Have you ever wondered how old you are in horse years? Or have you ever wondered how old your horse is in human years? There is no absolute equivalent. Horses and humans age and mature at different rates. All comparisons are only estimates and should not be taken too seriously.
It is important to remember that many factors affect aging, such as basic care, size, genetics and general health, just as in humans.
Research conducted in 2003 by equine veterinarians compared the stages of human ages to horse ages. The table below is based on this research published by Equine Resources International.
Factors Affecting the Aging of the Horse
For example, ponies mature faster but live longer than large horses. Some records have been set by ponies. Poor health will shorten a horse's life and may delay or impair its physical development. Nutrition and workload play an important role in the aging of equines. This makes it very difficult to match the horse's age exactly to the human age. This is just one of many charts that attempt to compare human and equine ages. Horse Years Methodology from WOW Horses offers a chart comparing human development to horse development for the first four years of a horse's life. Horses mature much faster than humans. Horses may be more likely to die of disease or colic than to age.
A human baby may take more than a year to learn to walk, but a horse should walk within an hour of birth. Infants may start eating solid food at about six months, but foals will mimic their mothers and chew grass within a few weeks or days of birth. Overall, all aspects of growth are much faster for a horse than for a human.
And while the chart suggests that a one-year-old horse is equivalent to a six-year-old child, this is only a rough estimate since a six-year-old will not be able to feed or socially interact and care for itself like a one-year-old horse. Horses are independent as soon as they are weaned from their mother's milk. This is not the case with humans, who need several years of education before they become truly independent adults. It will take a long time before a child can get all the nutrition it needs, especially if you consider that human food must be hunted, gathered or grown.
Horse to Human Age Comparison Chart
|Stage of Life
|Stage of Life
|Foal, Weanling, Yearling
|Infancy, Babyhood, Toddlerhood, Preschooler
|Adolescence / Puberty,
|Three Year Old
|Four Year Old
|25%-/+ five years is an average lifespan.
|Extreme Old Age
So, when you look at this chart, remember that it is difficult to make a comparison between you and your horse in terms of aging.
The development and lifespan of humans and horses are quite different.