How to discover your horse age

How to discover your horse age

Do you know how to discover your horse age?

The method of How to discover your horse age has been a well-known technique among horse breeders and livestock rearers for centuries. It involves peering into a horse’s mouth and examining its teeth, observing the condition and growth of the subject’s pearly whites.

From here sprouts the old saying “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”; which is to mean, don’t examine its teeth – which is how to discover your horse’s age – as you might have been given an old horse as a gift.

How-to-discover-your-horse-age-1

However, veterinarians and veterinary scientists tell us that this method of how to discover your horse’s age isn’t quite all that accurate. Sure, when the horse is young, looking at the teeth is a good way of gauging its approximate age. But, as the horse ages, a whole range of factors – such as diet, genetics, and maintenance – can affect the growth and overall condition of the horse’s teeth, making it a more and more inaccurate way of how to discover your horse’s age as time goes on.

Still, by peering into a horse’s mouth, one can estimate a horse’s age somewhat accurately, give and take a couple of years. To do this, one must take into account other factors than just teeth in how to discover your horse’s age.

Baby Teeth

Soon after the horse is born, it grows milk teeth, which are smaller, smoother, and whiter than regular teeth. First to appear are the central incisors and hind premolars. At week 2, more premolars appear. Weeks 4 to 6 would see your horse growing its second set of incisors. The incisors would be complete by the time the horse reaches 7-9 months of age.

Once a horse has 12 temporary incisors, 12 permanent premolars, and 4 molars, it usually means that the horse is around 1 year of age. At year 2 all of the milk teeth will have sprung and the temporary incisors will have started to show wear. At 2 and ½ years of age, the second set of permanent molars will have replaced the temporary ones.

Galvayne’s Groove

All baby teeth will have been shed by 4 and ½ years. Once a horse has shed its baby teeth, it grows a permanent set of teeth. In a young horse, these permanent teeth are quite concave on their top surfaces, forming a sort of ‘cup’ shape. This ‘cup’ characteristic gradually disappears over time as the horse’s teeth wear.

Galvayne’s Groove

The shapeliness of a horse’s teeth, along with the angle of their growth are indicative of the horse’s age. Most vital of the features on the horse’s teeth, however, is a vertical groove on the outer surface of the tooth that slowly grows out, called Galvayne’s groove. First manifesting in the upper corner incisors, this groove gets longer as the horse ages. This, along with the aforementioned indicators, are factors that suggest how to discover your horse’s age.

After a horse turns 5, gauging age from tooth growth starts becoming unreliable and instead, estimating it from the wear on the teeth is the only good way of how to discover your horse’s age. This is mostly done by looking at the disappearance of the “cup” shape: at year 6, they disappear from the central lower incisors; from the corner ones at year 8; from the upper central by year 9, upper corners by year 11. Note that changes in cup wear can vary from horse to horse.

After the cups have mostly disappeared, age estimation relies primarily on observing the development of Galvayne’s groove, which usually first appears at age 10. Beginning from the gum line, this groove works its way down the tooth, until it stops at 20 and begins to recede. It is usually halfway gone by the time the horse is 25, and completely gone at age 30.

Now after you got all the information, do you think now you know How to discover your horse age? Checo our horse https://101horses.com/horse-saddles-and-what-everyone-should-know-about-them-before-buying/saddles byer guide article also!

Horse Saddles and What Everyone Should Know About Them Before Buying!

horse saddles

Horse Saddles Buyer Guide

Saddles are something between rider and horse. Their job is to give the rider a better balance. Saddles also reduce the pain (especially for the male riders). To ride a horse, you NEED a saddle so that you won’t hurt the horse. Saddles are used by riders to reduce the pain of the animals and themself.

Best horse saddles are made of cow leather, followed by saddles made of buffalo leather. The least quality ones are made of synthetic goods. The latter are not so good, even if they are being sold as high value. The reason behind it is simple. They are not natural. People are noticing that natural goods are better in every way.

Downsizes of saddles

There is one problem with leather saddles though. As every natural thing, they need a high level of care taking. They need to be cleaned quite often, and for the maximum life span, you have to apply cream now and then (regular skin creme will do!).

Leather saddles, if taken proper care, can last up to 30 years. Synthetic saddles aren’t made of natural materials and not as good as leather ones. But you don’t have that much work with them. Just make sure it’s clean before you go out. Saddles needs to be stored in dry place and cleaned on regular basis

What to look for when you are looking to buy saddles?

When buying a saddle, you need to take into account few things. First and the most important one is, your horses wither size.

The sizes are: 

  • high
  • low
  • flat

Your horses wither will let you know what size of saddle you need. If you don’t know what’s your horses wither, measure it by using something more practical. This can be accomplished by using hard wire (wire needs to be long maximum 50 cm). Put it on horses wither from right to left front leg. Mark the wire and go with it to the shop and show the seller what size of a saddle you want.

Follow the instructions bellow:

horse saddle measurement

The second thing, that is nice to know about your horse, when buying your saddle, is the size of your horse’s belly. The measurement needs to be taken from front legs (as there is where saddle will be strapped with girth straps). That way, you get the length of girth straps you need.

Before we move on with saddles, you may be wondering: “why is wither so important with saddles?”

Let me explain:

When you go to the shoe shop for yourself, you buy shoes that fit you. Not too small, not too big. If shoes are too small, your fingers will hurt. As a result, you can’t walk or get calluses. The same goes for horses wither. Get the wrong size of a saddle and it will hurt horse, when you ride it. In some cases, they might get calluses and those are nasty ones. You will not be able to ride him/her for a while. Of course this depends of the horse breed also.

Top Horse Saddles

English Saddles

Our Rating 98/100

Check Price On Amazon

Also when buying horse saddles, don’t buy heavy saddle for smaller horse or it will be a torture for it. Light Horse Saddles are made of synthetics. When buying one, be very cautious. Sometimes sellers will sell you saddle alone, without any accessories at all. They could sell you saddle without stirrup or stirrup leather, hobble strap, and so on. Be extra careful when buying your saddle.

English Saddles and 10 Reasons to Buy Them!

English Saddles

Most of you are wondering what the deal about English saddles is. Does it really matter what kind of saddle you get on your horse. If it fits, why bother right? Well probably you’re right, but there are some things different about them.

Every saddle got its purpose. For example, western saddles are like crowd control saddles, while English are more for lords. If you look back in history, all nobles had English saddles. If you look western saddle in history, lower class used them (cowboys, farmers etc…).

More about english saddles. We have around 9 different English saddles.  Some are more popular some are less.

English Saddles Types:

  • All-purpose or Eventing saddle
  • The Jumping saddle
  • Dressage saddle
  • The Saddle seat saddle
  • Endurance saddle
  • English showing saddle
  • Sidesaddle
  • Racing saddle
  • Polo saddle

These saddles are used in Olympic and FEI equestrian disciplines. The most popular saddles are Racing, Endurance, Dressage and the Jumping saddle. Each of the saddles are made for their task.

Dressage saddle is made for dressage, while the jumping saddle is made for jumping with horse. If you would use endurance saddle when you are jumping, you would probably hurt yourself and your horse in a long run.

Why to choose between western or english saddle and if you go for English, which style you want to buy? I would suggest that you take endurance one, if you decide for english saddle. This is also competition style. Endurance is about stamina.

When you’re buying saddle, you have to think about it twice. Saddle can make your ride easier and more enjoyable. If you don’t buy the right saddle on the other hand, you only get discomfort and you can hurt your horse and yourself. If you’re an amateur in horse riding, then buy a cheap one. English saddle is not a bad choice for beginners. They are better for learning and getting stability. Go for western once you get some experience.

 

Parts of the saddle:

English Saddle Parts

Every english saddle have the same, just shapes are changing for each style.

 

Saddle Tree: 

Tree is the mainframe of whole saddle. It’s the carrier construction. Without the tree, saddle is nothing. It’s made of wood or look like wood.

saddle tree

Panels:

Panels are something like pads between saddle and horses back. Those are normally stuffed with wool or foam flocking. Sometimes they even have sealed air pockets. Each saddle only has two panels (left and right). But each panel is divided by rear and front panel. Front one is smaller and rear one is bigger, because it needs to carry more weight (rider).

Saddle panels

Gullet:

Gullets job is to prevent saddle from putting pressure on horses spine (if you have saddle that puts pressure on spine, go and buy new one, as that saddle will hurt your horse). You can see gullet if you turn your saddle around. It is in the middle of saddle between the bars. Gullet keeps space between bars clear.

saddle gullet

Seat:

Seat is where you seat. Deeper the seat, the more secure you feel.

Pommel:

Pommel is on front of saddle, raised higher than seat itself (western got horn on it). Because it’s raised higher, it gives you better security, but it can get very painful for male riders if you miss the seat.

saddle-pommel

Cantle:

Cantle is the rear part of saddle raised higher than seat for better security.

Waist or Twist:

Is part of a saddle between pommel and seat to provide good resting place for your pelvic bone. The waist size is very important for riders comfort.

Skirt or Jockey:

When you look on side of a saddle, you see two leafs of leather/synthetic goods. The smallest is the skirt. It covers stirrup bar and buckles, so riders leg doesn’t rub into them and unbuckle them by mistake.

Saddle flap:

The second leather »leaf is the biggest. It has the same task as skirt. Which is to protect riders leg not to rub in billets and girth buckles. How the saddle flap looks like depends on saddles style.

Sweat flap:

Is the large piece of leather on other side of saddle which you don’t see, unless you turn saddle around. Sweat flap protects horse from girth buckles and saddle of horses sweat and fur.

Billets or points:

Billets or points are straps showing down and they are shorter with only few holes. They are webbed on tree of saddle so you cannot pull them off saddle. Original you get three billets. One is spare, just in case if one gets thorn off.

Saddle Billets

Girth Buckle Guard:

Name says it all. It’s piece of leather that guards the girth buckle.

Knee roll:

You can see it on saddle on sides. It’s additional padding for better leg support, for better grip. You can choose between very wide or thick, very thin or not present at all.

Thigh Roll:

It’s on rear side of sweat flap which lies behind riders thigh. That’s not seen that often. We see this on dressage saddles for better grip and stability.

Calf block:

It’s behind riders low leg. Helps to stabilize and give more grip to rider. This is very rarely seen on saddles at all.

Stirrup:

saddle Stirrup

It’s very important part of saddle, where riders feet rest. On stirrup iron you have to stand up if needed. Stirrup is made of three things. Leather, iron and metal bar. Metal bar is where you set length of leather. Iron is where your feet rest.

D-ring or Staple:

Metal rings rounded up on corners of saddle. Their use is to buckle up some equipment or supplies. Some are harder to put away and some are stitched right in saddles tree.

When you are buying saddle, always do it with clear mind and don’t make fast decisions, as they will make you regret everything. Buy the style you use and not the style you like or prefer. Always try to buy leather saddle. Quality is much better and they will last much longer then synthetic ones. Enjoy with your new saddle.