How Long Do Horses live?

How Long Do Horses live Horses Anatomy

If horses are taken care of properly, these days like us they have a longer life span than a couple of decades ago. A well look after horse can live nearly 30 years depending on the race and his genetics antecedents.

How long do horses live? What’s the typical lifespan of a horse?

The chart below lists the average life expectancy of common horse breeds:

BreedOriginApprox. WeightApprox. HeightLife Expectancy
American Quarter
USA950-1200 pounds14.3-16 handsAmerican Quarter horse lifespan = 30
England1000 pounds16 handsThoroughbred horse lifespan = 25-28
1000 pounds14-15 handsArabian horse lifespan = 25-30
FriesianThe Netherlands1300 pounds15.3 handsFriesian horse lifespan = 16
Paint horse
USA950-1200 pounds14.2-15.2 handsPaint horse lifespan = 31
AppaloosaUSA950-1200 pounds14.2-15 handsAppaloosa horse lifespan = 30
England850-1100 pounds16 handsShire horse lifespan = 25-30
USA1000 pounds14.1-15.2 handsMorgan horse lifespan = 20-30
Tennessee walking
USA900-1200 pounds14.3-17 handshorse lifespan = 30
PercheronFrance1900-2600 pounds16.2-17.3 handsPercheron horse lifespan = 25-30

To understand how to this process has evolved overtime is useful to know a little about the early history of this majestic creature.

Horse Domestication

Archaeological and palaeological evidence shows that horses were probably domesticated initially about 35 centuries BC. in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Comparisons of the ancient discovered rests DNA and those of modern horses have helped to arrive to this conclusion.

About 20 century BC. the amount of rests found in human inhabitancies surge abruptly, which is taken as a sign that the domestication of the horse has spread across the whole Europe.

The discoveries from the Sintashta and Petrovka cultures, in which horses were found buried along chariots, is the undeniable prove that domestication was present in2100 BC.

How Long Can A Horse Live?

In our times the average domestic horse can live between 25 to 33 years, and ponies tend to have a longer life span. It’s not rare to find horses with more than 40 years of age and even the oldest horse ever recorded was the remembered the 19th century horse “old Billy” who lived 62 years of age and in more recent years the Guinness record. “Sugar Puff” who died when he was 56..

For competition purposes the age of horses is not measured from the actual birth of them, and in fact a year is added on august the 1st in the southern hemisphere and on January the 1st in the northern every year. The only kind of competition that uses the actual age of the horses as standard,  is the endurance riding in which a minimum age is required to compete.

Breeds that are smaller, like for example the Arabian horse, normally live more than the bigger ones like the Draft horses.

The care and how much does a horse weight can help them to have a healthy and longer life, and in that sense the teeth and feeding attention is basic to enjoy a horse for many years. If this attention is done properly, these older horses can have useful late life and can be occupied for light tasks, like for example be ride for children in their firsts learning stages.

How long do horses live in the wild?

Wild horses live for about 14-15 years, which is considerably less than the average lifespan of domestic horses, that live for 25-30 years. It is most likely because wild horses are more prone to viral diseases and bacterial.

How long do horses live in human years?

When a horse is 20-30 years old, it’s the equivalent of a 60-85 years old human.

Strategy Horse Feed

Nutrition and feeding are fundamental factors regarding the age of a horse, and a good nutrition program is not only help to have a happier horse, but also will make the horse stronger and healthier, resulting in a longer and better life.

Most of the nutrition experts agree when comes to which is the most natural way to feed a horse, and that is without a doubt “pasture”, which is delivered easily  and comfortably across the horse digestive tract. The collateral advantage of pasture is that the horse is practically obliged to stay moving to get fed, improving his or her overall health.

If horses are given the access to pasture full time, they are going to be grazing between 60 to 70% of the time, resulting in an improvement of their health derived from the continuous exercise. Awkwardly in our days a minority of horses have the opportunity to enjoy unlimited pasture time.

The limitation of space is something that must have to be taken in to account in the design of a nutrition program that is intended to give to your horse a longer and better life.Regarding the issue is  a good idea to be conscious that the trade off  that exist between the lack of space and the health of our horses.

Will horses stop eating when they are full?

Horses do not have the ability to control their eating so that they will stop eating when they have met their nutrient requirements. They will continue to eat, which can lead to digestive and lameness problems.

How many lbs of feed does a horse eat?

The average thousand-pound horse who relies on hay for all their forage typically eats 14 to 18 pounds of hay per day.

Horse denominations by age

Yearling: Any horse, independent of gender, that has between 1 and two years of age.

Foal: It is a horse that has not yet met one year of life.

Colt: A male horse that is not 4 years old yet.

Filly: A female horse under the age of four.

Mare: Female that met 4 years of life or more.

Stallion: A 4 years old horse or more that has not been castrated.

Gelding: Any age horse that has been castrated.

Horse Gestation and Maturation

Between 320 and 370 days is the average time that takes the gestations of foals

Horses are a precocial species, meaning that they are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth and shortly are able to stand and run. The springs are the seasons in which the majority of births are seen normally are weaned after a period between 4 and 6 months after birth.

Domesticated colts mostly are allowed to reproduce approximately at the age of three, but some horses are physically able to breed after a year and half of age.

Horse’s body develop continuously until they are 6 years old, but they achieve maturity depending on gender, breed, care quality and individual structure.

Also they are put under saddle commonly at the age of 2,and even four depending of breed, the maturity that they have shown, and the work that are intended to do.

In many countries race horses start to race when they are 2 years old, but another horse riding sports never put them under saddle until they are 4 and even many jumping horses come to the discipline after their race careers has arrived to their end.The age of retirement for a racing horse is normally at 5 or 6 years old, and statistics show that in in America only 30% of the racing horses are older than 5 years old.

Horses And Sports

Horses have been for century an inspiration for the sportsmanship of our species. Both humans and horses have developed an outstanding variety of skills that have entertained millions of persons everywhere in the world.

Military activities were very influential in equestrian sports, and a number of disciplines, like jumping, eventing and also dressage had their origins in martial training. The balance and control of both of the components, (rider and horse) were the main goal of the initial developers of these events. Another source of inspiration for the birth of new equestrian sports were the tasks that the farmers needed to do in their regular working days.The growth in the number of horse related sports resulted in the development of the specialized breeds, in which the most skillful horses were chosen for specific practices.

Horse Racing

A sport s that has evolved until became a huge industry being watched all over the world, is horse racing, and some of the disciplines in which is held are: harness racing, plain racing, jumping, steeplechasing and  several more that are less popular .

Famous Racehorses


The Secretariat statue at Belmont Park

Foaled by Somethingroyal and sired by Bold Ruler on March 30 of 1970, this bright-red chestnut racehorse is considered by many, the best of his class ever. He became a massive and powerful horse that stood 16.2 hands when fully developed, and was described as nearly perfect because of his very well balanced conformation and advance biomechanics.

The “Big Red” like his fans like to call him, was the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years (1973), and also holds a record winning by 35 lengths at the Belmont Stakes, which is considered 1 of the best races of all time.

His debut was in a maiden race in which he finished fourth, but after that he won 7 of 8 races, being the only loss at the Champagne Stakes, where he was disqualified for interference, after have actually won.

He received the best horse and the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old colt in 1972.

Hi success was not only remarkable for the achievement of the Triple Crown, but also for the setting of new speed records in all 3 races.

The awards, winning, and record of this amazing horse are almost endless, and a complete record of it can be found here.

Unfortunately this unforgettable horse died at age 19 in 1989 due to laminitis.

Man o’ War

Another candidate for the best racehorse of History is this also red bright chestnut ,born in March 29,1917 and sired by Fair Play with  Mahubah a not very raced mare sired by Rock Sand , a very successful colt winner of the English triple crown.

Despite that Man o’ war was almost always restrained by weigh over his rivals, he was defeated only once and like Secretariat won the Belmont Stake for an awkwardly advantage(20 lengths) and in his debut he did it by 6 lengths.

Even though this magnificent horse won the Preakness Stake by 1 1/2 lengths over his eternal rival Upset and the Belmont Stake  by 20 lengths he couldn’t challenge the modern triple  crown because his owner Samuel D. Riddle didn’t  like that a young colt like him, goes for a mile and a quarter race like the Kentucky Derby.

Sire Legacy

His legacy as a sire is almost as outstanding as his career as a race horse and in 1926 was considered the best  in North America,achieving similar results in  1928,1929 and 1937.also 62 foul of his 381 has been recorder as stakes winner and specially 2 have been recognized  as champions.

Man o’ War was retired from his stud career in 1943 due of a heart attack, and 3 years later died as a consequence of the same.

War Admiral and Seabiscuits :”Relatives In Arms”

In Human terms, the 1 of november of 1938  the nephew had no mercy with his uncle, and  the great Seabiscuits inflicted one of the most painful defeats to his uncle World Admiral, who recently have won the prestigious Triple Crowne.

The Cinderella of the American horse racing was the biggest earner of the year ,and his reputation  in the West coast was huge making the “biggest race” of the century inevitable.Seabiscuits a grand sireof the great “Man o’ War”

was  predestinated to confront  thee idol of the east coast,the sun of the great ‘Man O’ War”.

In an electrifying  race at Pimlico, the light bay sired by Hard Track defeated the Triple Crown champion by 4 lengths.

War Admiral Triple Crown

In the horseracing world is known that the great Man o’ War was no able to challenge the triple Crown because his owner,Samuel Riddle didn’t like to expose his young horses to long distance races,but with War Admiral he made an exception and the brown colt was awarded with a great win at the Kentucky Derby, and only after a week he won the Preakness stakes in a close race to Pompoon by a head.The Belmont Stage On June 5, 1937 was the stage where War Admiral was meant to be proclaimed the fourth horse ever to win the triple Crown of horse racing in the United States.

As a sire War Admiral had also a successful legacy, and was considered the leading American sire in 1945 ,also giving life to a several champions like: Blue Peeter,BusandaNavy Page and many more.Even though there are not war Admiral sires descendants anymore ,his daughters have kept the linage of this great horse alive.

Rate author
( 1 assessment, average 5 from 5 )
The Ultimate Guide for Horse Lovers
Add a comment