Horse age by teeth??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-12-2012, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Horse age by teeth???

I am studying for racehorse trainers test... I have to know how to read a horses age by teeth. I know the galvains groove and the shift, and but honestly the early years to about 7 , oh all of it confuses me, I have books, and workbooks and all that, but they don't really have pics, they have some lame poem that I do not understand and sooo basically I NEED HELP! Does someone know of a good book, website something??? I will appreciate it ! Thank you, oh and I asked the vet and well ... he wasnt much help either.Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 09:09 AM
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Here is a pretty good chart. Goes year by years until a horse is too old to race.
G2842 Determining Age of Horses by Their Teeth | University of Missouri Extension

Just google 'age of horses by teeth' and about 100 charts come up.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 11:34 AM
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I am horrible at this OP! Based on drifter's teeth we thought he was 10 or 11 when we got him from the auction. When I finally tracked down his breeder she was like "what?! He just turned 7"

So that was interesting to me. Can bad health care affect those signs like that? Or was the vet who looked just an absolute idiot?
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 02:19 PM
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I have been told my horse was 4 years old (no way) when we thought he was 18 months - that was 3 years ago when the vet gelded him. Then vet last summer said he was 3 so he turned 4 in April. New vet 2 weeks ago said he is at least 5 but not older than 7.

My head is spinning. I think I will stick with 4.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 02:23 PM
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What the heck??! Why is he changing so often? Is this the same vet??
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 02:37 PM
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No different vets. (although 2 of them from the same office)

A year ago I took him in specifically to get his teeth checked, as soon as she looked in his mouth she said "oh he is just a baby" Which makes sense if you had seen how much he grew in the first 2 of the 3 years I have had him.
Though he was malnourished when I got him too.

Then BO had a different vet out to check their teeth and he said that he would bet money that Hunter is between 5 and 7. Apparently he has teeth that BO's 4 year old doesn't have yet.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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Well I wonder Id malnourishment had affected his teeth? But that's weird that they made him seem older when drifter's had the opposite effect. Just goes to show that vets are people too and don't always hold the right answers. What you said about your head spinning...mine totally would be too! That's crazy
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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*seem younger (not older. Sorry. Darn phone keys)
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 03:25 PM
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I think you should focus on 2yo teeth to 6yo teeth bc they change a great deal in those short years. EVERYBODY should spend some time learning this to keep from being rooked by a seller, even it the seller doesn't know the age of the horse.
I would start with looking at 2yo teeth, then the 20yo, then the 6 yo, then the 10yo. If you put them in order and sequence it's harder to see the differences.
Very young horses have short, straight teeth with caps. Very old horses--which you'll probably never see at the racetrack!--have long, parroted out teeth with Galvayne's groove, the middle of the tooth stain-line, which is easiest to see from the top, outside, incisor. Galvayne's groove begins at age 10, is midway down at age 15, is all the way down the tooth at age 20, recedes 1/2-way down the tooth at 25yo, and disappears at age 30. Once I learned about it, I watched my horses teeth as they aged, from about 8yo through their 20's. VERY helpful bc they carry it with them, like a driver's license. =b
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-13-2012, 04:58 PM
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I have known more than one vet age a horse as 4 years old when it was two purely because they do not know the difference between milk and permanent teeth.

Ageing a horse from birth to 5 years is easy enough because there is a difference between milk and permanent teeth. After five years the teeth on the corners will change but to be correct the tables (the wear surface) should also be closely examined as this is constantly changing. This change does not happen exactly the same time in all horses but it is near enough.

The fact that a horse might be poorly fed as a youngster will not effect the teeth changes.
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