How Old is the Oldest Horse You Know
 By Winniefield Park   •   25th Apr 2013   •   4,801 views   •   11 comments
If you're like me, you want your horse to live forever. I know that's not going to happen, but thanks to advances in nutrition, care and veterinarian medicine, horses are living longer than ever. On average, according to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, horses live an average of 23
to 33 years.

The oldest horse I owned was a 28-year-old Belgian cross. No one else wanted her at the boarding stable where she lived, so I brought her home to find her a good forever home. She was nicely schooled and when my daughter's horse was lame, she proved a good fill-in for her drill team practice. Word spread that I was looking for a good home for her and very quickly, I was contacted by someone looking for a quiet horse for her young son. The sweet old mare found her forever home, with a little boy who loved to groom her, and claimed she was the most beautiful horse in the world.

My sister owned an Arabian mare named Penny, who lived to be 36 years old. Arabians tend to be long lived, and Penny was a good example of that. Ponies tend to live a long time too. In fact, they live longer than most horses. My daughter's Welsh pony lived to be 35. Snowman helped my daughter learn to ride, and after we sold him, many, many young children learned to ride and show on him.

So how do you help your horse live a very long time? Good basic horse care is essential. This means feeding the best quality hay and pasture, lots of turn-out time, shelter and clean fresh water. The most common cause of horse death is colic, so good diet, exercise and dental care are the best way to avoid a fatal bout. Injury and lameness can also shorten a horse's life, so hoof and joint care are important.

Horses are considered senior citizens when they reach about fifteen years of age. I'm sure many of you know horses older than fifteen that don't consider themselves seniors, and are still happy to give you a good buck or pull like a youngster. However, inside your horse things are changing. Their digestive system, teeth, joints, vision, hormones and immune systems are starting to age. This means we have to take a little extra care to be sure we're providing digestible food, adjusting the horse's exercise program and being extra sure to look after their parasite control and vaccinations. Good hoof care is essential because long hooves can add to tendon and ligament strain and cause splitting that can lead to white line disease and other hard to solve problems.

Once a horse has reached the age when it can retire to be a pasture ornament, it's important to be sure it doesn't become overweight. This can lead to problems like laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome (a bit like diabetes in humans) and Cushing's Disease. A balanced, digestible diet, along with light exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight in addition to keeping joints moving comfortably.

I hope my horse, who is now fifteen, lives many more years. Maybe our horses won't be like record breaking Shane, an Irish draught, who lived to be fifty one. But, with the right care, they will live the happiest, healthiest lives as long as possible.

How old is the oldest horse you know?
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
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32 yrs old is the oldest I know.
  Apr 25, 2013  •  5,930 views
Soul Horse  
37 years soon to be 38 is the oldest at our barn
  Apr 25, 2013  •  5,544 views
Seven Sins  
The oldest horse I know who is living in my own horse Annie who is about 35.

but my grandpa owned a gelding who lived to be about 38 years old
  Apr 25, 2013  •  6,233 views
The oldest horse I know was either 32 or 33 last time I rode him. If he's still alive (probably [and hopefully] is), he'd be 34 or 35.
  Apr 25, 2013  •  5,701 views
I knew a horse who was 43! He died a few years ago, though. His name was Buck, and I think the reason he lived so long was because he wanted to be around for summer horse camp! He loved being itched and having pink ribbons tied in his mane and tail. < 3
  Apr 25, 2013  •  6,178 views
Dark Star  
One of our 4hers owns a 45 year old pony. Name is "Little Black" and he's a Shetland pony.
  Apr 25, 2013  •  6,637 views
Renegade, a now 35 year old Quarter Horse, was 34 when he retired. :)
  Apr 26, 2013  •  5,661 views
Well, we currently have a 25 year old Haflinger, Troya! She's still going as strong as ever.

But our 4-H leader had two ponies. One, Lucifer, died last year, I think he was 50! Then, D-Boy is still alive and healthy. I think he is 48 or so. He still gets ridden by the little kids and even went to a few shows last year!

I read that the oldest horse was a cob named Old Billy who lived to be 62! He died in like 1822 though...
  Apr 26, 2013  •  5,561 views
I had a mare who lived to 38 years. She had no teeth left by then, and was doing light work.
My current horse is almost twenty, and he's a Connemara cross. No one thought he'd live to this age, but we've nursed him along. he gave his best for my brother in his last eventing competition a good few years back, but he's found new life again, after spending years acting like an old rocking horse and he now acts like a youngster! I have a feeling he's going to stick around for a long while, just to annoy us xD Not that I wouldn't like it!
  Apr 28, 2013  •  5,513 views
Hems Foresters  
I had a light chestnut shetland mare named Toffee. She died on New Years Day at the age of 30 years old. The vet put her down because he thought she had cancer. It was a sad start to the new year for my stable :(
  Mar 22, 2014  •  5,216 views
Liberty Acres I  
I have a 34 yr old standardbred gelding. noone wanted him so we took him and fattened him up now hes our babysitter to our 2 minis and 3 goats and 2 sheep.
  31 days ago  •  3,809 views
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