Dog years, horse years, human year…how old is your horse?

Maybe you can help me come up with this answer. I was in the barn yesterday and I was thinking about my mare back in Maine, the first horse I ever owned (I did have a pony before her). She is 32 now. She looks amazing from a distance but up close you can see her knees are full of arthritis.

She has had great care. I rode her a lot between the ages of 5 and maybe 12. Then she was ridden lightly. My pony was 32 and mostly blind when she got pneumonia and was put down.

How long do horses live? Some say 24-35. One horse is reported to have lived to 51. How old is the oldest living horse YOU have ever seen (not found on the internet please).

And for you math people (I am not one) can you help me out with this. If we use 35 (or what ever number you like) and then we use the average human life (as 78 per the CDC website) than every horse year equals 2.2 human years.

So a horse that is 5 years old is the equivalent of 11 years old.

And a horse that is 10 would be 22.

And 20 would be 44.

And 30 would be 66.

And 40 would be 88.

Does this seem right? What age is your horse and how is he/she physically? How does he/she compare to the human equivalent?

40 Comments

  1. Michelle on April 26, 2016 at 6:06 am

    My friend’s horse, Scooter, turned 40 yesterday and is still going strong!

  2. Jennifer on June 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    My Arabian mare is 29. This year she had to switch to pellets from hay due to her teeth or lack thereof, and fresh grass is still edible, too. I expect many more years with her.

  3. Jordyn wright on April 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Between what years can a pony start becoming blind?

    • Stacy on April 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Any age is possible. I saw a foal on its mothers side that was going blind from genetic cataracts.

  4. Katie on July 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    The first horse I learned on was bill my moms friends QH. He died at the grand old age of 28 last year. You could tell it was coming because he was losing quite a bit of weight. It’s still very sad to know that the horse I learned how to ride on is gone:( I was probably 9 or 10 when I first got on him. that was 18 -19 yrs ago.

    • Katie on July 5, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Also want to add bill was a retired barrel racer. my moms friend couldnt have barrels set up any where around him because he would run them by hisself. No rider or nothing.

  5. Fawn Harris on June 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    The oldest horse i have had was a gelding named Smokey and he was 36 in human years so a little over 79 in horse years. He actually hardly had any problems except less energy and a litte arthritis but every horse is differen plus it depends on how the horse is taken care of.

  6. patnewmex on June 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    The oldest horse I ever say myself was at a stables that I took lessons at. This horse was being borded there. He was 48 and he looked every bit of those years. He could hardly walk, eat, etc. I felt bad for him. I have a 19 year old quarter horse that is in the best shape ever. I wonder how well he will age? He is very well muscled but has problems now and then with his feet.

  7. Lindy in Oregon on June 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    The best comparison I’ve seen can be found at this link: http://horses.about.com/od/understandinghorses/a/Comparing-Horse-To-Human-Age.htm
    Rather than 3-to-1 or 5-to-1, they have a chart for various ages like puberty at 2 (equals about 13 for human). My mare is now 19, which makes her almost 60, so she and I are the same age!

  8. Allie on March 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    there is a like 37,38,or 39 year old pony at my barn i’m not sure what his exact age is but how old would he be in human years. he is doing well.

  9. John in MN. on February 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I just PUT DOWN my 40yr old buddy CoRupShun (Quarter horse) Friday 1/31/2013 . I’m having a real hard time. He quit eating drinking – blood said kidneys failed – he was Good until the end – they are such magnificent friends – anmials ! God Bless . John

  10. Sammy on December 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    My mums horse was 38 years old and was put into the news paper as the oldest horse on the mornington peninsula. In horse years he was calculated as 144 years old wow

  11. Mariah on March 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    My horse is 41 this year, was point five off the fast time at the barrel racing in bc when he was 36 he is still very hot and is always running around in the pen and field

  12. shania newnham on January 26, 2012 at 3:24 am

    i have a horse that is 24 and still is alive and she is so easy to ride

  13. Becky Powell on December 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    My appy mare is 44-her age is showing more this year it seems. She has denied death twice in the 27 years I have owned her. My husband compares her to his belated grandmother(who lived to be 97 after having 13 children)-just when you thought she wouldn’t make it, boom she was mad at being fed late. My blacksmith said he knew a horse that was 52.
    She is the sweetest horse I have ever owned and I know that I will miss her when she is gone.

  14. tj on December 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I am getting ready to pick up my 32 year old horse I showed as a kid…I hope he sticks around 20 more years.

  15. Mary on December 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

    That sounds about right. My friend has a arabian mare named lilly that just turned 40 years old.
    I have a 28 year old paint/draft cross that is still going strong! I will be riding him in the county parade tonight. I figure he still has many years to go.

  16. Pepper on December 6, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I had a TN Walker Gelding that lived to be 32 – we trail rode until he was 28 when he suffered an injury from another horse chasing him – after that we just went for walks around the farm but he was wonderful and still my favorite to this day.

  17. Shayna on December 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    My quarter paint gelding is 34. Although he acts and fools people into believing he’s a yearling. If anyone asks though I tell them he’s 28 for the rest of his life. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them how old he is because of how much spirit he’s got.

  18. Debbie Knebel on December 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Thought provoking….it’s hard to say since horses are raced at 2. I think of a raced/ridden horse as being like a late teenager….but then they are up and running within an hour or two of birth. Based on their longevity I’d say it’s closer to 3 to 1. Our Shetland pony, Chelly, lived to be about 40. She entertained and fueled the equine desire for many kids. Her last 6 to 8 years she enjoyed the pasture with my quarter horse mare and her foals – teaching the foals manners! She was healthy up to the very end when she died from colic. Oddly enough, over 4 years prior to her demise, Chelly ate over 50 lbs of feed when a boarder left the feed room open. We figured that this would be the end but with vet advice, a water soaked paddock and Pepto Bismal doses she survived with no ill signs from the feast. My Quarter Horse mare which I purchased when she was 5 months old died at 25. She was down, looking quite content and nibbling at hay, but couldn’t get to her feet. With the vets assistance we tried to get her up and realized that something worse was happening and quickly helped her on to the other side. Her two foals are now 25 and 23. The 25 yr. old looks his age but the 23 yr. old is still bucking, running and making snow angels whenever he gets the chance.

  19. GD on December 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    this puts me and my mare at almost the same age – I love it! Helps me understand why she is sluggish sometimes – and why my bones snap and crack when I walk. =)

  20. Lisa Sabo on December 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    My Jingles was 42. She was an old style Nez Perce Appaloosa. She came to me when she was 12 after her family grew up and no longer wanted her. My children, their friends, the neighbors and many children and adults throughout the years; learned about horses and riding from her. She was my best babysitter and the one I trusted when it mattered. At 30 I rode her on a charity trail ride and she loved ever minute, passing many younger horses on the course.
    I spoiled and babied her and made sure she was comfortable at all times. Her final job was to be the friend of an autistic child. They both prospered from that relationship.

  21. Tam on December 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

    We had an old gelding till he was 37 the last few years we fed him alfalfa meal and some rice bran he did very well. He had no pain of course and one day just found him gone. As far as years to human not really sure. Dogs 1-7 Horses 1-5? Blessings to you and your family. Merry Christmas

  22. judith stahl on December 4, 2011 at 4:57 am

    My horse is 29 (after the equation). His health would be excellent, but he has just started showing symptoms of “kissing spine”, dorsal spinous processes. He can be ridden bareback at the walk. My vet told me to walk him up and down hills, which might strengthen the muscles supporting his spine.

    Not being a competitor, and being a bit on the cautious side at my age (55), that is okay with me. I do miss watching him roll back and forth in the mud. He now has to get up after itching one side and lie back down to take care of the other.

    It happened suddenly. I massage him often and do energy balancing. It is a great bonding time for us.

    • stonepony1s on December 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      Judith stahl, have you tried a horse chiropractor? It is really helping my horse. she had a limp that the vet could not identify.

  23. patricia woodruff on December 4, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Yes, horses & ponies can live to be at least 40, I knew of a pony named Rosie that died of OLD AGE of 41 !! She was a good old girl!!!

  24. Janet on December 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Hummm. This is a poser. I have never compared my animals age to humans age cause I’m not very good at math, But I had a Black lab that passed away last year at 17 years old, he could still take a round out of a coyote when he finally took his last breath by my side. As far as my horses are conserded they are all still fairly young, and all I can hope for is that their lives are healthy ones and that I will have the means to keep them that way until they finally go to that big pasture in the sky.

  25. Erica on December 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    My grandparents had 2 horses before I got my horses. Candy(a qh/arabian mare) lived to be 32&Sugar(a Palomino Qh) lived to be 31. They were raised together from foals. They were both still very strong up until the end.

  26. Kathy Dukes on December 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    My Grandfather had a horse (Apache) who lived to be 37. My horse (Dixie) is 15 and is in great shape. I sure do love her and I am taking really good care of her because I want her to live a long time!!

  27. Nikki on December 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    my friends pony was 40 something when he died. it was the sweetest story. her mom rescued him from a farmer who mistreated him. when my friends mom died she inherited little jakob.
    she told me some funny storys regarding him and he brought her back to horses and she got some more, so he would have to live a lonely life.
    when i met him he was 39…. an old pony eating mash, but way far from dying…..
    she told me, that he died all peaceful…. he was weird…. she put him in a blanky…. and when she got back to check on him, he was in the shed laying like he was a sleep….. always sad to let someone something go, but what better way to die as a horse, then in your own stall and bed.

    my mate is 10 now and he just likes to play play play…. hope he stays like this for a long time. 🙂

  28. Hannah Ronnau on December 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    My neighbor and good friend lost a horse last winter, he was 36 years old. He is the oldest horse I have ever personally known.

  29. Sue Otis on December 3, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Hi Stacy, I am just getting familiar with horses in their thirties. At the farm where I work pt there are 2 in their mid thirties. Both are retired polo ponies. One often lays down to roll and can’t get up w/out human assistance. my boss has worked out a great system for this.They are both lightly exercised (walking/trotting bareback). Your numbers seem right to me.

  30. Todd M. Trzcinski on December 3, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Great topic Stacy~
    I am relativly new to the horse world.I have a 14 year old mare that just blessed me with a beautifull studcolt this spring.From day 1,I have been amazed at the beauty and intracacy of nature in how quickly the colt has grown,both mentally and physically.God is truely amazing!

  31. Jessica on December 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Back when we were living in AZ, I had this horse that was 40 years old that I rode. He was an Arabian.

  32. Karla on December 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

    The pony I had growing up was estimated to be around 35 when she passed, she was in great shape, I had not ridden her in a very long time as she was so old. My poor grandmother gave her something that caused her to bloat and die before we could get the vet out there. She felt guilty the rest of her life over that one, but she nor my grandfather (both who were raised around horses) knew that would happen. So, I feel it was just the old girls times, as sad as it was. She was also the oldest I had ever known. While I would love to have a horse to live that long, most of mine that I have had got some sort of disorder that the vet said was common in old age where their digestive system does not utilize their feed.

    As for age of a horse to human years, that would be interesting to know. I’m not sure of that one. I do know that I have a cat that is around 150 in cat years right now and he is still somewhat going strong. 🙂

  33. M.J on December 3, 2011 at 8:27 am

    The oldest horse I have ever met was 53 when he was put down this spring. My own pony was 38 when he was put down.

  34. Gwen Confalone on December 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Right now we have 6 horses ages 4 to 20.
    Oldest horse I have owned: 26 (TB)
    Oldest horse I have known/seen: 33 (QH)
    Average age IMHO: 25

    I use a horse to huuman conversion factor of 3 when I guestimate a human equivalent.

  35. Jodi C. on December 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

    The oldest horse I’ve met, so far, was 39, and was at a stable I used to work for. He had interesting coloration – I called him a pinto-appaloosa (not a pintalosa). He had full-over appaloosa markings, but underneath that, just as clearly, he was a grey tobiano pinto (so, for example, over his butt he had a grey pinto marking, with black app spots overlaid) I can’t find any pictures on the internet for example – the pintaloosas I found don’t have that distinct separation. At any rate, despite the fact he had no teeth, he wasn’t skinny, I fed him beet pulp soup each day, and he got a flake of hay. He couldn’t actually chew the hay, so he’d quid it and then leave balls of slimy hay in his enclosure. Was enough to keep him occupied, even if he wasn’t getting any nutrition from the hay.

    He was in pretty good fettle when I left that place, so I’d not be surprised if he lived a few years more.

    • Janice on November 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      My horse Peanut was 27. He died today

  36. Dakota on December 3, 2011 at 6:07 am

    My dads old show gelding was 32 when we had him put down….

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