One hundred years ago when horses were mainly used for transportation, work and farming very few lived to become senior horses. In fact, the younger the horse was started into work the quicker he wore out. The horse was considered to be in his prime between five and ten years of age back then, and anything older was an old horse.
During those times, if a horse had not been started too young, had not been overworked, and had good health care and proper nutrition throughout its life, it might have lived to be a “very old” horse of 25 to 30 years of age. Now approximately 17% of the horses in the U.S. are estimated to be over 20 years of age. What may have been an old worn-out horse 100 years ago may just be coming into its prime today. Many performance horses are just getting settled into their work by the time they are in their teens.Continue reading