Many equine dentists and veterinarians can determine your horse’s age through examining his teeth. You can also try your hand at this practice by learning what to look for. Unfortunately, his teeth can only give you an age range, rather than the exact number. Younger horses are likely to be easier to identify, as less life factors come into play. Either way, if you’re unsure of your horse’s age, his mouth is a good place to start.
At around nine months old, a foal will have his final set of milk teeth. The milk teeth are short and pale compared to their adult ones. These teeth will eventually shed and permanent teeth begin to emerge around the age of two to three years old. At five years old, the permanent teeth should be completely grown in.
Adult teeth have grooves that eventually grow out. Based on the shape, groove, and angle of them, you can estimate the horse’s age. Eventually, the surfaces are worn flat from grazing. Horses around 11 years old will have mostly flatten teeth.
The groove that forms at the gum line around the age of 10 is known as Galvayne’s groove. This darkish indent will be halfway down the horse’s teeth once they are around 15 years old. It will disappear along the gum line at around 20 years old.
Senior teeth are quite stained and yellow. The angle will also begin to change from upright to more slanted. Some teeth may begin to fall out as the horse ages.
Take a look at the chart to see some of the changes the teeth will experience. Aging your horse by looking at his teeth isn’t too hard once you learn what to look for.