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How to tell a Horse's age by his Teeth 
by Jim Hamilton, Horse vet

Starting at 2 years of age the horse's front teeth (incisors) are the way to tell age. 
There are three sets of incisors, central, intermediate and corners. Open the 
horse's lips and look to see if all are baby teeth or adults. The central pair are 
adult (permanent at 2 - 2 years., the intermediate at 3 - 3 years and the 
adult corner incisors at 4 - 4 years. At 4 - 5 years of age some horses 
(mostly males) grow canine teeth which is that fang-like tooth just behind the 

Now starting at six years old, you need to look at the flat (table) surface of the 
lower incisors. There is a pit called the infundibulum that is easily seen in the 
center of each incisor's flat surface. At six years of age the pits of lower central
permanent incisors are worn out (disappear). At 7 years the lower central 
incisors lose their pit and the upper corner incisor develops a hook off the back 
edge. By 8 years, all the lower adult incisors have lost their pit but a new small
depression (dental star) appears in the lower central incisors. At 9 years of Age, 
the horse's lower central and intermediate and intermediate and upper central 
incisors will have a dental star but the infundibulum (pit) of the upper corner 
incisor is still present - they do not disappear until the horse is eleven years old.

From the age of eleven on, the incisors become more triangular and the teeth 
begin to project out toward the front of the mouth more with each additional year. 
The best way to get good at aging horses is by practice. Look at as many horses 
of know age and test yourself. Some day you'll save a friend from buying a 1980 
model that he thought was brand new!

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