Horses are odd-toed mammals that belong to the Equidae family. It is interesting that original horses had several toes and they were quite smaller than modern horses. Their evolution started about 50 million years ago. Although there are wild horses even today, people started to domesticate these animals about 6 millennia ago. Horses have been used for many different purposes in our history. Besides the fact that they were helping people with specific jobs, they are used in sports, warfare, culture and entertainment, products and even in therapeutic treatments.
How long do horses live?
How long do horses live? This is one of the most frequent questions asked by people interested in these lovely animals. According to official statistics, the average lifespan of a horse (domestic horse) is between 25 and 30 years. But, it is worth mentioning that the numerous studies that were conducted in the last few decades have allowed people to take even better care of horses, so a huge number of these animals live significantly more than the average.
Of course, different breeds of horses have a different lifespan. For instance, ponies usually live much longer than other species. Numerous reports have confirmed that ponies are still vital even when they reach 30 years. There are records of ponies and other horses that died when they were 40 or even more. Official records show that the oldest horse died at the age of 52.
Unlike other animals, smaller breeds usually live longer than larger breeds. So, in this case, Arabians live longer than draft breeds. Since only a small number of horses around the world have proper paperwork that can confirm they age and they are changing owners frequently it is hard to tell how old a horse is. Experts usually analyze their teeth to determine their age, but this is not a completely precise method.
The healthy lives of the horses
What most people say is that with proper care, their older horses can live useful and healthy lives for a long time. Some of the things that every horse owners should take care of include dental health, proper feed, and hoof care. So, even when we are talking about working horses, they can still be useful when they retire because if they are healthy they can help young horses socialize and provide lessons to children.
Some statistics show that domestic horses have more than 50% chances of dying naturally when they are old. Unfortunately, there are many cases when the owner is forced to euthanize their animal because of specific incurable diseases and health issues. Some people find this cruel, but most experts agree that this is a better decision than to live the horse die slowly in extreme pain.
Feral horses usually live shorter lives because they are exposed to attacks from predators. This is especially true for the young horses and old horses that can’t stay in the herd. Older horses are also prone to diseases because their immune system is weaker. Only a small number of old feral horses die naturally.