Richard asked in PetsHorses · 2 months ago

How do I tell how old a Horse is?

7 Answers

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A vet can usually come close by examining the horse's teeth.  Also the older a horse is the more it starts to show a sway back.

  • 2 months ago

    Many factors play into reading the horses teeth, a Vet can really give you a clue as to its age. Length, the grooves, the angles are hard for a beginner to read.

  • jean
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    thats why u have to teach them to count

  • 2 months ago

    It's quite possible to get a reasonable estimate of a horse's age by examining his teeth.   Like rodents, horses' teeth grow their entire lives.  They're worn down as they eat, and the long root is pushed up to replace the worn areas. 

    Only the front teeth are looked at for age, as the back teeth need routine filing down (floating).

    The cross section of the erupted (visible) part of the tooth changes as it is pushed up, from basically a rounded rectangle to ultimately a rounded triangle in old age.

    The angle of the tooth changes as well.  Young horses's teeth come in basically straight and are pretty short, while old horses's teeth come in at an angle, greater and greater with age.  They appear longer and longer, too - thus the expression "long in the tooth," meaning old.

    Young horses have baby teeth which they lose for permanent teeth, just as we do.  For a horse under 5, you can tell by the number of baby teeth they have.  At 8 months, all their baby teeth are in.  The first permanent tooth comes in at around 2 years, the second at 3.  All permanent teeth are generally in at 5 years.

    If you look at the chewing surface of the teeth, you'll see the "cups."  These are depressions that are darker than the rest of the tooth surface.  The cups get worn down, and the darker color disappears with age.  At 6, the two central incisors will lose their dark cups.  At 7, the four central teeth will.  At 8, all the front teeth cups will have faded.

    At around 12 to 14ish, the shape of the teeth and the cups will change to a more triangle shape.

    There are other significant markers.  The top corner teeth are best to look at.  A notch on the  rear outside corner of the tooth will appear at around 7, wear down, and reappear again around 11.  This is related to the changing angle of the teeth, and interference between teeth.

    On the same teeth, a groove in the tooth, marked by dark discoloration, starts to appear at around 10.  This is Galvayne's groove.  It starts at the top of the tooth by the gum line, and gradually grows down as a vertical stripe until it covers the entire tooth.   The groove is halfway down at around 15, fully down by around 20.

    After 20, the groove starts to fade at the gumline, as it has grown fully out.  As the tooth continues to wear down and erupt, the part with the groove grows out.  At around 25, the groove will show only on the bottom half of the tooth.  At around 30, it will disappear entirely.

    All horses teeth grow differently, so this is approximate to begin with.  Then, things like diet play a major role.  For example, horses kept on sandy pastures/paddocks will wear their teeth down a lot faster than horses kept on good pasture.  Horses that crib wear their teeth down even faster.

    Some vets are good at reading teeth, most are not.  The best would be an old horse dentist if you can find one.

    Good Luck!

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If the horse is registered with any breed registry, such as the Jockey Club (for Thoroughbreds) the AQHA (for Quarter Horses) the American Trotting Horse Association (for Standardbreds) the Morgan Horse Association (for Morgans), or any of the Warmblood registries (there are many of these, too many to list here) then you should be able to trace the horse's age by running a check on the registration number or ID number. That will give you the animal's sire, dam, the damsire or broodmare sire's name, as well as the year and date of birth.

    Otherwise, the best way to check a horse's age is by having a vet or dentist examine the front teeth, both top and bottom.

  • Snezzy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Aging a horse by looking at the teeth works well up to about ten years. If you are thinking of buying a horse, expect that the seller is lying about the age, or perhaps is merely ignorant, having bought the horse as being "13" three years ago, now thinks the horse is 16, but it's really 27.

    It's hard to tell on an older horse. We own a pony whose teeth, on a cursory inspection, say he is 15. We've owned him for over 30 years!

  • 2 months ago

    By the shape/wear of its teeth.

    Googling "how to tell how old a horse is" is probably more useful than asking Yahoo Answers.

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