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How To Tell The Age Of A Horse

The safest way of determining the age
of a horse is by the appearance of the teeth, which undergo certain
changes in the course of years.

Eight to fourteen days after birth, the first middle nippers of the set
of milk teeth are cut; four to six weeks afterwards the pair next to
them, and finally, after six or eight months, the last.

All these milk teeth have a well defined body and neck, and a slender
fang, and on their front surface grooves or furrows, which disappear
from the middle nippers at the end of one year, from the next pair in
two years, and from the incisive teeth (cutters) in three years.

At the age of two the nippers become loose and fall out, in their
places appear two permanent teeth, with deep, black cavities, and full,
sharp edges.

At the age of three, the next pair fall out.

At four years old, the corner teeth fall out.

At five years old, the horse has his permanent set of teeth.

The teeth grow in length as the horse advances in years, but at the
same time his teeth are worn away by use about one-twelfth of an inch
every year, so that the black cavities of the center nippers below
disappear in the sixth year, those of the next pair in the seventh
year, and those of the corner teeth in the eighth year. Also the outer
corner of upper and lower jaw just meet at eight years of age.

At nine years old, cups leave the two center nippers above, and each of
the two upper corner teeth has a little sharp protrusion at the extreme
outer corner.

At the age of ten the cups disappear from the adjoining teeth.

At the age of eleven, the cups disappear from the corner teeth above,
and are only indicated by brownish spots.

The oval form becomes broader, and changes, from the twelfth to the
sixteenth year, more and more into a triangular form, and the teeth
lose, finally, with the twentieth year, all regularity. There is
nothing remaining in the teeth that can afterwards clearly show the age
of the horse, or justify the most experienced examiner in giving a
positive opinion.

The tushes, or canine teeth, conical in shape, with a sharp point, and
curved, are cut between the third and fourth year, their points become
more and more rounded until the ninth year, and after that, more and
more dull in the course of years, and lose, finally, all regular shape.
Mares seldom have tusks; if any, they are very faintly indicated.

Frequent reference to the chart for telling the horse's age will
thoroughly acquaint one with this valuable bit of knowledge.

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