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 Introduction
 Glossary
 Notes






Title: 4-H horse program : horse science
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078697/00004
 Material Information
Title: 4-H horse program : horse science
Physical Description: Book
Creator: 4-H Youth Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida
Publisher: 4-H Youth Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida
 Subjects
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078697
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Introduction
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Glossary
        Page 6
    Notes
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida





horse science


4-H


HORSE


PROGRAM







NAME


ADDRESS

CLUB


4-H HORSE PROGRAM
HORSE SCIENCE



This educational material has been prepared for 4-H use by the Cooperative Extension Services of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and State Land-Grant Universities in cooperation with the National 4-H Council and the
American Quarter Horse Association.

Trade or brand names used in the publications are used only for the purpose of educational information. The
information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement
of products or breeds of horses by the Federal Extension Service or State Cooperative Extension Services is
implied, nor does it imply approval of products or breeds of horses to the exclusion of others which may also be
suitable.

This material was originally published by the National 4-H Council, 7100 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase,
Maryland 20815.

Programs and educational materials of National 4-H Council are available to all persons regardless of race, color,
sex, age, religion, national origin or handicap. Council is an equal opportunity employer.








Horse Science: Determining the Age of a Horse by Its Teeth


"How old is your horse, mister?" To such a 4-H
question, the owner might answer full mouthed, smooth
mouthed, he still has corer cups or I don't know as he isn't
registered. Such answers tend to confuse the youngster of
the motor age, nor can he readily find these answers too
easily until he questions the grandfather age group.
General features of horses which indicate advanced
ages are grey hairs around the eyes and muzzle, deep
depressions above the eyes, slender and hardened muzzles
and loose heavy lips with a longer "grin" than younger
horses. But, these features are not accurate enough to
estimate ages on younger horses. Since the horse is most
useful to us from 3 to 15 years of age, we need more
accurate methods for age determination during this period.
The teeth of horses under 12 years old can be most
closely identified with their approximate age. In general, we
must examine the incisor teeth for most accurate results. Of
course, the registered horse has a recorded birth date, but
many horses are not so fortunate. However, this technique is
not foolproof as prolonged droughts, short grazing on sandy
soils, cribbers, parrot mouths etc. all tend to make the horse
appear different than his actual age. For instance, a horse at
7 years of age grazing in sandy country over a prolonged
period might appear to be 8 or 9 by his teeth.
The technique of horse age determination is not new nor
especially scientific as it has been passed down for many
generations. The basics for determining the age of horses by
their teeth are rather simple and is not an art only to be
guarded by the horse trader or veterinarian. Age can best be
estimated by examining the wear and slant of the incisor
teeth.






SECTIONAL VIEW
---CUP

CEMENT 5 YRS.
S -- CENTRAL ENAMEL

IVORY 9 YRS.


PULP 15 YRS.
ENAMEL

S20 YRS.
,,,


Page 3


1) Number and anatomy of teeth.

a) The foal of either sex has 12 molars or grinders and
12 incisors or front teeth for a total of 24 teeth.
b) The mature male horse has 24 molars or grinders
and 12 incisors or biters plus 4 canine teeth or tushes
for a total of 40 teeth.
c) However, the 4 canine teeth located in the
interdental space between the incisors and molars erupt
only in the gelding or stallion. These canine teeth in the
mare are underdeveloped and seldom erupt above the
surface of the gums thus giving the mare a tooth count
of 36.
d) There are 6 incisors in each upper and lower jaw.
There are 2 central incisors at the midline, 2 lateral
incisors and 2 comer incisors in each jaw. The covers
being closest to the interdental space.
e) Anatomy of teeth. By studying the longitudinal
section of incisor teeth we can see how the tooth wears
as age progresses.

2) Examining teeth.

Approach the horse gently from the left side and
examine the teeth by parting the lips with the thumb and
forefinger leaving the jaws closed. In examining groups of
horses of mixed ownership ask the holder to part the lips.
The angle of bit and size and color of teeth are noted first.
For the next examination grab the tongue with the right
hand and grab the lower lip with the left hand and the mouth
will open for clear examination of the cups, wear etc.






PERMANENT TOOTH


TEMPORARY TOOTH


\- CROWN

/ NECK OR GUM

.FANG

//


June 1989








Horse Science: Determining the Age of a Horse by Its Teeth


3) General tooth eruption and development by ages. The
temporary or milk teeth of the young horse are smallish and
white with a distinct neck. The permanent teeth are much
larger, stronger and have a darker color with distinct cups on
the younger horse. *Inserts from "The Sound Horse", Mich.
Ext. Bull 330.

a) First period (birth to 2% years).
1) 10 months. All milk teeth have erupted and in
wear at 16-18 months.


Page 4


2) 2-year-old. All milk teeth in wear.
b) Second period (21/2 to 5 years).
1) 2/2 years. Temporary centrals loosen and
permanent centrals erupt. Age determination is
most accurate from 2-5 years. Shedding of milk
teeth and eruption of permanents may not occur
simultaneously and may overlap one another
2) 3/2 to 4 years. Permanent laterals erupt.
3) 4/2 to 5 years. Permanent covers erupt.


June 1989


.1
lh


TEETH Of THE TWO-YEAR.OLD COLT
ALL MILK TEETH IN WEAR


TEETH OF TH T THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT













TEETH Of THE FIVE-YEAR-OLD HORSE








Horse Science: Determining the Age of a Horse by Its Teeth


c) Third period (6 to 9 years)
1) 6 years. Age from here on is estimated mainly
by the size, shape and disappearance of cups until
10-12 years of age. Cups disappear at rather
regular intervals beginning with the lower centrals
at 6 years.
2) 8 years. Cups have disappeared in the lower
centrals and laterals.
d) Fourth period (aged).
1) 10-12 years. After 9 years the accuracy of age
determination becomes more difficult. At this age
the angle of the bite slants more outward than the
perpendicular bite noticed in younger horses. By
12 years, the cups have disappeared in the upper
incisors and the horse has a "smooth mouth".


Page 5


2) 15 years. The dental stars are smaller but more
distinct and more centrally located.
3) 20-21 years. At this age teeth may become
shorter, more triangular in shape on the wearing
surface, have a noticeable spacing between
adjacent incisors and the dental stars may become
larger and occupy a central position on the wearing
surface. Also, at this age, the bite is very slanting.
It is well to note that horses in this age group may
appear to have much younger mouths if they have
had excellent care with regard to lush grazing and
grain feeding with accompanying good health
throughout their life.


June 1989


TEETH OF THE SEVEN-YEAR-OLO HORSE


TEETH OF THE TWELVE-YEAR-OiLD HORSE












TEETH Of THE FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD HORSE


~i


7r








Horse Science: Determining the Age of a Horse by Its Teeth


GLOSSARY


Anatomy The science of the structure of the animal body
and the relation of its parts.
Angle of bite The outer angle at which the upper and
lower incisors meet.
Canine teeth Teeth that appear in the interdental space on
the male horse at 5 years of age. Sometimes referred to as
tushes.
Centrals The first centrally located upper and lower
incisors.
Corners The corer incisors or those located back and
adjacent to the forward edge of the interdental space (third
set of incisors).
Cribbers A bad habit of some horses in which the animal
grasps the manger or other object with the incisor teeth,
arches the neck, makes peculiar movements with the head,
and swallows quantities of air. Called also cribbiting and
wind-sucking.
Crown of tooth The top of a tooth protruding above the
gum.
Cups The hollow space on the wearing surface of the
incisor.
Dental star A star shaped or circle like structure near the
center of the wearing surface of the permanent incisors.


Full mouth When the horse has a complete set of
permanent incisors.
Incisor Slender teeth in front used for biting grass, feed,
etc.
Interdental space The gum space between the incisor
teeth and molar teeth.
Laterals The second set of incisors located between the
central and corer incisors.
Longitudinal Lengthwise. Parallel to the long part of the
tooth.
Molars Rear teeth or grinding teeth of the horse generally
not used to determine age.
Neck of tooth The part of the tooth between the crown and
root located at the surface of the gums.
Parrot mouth The upper incisors overhang the lower
incisors and do not properly meet and therefore cause
uneven wear.
Smooth mouth Refers to the smooth biting surface of the
upper and lower incisors after the cups have disappeared at
12 years of age or older.
Wear Refers to the amount of use or wear observed on the
biting surface of the incisors.


NOTES


June 1989


TEETH OF THE TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD HORSE


M


Page 6







Horse Science: Determining the Age of a Horse by Its Teeth Page 7


NOTES


June 1989



































































1. This document is section 4 of 14 of 4HHSGO1, which supersedes CO 201, one of a series of the 4-H Youth
Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University
of Florida. Date first printed August 1965. Date revised June 1989. Please visit the FAIRS Website at
http://hanunock.ifas.ufl.edu.


,T UNIVERSITY OF
' FLORIDA
Cooperative Extension Service
Instituteof Food and Agricultural Scences


2. R. B. Warren, University of Nebraska. Debbie Glauer, member of 4-H Animal Science Design Team, Department
of Family, Youth and Community Science, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, Christine
Taylor Waddill, Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of
the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to
individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, age, sex, handicap or national origin. The information in this publication
is available in alternate formats. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from county extension offices. Information on copies for out-of-state purchase is available from Publications Distribution Center,
University of Florida, PO Box 110011, Gainesville, FL 32611-0011. Information about alternate formats is available from Educational Media and
Services, University of Florida, PO Box 110810, Gainesville, FL 32611-0810. This information was published June 1989 as CO 201, which is
superseded by 4HHSG01, Florida Cooperative Extension Service.




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