Comparing the Ages of Horse and Humans

young man and horse

When you love horses, you want them to be with you always, but, sadly, our lifespans are different. 

If you compare the ages of humans and horses, then you’ll find that for every one year a horse has lived, it is roughly the equivalent of 3 to 3.5 years. 

Coal to Maturity

Depending on the age of your horse, their relative lifespan is far different compared to ours. When they are an adult, each year of their life is the equivalent of 3 to 3.5 years of ours. But this ratio only applies to adults. When they are young, which lasts until four human years of life, the ratio of their life years compared to our own life spans is different. 

From the time a horse is birthed until they reach about four years old, each year of life is the equivalent of 5 human years of life, although it varies greatly depending on breed. 

So when they are one year old, they are actually five horse years old. When they are two years old, then they are ten horse years old. It is the same for the 3rd year and 4th year. They are then regarded as 15 years old and 20 years old.

It is only when they hit adulthood, which is around four years old in human years, that their lifespan changes. After they reach four years old, each year, after that, is about 3 to 3.5 years to their lifespan. 

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General Chart

After careful research, we have provided a chart that shows the details of a horse’s lifespan compared to each year it has been alive. But remember that each breed of horse has its own lifespan. This is a general timeline that can be applied to horses’ ages in general.

  • One year = 6 horse years
  • Two years = 12 horse years
  • Three years = 18 horse years 
  • Four years = 21 horse years
  • Fifth year = 23 horse years
  • Six years old = 25 horse years
  • Seven years old = 28 horse years
  • Eight years old = 30 horse years
  • Nine years old = 33 horse years old
  • Ten years old = 35 horse years old
  • Fifteen years old = 48 horse years old
  • Twenty years old = 60 horse years old
  • Twenty-five years old = 73 horse years old
  • Thirty years old = 85 years horse years old
  • Forty years old = 110 years old
old man with old horse

Factors that Influence a Horse’s Lifespan

The general lifespan of a horse depends on many factors, some that are actually quite similar to human factors. If a horse has been put through a stressful life, like if they worked as a racehorse, or as a workhorse, then they will live less than those who had a gentler life.

Also, those that were abused and constantly experienced malnutrition will have a shorter lifespan as well.

Genetics also play a serious role in a horse’s life. Just like humans, if a horse’s ancestors were known to live long lives, then most likely, the horse will live a long life as well.

One major way to affect the lifespan of a horse is to treat them well when they hit their senior years. A horse is considered to be a senior when they hit around 18 years old. Older horses are prone to many diseases, so they must be cared for and monitored constantly.

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Diseases That Shorten a Horse’s Life

There are several critical diseases that can affect a horse’s lifespan and quality of life. Those who own horses should take serious measures to prevent these diseases from being contracted by their horse. Even if they can recover from the disease, the damage to the horse’s body or hooves is already done, and, in many cases, the damage is irreversible.

girl and baby horse e1590497491355

In this article, we will warn you about two diseases today. These diseases are:

1. Laminitis

This is a painful disease that inflames the bottom of a horse’s feet between the hooves and the flesh. When a horse contracts this disease, it begins immediately to degrade their bones and their hooves. This disease can affect all of their hooves, but it is most commonly seen in the front two hooves.

2. Cushing’s Disease

This is a disease that starts in the pituitary glands of the horse and can affect its brain responses and its hormone production. It is most common in senior horses. This disease is detrimental to their health and can lead to death, as its symptoms are weight loss, lethargy, laminitis, and a drop in their immune system, which makes them prone to infections and parasites.

Horse Breeds and Their Average Lifespan

The average age of a horse is around 25 to 30 years old, depending on health and life quality. But different horse breeds can have varying lifespans of their own.

  •  The Appaloosa horse can live up to 33 years old.
  • The Clydesdale horse, which is a very large horse breed used in North America, has a much shorter lifespan than most other horse breeds. They only live from 20 to 25 years.
  • A miniature horse has a long lifespan compared to other horse breeds. They live from 25 to 35 years old.
  • The quarter horse and the Arabian horse also live long life spans like the miniature horse. They also live up to 35 years old.
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Fun fact: do you know who the oldest horse in history was?

In the last 500 years, a horse named old Billy is thought to be the oldest horse. Old Billy lived until he was 62 years old. He was an English stallion, and he lived in Lancashire, England, from 1760 to 1822.


  • Each horse breed has its own lifespan.
  • Their general lifespan overall for all horses is 20 to 25 years old.
  • From the time they’re born up to 4 years old, each year of life is equivalent to five human years.
  • After they turn four, each year of life is now equivalent to 3 human years.
  • There are several factors that can greatly influence a horse’s lifespan.
  • Working as a racehorse, abuse, malnutrition, and genetics, and breed can really change the lifespan of a horse.
  • However, perhaps the largest factor in improving the lifespan of a horse is how it is treated when it is a senior.
  • Horse owners should do all they can to prevent Cushing’s Disease, Lamanits, and arthritis in their horses.