance.  How well would you want to perform if you had a tooth ache?  I'm sure if you have a high pain tolerance you could overlook it and go about your business but you wouldn't be giving to your full potential our equine partners are no different.

I hope we have answered some of your questions if you have anymore please submit them to our email and we will answer them and post them here.  The address is