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How Long Do Horses Live?

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Horse eating over fence.

Thanks to the fact that we know how to provide better care for our horses, they are living longer than ever, and remaining useful and sound.

Image: K. Blocksdorf

How long does a horse live? Advances in the understanding of care and medicine have increased the lifespan of horses, just as it has humans. Horses are living longer than ever.  About.com Horses readers have submitted the ages of the oldest horses they know, and it's clear that many horses live beyond the age of 30 with good care. The average age is 28 + 5 years. That means the average life span is 25 to 33. Many horses go well beyond this average. Ponies tend to live longer with many ponies still serving as schoolmasters well into their 30s. A few ponies and horses may even reach the age of 40 or over. The oldest horse ever recorded was 52 years old. Larger horses like draft breeds are not as long lived as smaller breeds such as Arabians. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

Many people report that with good care, their senior horse continue to live healthy lives. With careful attention to basic maintenance of a senior horse such as feed, dental and hoof care many horses can remain sound and useful into their senior years, and remain a joy to their owners even when fully retired. 

How old is the oldest horse you know? Share what you know about the oldest horse you've met.

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