Horse Aging Factors

The rate at which a horse ages is affected by:

  • Breed. Horses are the same as dogs, in that some breeds live much longer (almost twice as long) as others.
  • Food. The quality and quantity of food will affect the horse's health and lifespan. This is particularly so during the first few years of its life (when it is maturing) and the final years of its life (when special foods may be required).
  • Use. The type and intensity of use can affect a horse. For example, show jumping puts stress on the joints and competing at a high level requires intensive training which ages the joints faster, thereby shorting the horse's working life (although not neccessarily its livespan).
  • Environment. The way in which a horse is kept will affect the horse. For example, a horse which is left on a field year round with no protection from the weather will tend to age faster and is more prone to potentially fatal illnesses. Conversely, a horse which is kept in a stall all the time will lack the exercise and mental stimulation it requires.
  • Medical Care. A horse which receives proper preventive care (e.g. required innoculations) and curative care (e.g. prompt care of minor or major injuries and illnesses) will likely live longer than one which does not.
  • Individual. Like people, some horses are simply healthy individuals. Even two horses with the exact same parents and which are kept in the exact same way may differ in their general health, working livespan and longlevity.
     

For details on horse aging, see: