Horse Age and Lifespan Facts

Illustration of a horse in a stable

Illustration: The Spruce / Maritsa Patrinos

Just like people, thanks to a better understanding of health and medical care, horses are living longer than ever. Not that long ago, 25 years of age was considered old for a horse. Now, the life expectancy of horses has increased, largely because we take better care of them. Most of us would like our equine companions to stay with us for as long as possible.

  • 01 of 06

    How Long Do Horses Live?

    WADEBRIDGE, ENGLAND - MAY 24: A week old shire horse foal walks with her mother Orla at Cornwall's Crealy Adventure Park on May 24, 2013 near Wadebridge, England.
    Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    What is the average lifespan of a horse? With better veterinary care, horses are living longer than ever, just as better health care extends the life of humans. You can expect a healthy horse to live for over 25 years. A horse living into its 30s is not uncommon anymore.

  • 02 of 06

    What Age is the Oldest Horse?

    Two older horses with hollow backs.

    Jose A. Bernat Bacete /Moment Open /Getty Images

    How old is the oldest horse? How about the oldest pony or donkey? Here is a look at the ages of some of the world's longest-lived equines.

  • 03 of 06

    Signs of Aging in Horses

    08-Old-Stone-Farm-White-Horse

    Old Stone Farm

    If you own a mature horse, it's wise to watch it for signs of aging, so you'll know when to start treating it as a senior citizen. Not all horses age at the same rate and not all will require the same care. Here are the signs of aging you'll need to watch for so you can provide your horse with the very best.

  • 04 of 06

    Horse Age Compared to Human Age

    Many holding horse's head gently.

    Rebecca Nelson/Moment /Getty Images

    Several charts and calculators have been created in an attempt to compare a horse to human age. That's difficult to do, as the maturation and aging rate of horses and humans is very different. However, just for fun, here is one example of a horse to human age comparison chart and an explanation of why comparisons are not precise.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Telling a Horse's Age By Its Teeth

    Veterinarian examining teeth of a horse in stable
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    If you don't know your horse's date of birth, one way tell its age is by its teeth. Telling a horse's age by looking at its teeth is not exact, but it will tell you the approximate age. Horses' teeth erupt through the surface of the gum almost all its life, until the tooth itself is completely worn down.

  • 06 of 06

    How Old Should Your First Horse Be?

    Young woman with horse in field
    Jan Scherders/Getty Images

    How old should your horse be when you buy it? What is the best age for a beginner's horses? Should you buy a young or older horse? Find the answers to your questions about the age of your first horse.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.