Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

G: Equine Teeth and Aging

The age of horses, donkeys, and mules can be estimated by examining the eruption and wear patterns of the teeth. Figures 7 through 9 provide a usable reference to help the accredited veterinarian approximate a given horse’s age. These figures are reprinted with the permission of the American Association of Equine Practitioners from the “Official Guide for Determining the Age of the Horse.” 



The Incisive Arcades 

When the incisors are viewed in profile, the angle between the upper and lower i11cisors becomes more acute with age.



Schematic Drawing of Incisors, Irregular Wear 

Illustration depicts teeth of excessive length, whjch may have resulted from too-acute angulation at a n early age, improper wea r, or maintenance of the horse of a soft diet. Each line on the corner tooth represents approximately 1year's growth. If table (occlusal) surfaces of incisors indicate age of 10 years and teeth were as illustrated, showing 10 lines, the age of the horse may be estimated as 20. (Num ber of lines added to indicated age of table surfaces equals estilnated age.) 


Figure 9 - Equine incisors at various ages on the following pages. (Scanned from the Official Guide for Determining the Age of the Horse, Published by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.)

Complementary Content