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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible for a 14 yr old horse to have the teeth of a 20+ yr old? My horse is a tb/wb who is said to be 14 (he's not registered) but then on his dentistry paper it says his age is estimated to be 20+! I just bought this horse not too long ago (less than a month) and it's worrying me because that's a significant difference and I planned on showing and jumping him heavily but may have to reconsider that if he is truly over 20 yrs old. My trainer bought him a couple years ago and I believe this number is off of what she was told and the vet estimate. I haven't said anything to my trainer but it's really bugging me.

Info on the dentist- The dentist who just did his teeth, is not certified as an official dentist, she started teaching herself about horses teeth after her horse had severe problems with his teeth. She then taught herself how to work with the horses mouth and what its supposed to look like. She is self taught- but is currently enrolled in equine dentistry working on her degree.

He also didn't have his teeth cared for for years with his previous owners.
 

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The teeth never lie. So either the dentist can't tell the age, or they got it wrong on the registration papers or it's not the same horse.
 

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Sky- There aren't any papers. The horse isn't registered.

Op- The previous owner could have lied about the age. However, I don't know if I would trust the "dentist" since she was self taught. How much experience does she truly have? You could try to get another guess from another certified dentist. When horses get up in years, it gets harder to tell their age.
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I'd ask the trainer you got the horse from about the age difference and see what the trainer has to say.
The horse is what it is, it is not uncommon for a horse without papers to prove the correct age, most of the time that is why there are no papers.
Buyer Beware .....
 

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Even a vet has a hard time telling true age after about 15 years. But, the galvaynes groove is used alot to tell a horses age, here is a photo and description link. Galvayne's Groove In Horses: Photos
This groove in the upper tooth is pretty reliable way to tell age if the teeth are in decent shape. You can also look at the teeth when they are closed from the side and figure the horse is older as the shape of the teeth form more and more of an arch. A young horse, looking at the closed mouth from the side is almost straight up and down, as a horse gets older, the teeth start forming an arch when they meet and pointing outwards. Of course its all a guessing game unless you have the papers to prove it and you know the horse is the ones on the papers.
If a horses lineage is unknown, it is very common to give a much younger age to a horse when its sold so it will seem much younger and worth more money.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am definitely going to talk to my trainer about it. And thanks for the link about the groove! Well we'll find out what's up.
 

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Thanks wyominggrandma! That was very informative. I learned something new today and it has only started. I'll have to look at two of our horses today. They are only 12 and 16 and the rest are under 10.
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Well it would be nice to know the true age of your horse......I would say that age would be secondary to his over all health and fitness.......if he can do the job and is happy doing it......then go for it.....he will tell you when he can't do it anymore.

Super Nova
 

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I'm with Super Nova on this one. I have a barn mate who has a 12 year old jumper that is constantly lame and an all around unhealthy horse (even with thousands of dollars in vet bills and treatments), and then i have another barn mate friend of mine whom has a 27 year old eventer that she STILL events on. He's tough, strong, fit, and VERY well kept. It's all in the horse and his/her conditioning and genetics. To hell with what his teeth say... what does HE say about jumping?!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys! And there is nothing wrong of he was truly that age, I would just want to know so I could start him on a joint supplement and take the proper precautions. Turns Out he is truly 14 and the dentist even went to my trainer afterward saying she had made a mistake. So he is 14 truly, and either way I love him to death!!
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