Last Updated on March 11, 2022
How old is the oldest horse in the world, a common question that comes up when discussing the life span of these majestic creatures, let’s find out? Horses touch our hearts, similar to dogs. Like dogs, a beloved horse will sadly leave us before we’re ready.
Horse Life Span
Before we introduce you to some of the oldest horses in the world, we will look at the average life span of the horse. Good care and management can affect how long a horse lives, just like any animal. Unfortunately, horses also suffer from a disease, some genetic, and some just poor luck.
The average horse lives from 25 to 30 years. Like humans, the horse goes through several life stages. The baby horse or foal period lasts from birth until the age of one. From age one to two, the horse is a yearling.
The yearling until the age of three is much like a human toddler. This period is when a horse is still quite immature physically and mentally. By the age of three, the horse hits its teenage years, which last until the horse is nearly six.
At the age of five, a horse is an adult, but some still mature physically for the next two years. At the age of ten to fourteen, the horse reaches its peak physical condition. It is at this age that most sport horses, bar racehorses attain their greatest achievements.
At the age of 15 and up, the horse enters its senior years. This is when health issues become more prevalent, such as arthritis. As the horse enters its twenties, grey hairs appear, the topline may dip, and some horses lose teeth, making it hard for them to eat.
How Old Is Oldest Horse On Record In The World
While it is impossible to know for certain who the oldest horse to ever live is, there are some verifiable records. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest horse in the world is Old Billy. Old Billy was born in Lancashire, England, in 1790. He died on November 27th, 1822 at the age of 62.
The oldest Thoroughbred is Tango Duke. Tango Duke was born in Victoria, Australia, in 1935 and on January 25th, 1978. In more recent times, another English horse by the name of Shayne lived well beyond the average.
Shayne lived at Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Brentwood, Essex, from 2007 until, 2013 when he died at the age of 51. Prior to Shayne, Badger, a horse living in Wales, also reached the age of 51 at its death in 2004.
Shayne isn’t the only horse at Remus Memorial Sanctuary to reach a grand old age. A Thoroughbred, Arabian cross named Orchid reached the age of 49 or 50 at her death in 2015.
Oldest Pony In The World
It isn’t just horses that make the list for the oldest horses in the world, some ponies also exceed the average equine life span. Sugar Puff, a resident of Sussex, England, died at the age of 56 in 2007. Sugar Puff was a 10 hand Shetland pony that spent Christmas in the house with his family.
Not far behind Sugar Puff is Scribbles. As of 2009, Scribbles is 51 years old. It is not known if Scribbles has passed away, but regardless 51 is pretty impressive. Scribbles lives in Cornwall, England.
In 2000, the oldest pony in America was Ted E. Bear. Ted E. Bear, a Shetland, was age 58 and lived in Virginia. A Canadian vet published an article listing two elderly ponies, a 54-year-old living in France, and a 66-year-old pony, living in Wales. Unfortunately, he does not provide any further details about these ponies.
How To Help Your Horse Live A Long Comfortable Life
While exceptions always apply when a horse is sick, and there is nothing to fix it, good care impacts its life span. Good food throughout the horse’s life, even when it is still growing inside its dam, is the first place to start. Ensuring your horse receives the proper vitamins and a high fiber diet will only help.
In addition to good feeding, make sure the horse gets regular trimming by a qualified farrier. Horses also need dental care at least once a year as their teeth continue growing, which causes sharp edges in their mouth. Older horses can need dental care more often if they have trouble eating.
Always monitor a horse’s weight. A horse that is too thin or too fat can develop health issues, sometimes devastating ones.
Like people, some horses defy the odds to live to ages much older than the average. While old horses live all over the world, it seems many horses in the United Kingdom reach the oldest status. There must be something in the grass that allows these special horses to live so long.
What breed of horse lives the longest?
Some breeds of horses have a longer lifespan than other breeds. The breeds with the longest life expectancy include Arabian, Quarter horses, Appaloosa, Thoroughbred, Haflinger, and American Paint Horses.
The longevity of horses varies by breed, sex, health, care, and other factors. Horses that live a long time are generally well cared for, healthier and have a lower risk of developing health problems. Other factors that influence a horse’s longevity include the level of activity the horse is required to perform, the kind of activities, and the horse’s diet.
How did Old Billy the horse live so long?
Old Billy is the oldest horse to ever live. It was born in 1760 and lived to be 62 years old! Old Billy’s incredible life record has him beat! Old Billy was bred by Edward Robinson of Woolston, Lancashire, UK. He died on November 27, 1822.
Not much is known about the life of Old Billy and what was the reason he lived too such an impressive age. He was said to have looked like a big cob/shire horse, and was brown with a white blaze. In his six decades on earth, he spent many years as a barge horse that pulled barges up and down canals.
Do ponies live longer than horses?
Ponies are small horses that normally live longer than normal sized horses. They can live well past thirty years. Arabians are also known for their longer lifespans, but the average lifespan of an Arabian horse is usually around 25 to 30 years while the average lifespan of ponies ranges from 25 to 35 years. In general, ponies can live up to one-third longer than an average horse. It is believed that this is due to the fact that they are not as prone to many of the diseases that affect horses, their small size, and their slower pace. As a comparison, Belgians generally live for only about 18 years, and this is consistent with other heavy draft breeds. Some Belgian horses live into their 20s, but that’s not very common.
At what age should you stop riding a horse?
That depends on a horse, it’s physical condition, injuries and diseases that can impact the horse’s performance and sometimes require an early retirement. On the other hand, some horses can be ridden late into their life without issues. It’s important to know how to determine when to call it quits.
Most horses will have the potential to be ridden for many more years, but by 20-25 years of age many will be past their prime. It’s best to stop riding if the horse is in poor health. It is not necessary to wait until a horse is lame or in pain before retiring it. Horses can live long lives, but at some point, they can start having a problems with their joints, arthritis, obesity, or muscle mass loss. One of the most common age-related issue is tendonitis, which can be caused by overuse. When horses are ridden too much and for too long, their tendons can become inflamed and begin to degenerate.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.