When asked, “How long do horses live?” many people have different answers. Some will tell you they can answer this question with a quick calculation of the horse’s age. Others will tell you that the horse will not live more than a few years if it is well cared for. Still others will claim that a horse may live up to a hundred years or more depending on how well it is cared for. Whichever answer you choose, the fact remains that the age of a horse is an important factor in determining its quality and longevity when it is owned and taken for pleasure riding.
The horse is probably one of the two longest living subspecies of Equus ferret, the other being the cave bear. It is a peculiar-toed, short, ungulate mammal belonging to the Equidae taxonomic group. The horse has evolved significantly over the course of 45 to 55 million years ago from a small, medium sized, hoofed animal, Eohippus, to the large, sole-footed animal of today.
During the last half million years since the beginning of the horse’s evolution, it has gone through a variety of changes including becoming a very adaptable creature to suit today’s circumstances by evolving into a variety of domesticated animals, to the extent that today there are more horses in the world than there are people.
The life expectancy of a horse, depending on the quality of life and whether or not it is exercised, varies between five and fifteen years. Life expectancy is affected by a number of factors such as how old the horse is, whether or not it has any existing diseases and whether or not it is under stress. This is important to note because poor health can shorten the life span of a horse. A horse is capable of living up to two years without much exercise or activity, but if it is constantly subjected to mental and physical strain, it may live up to three years. On the other hand, a horse that is fed properly will have a longer life span.