Light draft horse life spans? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Light draft horse life spans?

Around what is a light draft horses life span supposed to be? (Talking about Haflingers specifically.)
At around what age would they be considered "old" and what is the average life span?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 06:38 PM
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Horses all pretty much have the same lifespan..they aren't like dogs where large breeds have shorter lifespans. These days, with proper care, 20-25 is probably average though you do get the occasional 30 yr+ versions. We have a mare at our barn, a TB/Warmblood cross, that is 26. She's slowing down a bit but still active. She takes her owner out every day for a trail ride.

In the case of horses I think "aged" starts at 10..at least that is what AHSA (American Horse Show Association) used to say when registering for classes. Of course it depends upon the individual animal. For some 10 is the age where they are just getting started :) but for others they are ready for retirement.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-08-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I heard drafts slow down at an earlier age and usually don't last as long as a lighter horse or pony. Well thank you.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-09-2013, 12:13 PM
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Drafts are not as long lived as light horses. I think a good part of that is because of care or lack thereof. It's not uncommon to see elite hitch horses only live into their early teens. My first broodmare lived to 27 but that's not as common as in light horses. As far as the pony drafts, they tend more towards the pony side and are long lived. You have to work extra hard on keeping them fit and trim.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-11-2013, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaptail View Post
Around what is a light draft horses life span supposed to be? (Talking about Haflingers specifically.)
At around what age would they be considered "old" and what is the average life span?
No easy answer. Every breed is different. Work loads will have been different. Care will have been different and certainly, good or poor genetics, will have played a part.

In countries where horses are relatively well looked after, they are living longer these days. This of course, due to good medical care which was unknown or missing, in the past.

My daughter's old Haffie, is at least 30 now and only recently been retired from gymkhana. He would love to go on for ever, but his mum had to make the decision, because of his arthritis.

I know of some very aged Gypsy Horses. Ie; over 30. I know of one Gypsy Horse mare, who has had, it is believed, at least 22 or 23 foals. Still alive but no longer producing. I think she must be close to 30 now.

Lizzie
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-11-2013, 10:45 PM
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The smaller breeds definitely live longer, and are generally usable longer, too.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-11-2013, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaptail View Post
Around what is a light draft horses life span supposed to be? (Talking about Haflingers specifically.)
At around what age would they be considered "old" and what is the average life span?

There's no hard average with horses. Like people there can me a lot of things that factor into it. It's been rare that any of our horses didn't go over 25. Over 30 would have been our average. While I don't remember any of them (or hearing of any of ours before my time) reaching 40 it's possibly for horses to live beyond 40 years. However a 40 year old horse is OLD and I wouldn't hold out for 50 (although I suppose it's technically possible).

When people ask me how long they can anticipate their horse living I usually say that with decent care and all things being equal the horse should reach 25+. Most horses that die earlier usually do so because of health issues that either kills them or result in them being put down.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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