Humans and horses age at different rates which means an equine year is very different from a human year. However, the calculation isn’t a straightforward multiple as the age of the horse has to be factored in.
The first two horse years are equal to 6.5 human years. A 2-year-old horse has the equivalent of a 13-year-old human. From 2 years to 3 years old, a horse year is 5 human years.
From 3 years old, the rate slows down but it’s still much faster than humans, averaging around 2.5 horse years per human year.
Therefore, a 5-year-old horse is 23 years old in human years. This rate of aging is then maintained for the rest of your horse’s life.
Here is a horse years to human year chart:
|Horse Years||Human Years|
The above horse years chart provides a great frame of reference but it’s important not to take it literally. Every horse will grow old slightly differently as other factors play a role, rather than just the physical age.
Just like in humans, there are many things that can influence how many years a horse will live. These include breed, genetics, overall health, size, and lifestyle.
A balanced lifestyle and good nutrition play an integral part in keeping a horse healthy. If they’ve been overworked or had poor nutrition for prolonged periods, it will be detrimental to their well-being.
Other health issues can also play a part; even if the illness or condition doesn’t seem to be particularly threatening, it can make your horse weaker and less resilient.
And no matter what you do, some horses just won’t live as long. Ponies mature much more quickly but still tend to have a longer life expectancy than larger horses. Many of the equine records for long life spans have come from ponies!
Of course, do remember that all of these are just general rules and just like humans, horses are individuals and may lead much longer or shorter lives than you expect. Pay attention to their health and treat any problems quickly, however minor, and you may be able to help them to live for as long as possible.