How Long Do Horses Live?

Posted by Christy Caplan
Aging Horse

The answer to this question is, 'not long enough' and every horse owner agrees. Just like with dogs and cats, horses are also living older thanks to advances in medical care and nutrition. The bad news is horses will not live as long as we do which is never something a pet owner wants to think about.

Yet there is no question that proper care including a good diet, exercise, turnout, and companionship will help a horse live a long and healthy life. 

What's the typical lifespan of a horse?

Experts at Cowgirl Magazine share that the average horse lives between 25 and 35 years.

"The span of 10 years is because of varying factors like breed, size, genetics, and proper care. Ponies tend to live longer than larger horses and can be seen thriving well into their late thirties and even forties. Arabians are known for their longer lifespans, while drafts tend to have much shorter ones."

The oldest horse is said to have lived to 62.

How do you know the age of your horse?

It's all about their teeth. We had to really research this as it seemed like a crazy way to determine the age.

Horseislove.com confirms that this technique will give you the approximate age.

"Since the structure of the teeth in a different stage of age, we can tell how long the horse has lived. Although we can see the teeth clearly, this method helps you find out the horse age in approximate level.

Since the teeth of a young horse are deciduous ones. Adult horses have permanent teeth with specific traits. You can see that the adult teeth are quite concave on the surface."

What about the average age of various types of horses? 

  • Wild horse: 15-years-old
  • Domestic horse: 25 to 33-years-old
  • Arabian horse: 30-years-old
  • Thoroughbred horses: 25 to 35-years-old
  • Paint Horse: 30 to 31-years-old
  • Mini Horse: 25 to 35-years-old

The life expectancy of older horses will likely not be 62-years-old like 'old Billy' since based on this chart the average lifespan is closer to 30-years-old. However, the better veterinary care and health care you provide for your horse the longer he will live. Always watch for medical issues like laminitis as hoof care can mean life or death for your horse at any age. Colic is another health issue that can be very serious so high-quality veterinary care is extremely important. Remember if you adopt an older horse and you're curious about the age to talk to your vet about your horse's teeth!

Just like with all senior animals you must carefully watch senior horses for any diet or behavior change to ensure they are feeling well!

How old is your horse? Share your thoughts below.

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