To Tell The Age Of A Horse

16 Mar


A news clipping was found in my husband’s wallet. He had carried it around with him for years–since 1983. He brought it to me this morning, a very worn and fragile paper, and said that if he ever wanted to buy a horse he would have this to to help him judge the horse’s age. He always believed one should be prepared and have some basic knowledge of these things.  

To Tell The Age Of A Horse

To tell the age of any horse
Inspect the lower jaw of course;
The six front teeth the tale will tell
And every doubt and fear dispel.
Two middle “nippers” you behold
Before the colt is two weeks old.
Before 8 weeks two more will come
Eight months the “corners” cut the gum.
The outside grooves will disappear
From the middle two in just a year;
In two years from the second pair;
In three years the “corners” too, are bare.
At two the middle “nippers” drop
At 3 the second pair can’t stop
When 4 years old the third part goes
At 5 a full new set he shows.
The deep black spots will pass from view
At 6 years from the middle two;
The second pair at seven years;
At 8 the spot each “corner” clears.
From the middle “nippers” upper jaw
At 9 the black spots will withdraw.
The second pair at ten are bright;
Eleven finds the “corners” light.
As time goes on the horsemen know
The oval teeth three-sided grow;
They longer get, project before,
Till 20, when we care no more.

~Walter Lawrence
Oakland CA


Posted by on March 16, 2009 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “To Tell The Age Of A Horse

  1. Laura

    March 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    That’s very cool. And I can tell you that a horse might go back to having just two middle nippers by the time they’re 30. (Mine did, at least, poor thing.)

  2. wildstorm

    March 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Yep, you are right about that. Bugs still had a mouthful of teeth when he was 30 something and he was 30 something for a good while. But you could tell by his back he had a lot of years on him. He took a few nips though at me as we were getting to know each other.

  3. wes

    March 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

    how are you doing?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: