Horse age is determined by examining the equine teeth.
As the horse gets older, its incisors or front teeth, slope more and their surface markings change.
Surface markings are known as tables and exhibit three features.
1 – An outer ring of enamel
2 – A broad line of ivory in the centre
3 – A ring of enamel called central enamel, with the line of dark crusta inside it.
When I was a small child, my father would recite a lovely poem to me about the age of horses.
Look at my lovely equine teeth!
The poem he taught me I will share with you. As for the author, unfortunately I do not know who it is.
To tell the age of any horse
Inspect the lower jaw of course
The six front teeth will tell the tale
Of any fear and dispel
Two middle nippers he behold
Before the colt is two weeks old
Before eight weeks two more will come
Eight months the corners cut the gum
The outside grooves will disappear
From middle two in just a year
In two years from the second pair
In three years, the “corners” too are bare
At two the middle “nippers” drop
At three the second pair can’t stop
When four year old the third pair goes
At five, a full new set he shows
The deep black spots will pass from view
At six years from the middle two
The second pair at seven years
At eight, the spot each corner clears
From middle “nippers” upper jaw
At nine the black spots will withdraw
The second pair at ten are bright
Eleven finds the corners light
As times goes on the horseman know
The oval teeth three-sided grow
They longer get, project before
Till twenty-one, we care no more
This is my horse’s tooth. He was rising four when my granddaughter gave him a very large carrot.
It took him a while to take a bite, and when he did his tooth, which must have been loose ended up on the floor.
Do you have a story to tell? Did you buy a horse and was fooled by it's age, or were you told it was younger or older than it actually was?
Scroll down from age of horse for more information on horses teeth.
How to age horse teeth