determining age by using ribs

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by harpershorse, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. harpershorse

    harpershorse Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last spring I bought a horse who I was told was 16 years old. A couple months ago a friend came and was checking her out and said she was more like in her mid 20's judging by her teeth and the Galvine Groove. I told my ferrier about it and he judged her age by her rib spread. Using his fingers measuring between each rib. He said she is more likely between 15 and 18 years. Is anyone else familiar with way of determining age?:eek:
     
  2. kierababy

    kierababy Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,985
    Likes Received:
    93
    I have never ever heard of this way. The only way i know is by looking at the teeth
     
  3. cindyf

    cindyf Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    47
    Your farrier is wacked!!! I have never heard of anyone aging a horse by their ribs, if so it's an old wives tale!!! You can get pretty close in true age just by looking at their teeth.
     
  4. bludejavu

    bludejavu Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    33
    Whether there is any truth to it or not, it is probably not a very accurate way to gauge a horse's age. 40+ years in horses and I've never heard of using the rib cage as a way to find the age. The Galvayne's Groove is the most accurate way to estimate age- it starts at about age 10.

    Here's a link to a great little chart that has some pretty nice illustrations. I've had this bookmarked for awhile: http://www.sport-pony.com/care/teethage.html
     
  5. Kissitgoodbye

    Kissitgoodbye Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    8,972
    Likes Received:
    938
    Never heard of using ribs before.. That would be an interesting concept though.
     
  6. mftx4

    mftx4 Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,673
    Likes Received:
    115
    I've never heard of it either. Did give you any explanation?
     
  7. nicz2cu

    nicz2cu Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,688
    Likes Received:
    273
    Perhaps like us, the bones tend to get smaller ?

    Interesting concept I must admit :) .
     
  8. 4horsem0m

    4horsem0m Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    343
    I'd never heard of it before our equine dentist told us about it. She says it is very accurate.
     
  9. kat399

    kat399 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    6
    I never heard of the rib thing either. If it was accuarate I suppose it would be a popular practise.
     
  10. RickB.

    RickB. Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,718
    Likes Received:
    539
    It is my understanding that older horses have more space between their ribs then do young horses. Has to do with the stretching of the soft tissues that connect the ribs. That said, using that to determine age is rather unreliable other than to say whether you think the horse is young, old or 'ancient' :eek: ;) and observing other body conditions will allow you to [generally] arrive at the same general conclusions.

    The horse's teeth and [usually] its pedigree papers are the accurate ways to age a horse.

    Hope this article is helpful: http://www.irishhorsesociety.com/horsedata/ageahorse.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009

Share This Page