The 4-H Horse Project D eterm i ni ng A g e Looking at a horse’s teeth can help you determine its age.
Up to 5 years old, you can figure a horse’s age quite accurately.
From 5 to 12 years old, you can usually get a good approximation of age.
After age 12, it is hard to determine age accurately, and the older the horse becomes, the harder it gets.
Foals have their first four temporary incisors by 10 days of age.
The four second incisors appear between 4 and 6 weeks, and the four third incisors between 6 and 9 months.
These temporary teeth are smaller than permanent teeth.
They are also much whiter and have a distinct neck at the gumline.
The permanent first incisors come in at 2½ years, the second incisors at 3½ years, and the third incisors at 4½ years.
Young permanent incisors have cups (pits) in the center of the surface.
Over time, the surface wears and the cups disappear.
For most horses, the cups become smooth at the following ages: lower center at age 6, lower middle at age 7, lower corner at age 8, upper center at age 9, upper middle at age 10, and upper corner at age 11.
As the cup disappears, a dental star appears.
At first it looks like a narrow, yellow line between where the cup was and the front of the tooth.
It progresses to dark circles near the center of the tooth. All temporary incisors show cups at 2 years. All incisors are permanent and show cups at 5 years. Cups are worn out of lower middle incisors at 7 years. what to look for when aging teeth Cups are worn out of four central incisors at 9 years.
Dental star appears. Birth–2 years 3–5 years 6–8 years 9–11 years 12 years 10–20 years Over 12 years Number and wear of temporary incisors Number of permanent incisors Wear of lower incisors Wear of upper incisors Smooth surface (no cups) Galvayne’s groove Shape of surface; angle of incidence Cups are worn in all incisors (smoothmouthed) and dental star is near center of tooth at 12 years. The 4-H Horse Project Health 45 9–10 years
Read more about what to look for when aging teeth Cups are worn out of four central incisors at 9 years: