|Posted by Nicole Nauss on January 7, 2014 at 9:20 PM||comments (3)|
How To Tell The Age Of A Horse
As probably everbody is aware, the age of a horse can be ascertained by an inspection of the teeth on his lower jaw, from which information can be derived by remembering the following facts. The first set of teeth are known as milk teeth, which are gradually shed and replaced by permanent ones, which alter in apperance as the horse grows older.
The two middle teeth appear at two weeks old, the next pair at eight weeks, and the two outside ones at eight months. At about two and a half years old the two middle teeth are shed, at about three and a half years the center two, and at about four and a half the outside ones, the horse thus getting his "full mouth" developed at the age of five years. Of course the process of shedding these teeth is a gradual one, and until they have been shed, the permanent ones cannot appear, still less develop. It must, therefore, be understood that the changes take place about the periods when the horse arrives at the ages stated, as it would be absurd to imagine that as soon as he becomes a two-year-old the center milk teeth are shed, or that the permanent ones forthwith assume their full size. It may be added that the first set of teeth are perfectly smooth in front, but ridged in thier insides and very white, whereas the later ones show grooves on thier surface and are of a more yellow color. It is necessary to allude to this fact in order to distiguish between a two-year-old mouth of milk teeth and a five-year-old mouth of permanent ones. The shallow grooves alluded to are on the front of the teeth, not on the tops, and can therefore be seen when the mouth is closed if the lips are held apart by the fingers. When he reaches the age of six the black marks in the upper surface of the two middle teeth will begin to fade away through rubbing against the upper ones, the marks on the next pair dissapearing at seven years, and those on the outside or corner ones at eight years. At nine the marks on the middle pair on the upper jaw become lost, those on the center pair following at ten, and on the corner ones at eleven. It may be added that as a horse becomes older his teeth grow longer and develope a tendency to acquire a three-cornered shape. Exsperience is, of course, necessary to estimate the age of an animal accuretly, but the above rules may be relied upon as accurate, though occasionally, but rarely, a strangely abnormal mouth may be found. It must be remembered too, that unprincipled persons are in the habit of tampering with the teeth of horses with the object of making thier animals appear either older or younger than they actually are.