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Old 02-07-2008, 01:04 PM  
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Other Ways To Determine A Horse's Age

Are there any other ways to tell the age of a horse besides looking at his or her teeth? I tried the whole teeth thing the other day and it didn't work out well. Granted, I'm inexperienced with the process, but I checked Rusty's teeth and according to the charts, he's between 10-12. However, my friend's horse is actually 13 and according to the charts, she's 8 or 9. I don't get it. I was told my horse was 8, but his teeth appear to say differently. He was apparently registered, but I have no papers. Could he have a tattoo somewhere (he's an appy)? Is there another way to age him? I will get the vet to take a look when he comes next.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:49 PM  
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I'm not sure if there's another way to accurately age a horse, but I was curious if you used the Galvayne's Groove AND the dental stars to age the horses? What I do is take pictures of their teeth from each side, from the front, and then an open shot from the front, and then I compare the pictures on the computer to some horse books I have, and have gotten very accurate results. There are circumstances that will give you innacurate results, and they get harder to age in their senior years, but maybe this will help with Rusty and your friend's mare, since they aren't very old.

This is a mare that was sold to me as an 8 year old, but I could tell from her appearance that she was older, and upon looking at her teeth, she amazing aged at least 12 years! Oh, she got her teeth done shortly after these pictures were taken, as I had just gotten her for my son.





So, while I didn't answer your actual question, hope this helps a little bit!
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:17 PM  
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Thanks for the help. I think that maybe I'll just try and get some pics, post them, and let you guys decide.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:25 PM  
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I also heard that the dimple pockets above their eyes gets deeper as they age. But the only somewhat accurate way is by a good Equine dentist. Even then it's tricky, but they usually can tell within 2 or 3 years of their actual age. Last year when my horse had his teeth floated by an Equine dentist, he said he was between 18 and 20 (bought him as a supposed 12 year old) and just last week she said that he was more like 17 or 18.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:36 PM  
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Rusty's Girl I came across this article I found particular interesting. In the beginning it covers some of the old ways that age was determined and then gets into a really good explaination of the use of teeth for aging excetera. I hope it helps some.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_car...y/eqteeth2503/
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:47 AM  
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There is an old wives tale on how to age a horse: Pull a hair from the horses tail. Put a gold ring (like a wedding band) on the hair, holding so that both ends are in your hand, with the ring in the middle. Fill a glass halfway with water. Hold the ring in the glass, but don't let it touch the water. Be sure to keep your arm still. Supposedly, the ring will start to swing. However many times it hits the side of the glass, that's how old the horse is. It might be fun to try it anyway.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:05 AM  
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I've only bought one unregistered horse and I asked my vet when he saw her how old............... his "guess" ended up being the same age I was told so..... I am thinking pretty close
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:24 AM  
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I have questions regarding the same teeth /age question. I bought a 12 year old quarter pony welsh cross ,when my vet checked him he aged him at 16 years (horse does not look or act 16) He does chew on his shelter and sometimes the fence could this make a difference?
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:41 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lady dumpling View Post
I have questions regarding the same teeth /age question. I bought a 12 year old quarter pony welsh cross ,when my vet checked him he aged him at 16 years (horse does not look or act 16) He does chew on his shelter and sometimes the fence could this make a difference?
I'm not completely sure, but from what I understand, a lot of wood chewing could excessively wear down his teeth to make him appear older dentally. It might be hard to really tell the difference from a 12 year old vs. a 16 year old physically... lots of different factors could come into play . Have you had his teeth done in the time that you owned him? An equine dentist might be able to look for other clues as well.

If he gets really fat in the summer, you could always buy a grazing muzzle, which would restrict his food intake, as well as not allow him to chew on things that will wear his teeth down too much - bad pony - lol
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:59 PM  
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I think I've come to the conclusion that noe one knows how to tell an age, period.

August 2005
Went to look at Jacques. Seller said he was 8. Provided bill-of-sale from 2003 saying he was 6 at that time. Vet comes out for prepurchase exam and says he's at LEAST 10, maybe older.

December 2005
Different vet says he's at LEAST 12, maybe older.

September 2006
Different vet says he's "betwen 14 and 20"

April 2007
Dentist says he's "probably between 14 and 18"

May 2007
Different vet from any of the others say he's "probably between 16 and 20"




Sooooo, to make my brain hurt less, I just made up in my own mind that his birthday is January 1, 1990. Makes it easier to answer when people ask. He's now officially 18 (in my brain).
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:29 PM  
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Jewel, I've heard the same thing, except tie the hair to the ring not just loop it. My dad and mom did that when I was younger on our ponies and it did seem to tell their ages, and it always came up with the same age everytime(and this was with different people holding the hair and not knowing what age had come up before). But the weird thing is, that when they tried it with his mules hair it would always come up a different number everytime I really think it works, just not on mules I guess
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:49 PM  
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I've heard about and have seen the over-time characteristics change in my old gelding. One being the temples sink in deep and the rest of his body fairs well...hard to tell on a skinny/malnourished horse though...their temples will seem sunken in and their eyes bug out when they are that thin and have lost facial fat.

Checking teeth is the only other way that I've known to guesstimate the age within a couple of years...and then, like others have said, teeth can be worn down to the dental star just by cribbing, grazing on sandy pastures, and misalignment of teeth.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:51 PM  
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Lady MCSE if you look at the upper front tooth nearest the gap, you will notice an indent growing lengthwise down the tooth, called Galvayne's Groove. This groove appears near the gum line at 10 yrs of age and with each year lengthens and becomes more pronounced. Mid way makes the horse 15. At 20, at the gum line the groove becomes smooth and in following years again mid way denotes 25. If the tooth is lacking the groove the horse is 30. At this age the teeth are much longer than on a young horse, hence "long in the tooth".
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:33 PM  
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Okay, I know this is the worst picture ever, but I didn't have anyone to help me and he was struggling. I'll try to get some better ones later from the sides and from the inside of his mouth.

Last edited by Rusty's Girl : 02-10-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:06 PM  
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Yeah, I'd say he is over 8, and looks like you're right in guessing 10 - 12, but when you're able to get some help to get the other pictures, that will help more. It's impossible to do yourself, and I should've mentioned that I had help in getting those pictures that I posted - lol!
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