Somebody told me that the Arabian Horses live relatively long lives.
Out of curiosity, I conducted a bit of research on this statement.
Here are my findings:
So, what is the lifespan of an Arabian Horse? It is true that the Arabian Horses have longer life spans than some of the bigger varieties like Draft Horses and Warmblood Horses. However, the average lifespan of Arabian Horses is 25-30 years, which is similar to the general horse population.
The Arabian Horses are famous for their ability to excel in endurance racing, and generally, they have excellent stamina and health.
However, this doesn’t necessarily entail that they’ll have a long lifespan. Confused? Let me teach you how to properly care for your Arabian Horse and ensure that it enjoys the best of life.
The Factors Impacting The Lifespan of an Arabian Horse
Like humans, the longevity of domestic horses has increased in recent years due to the boom in healthcare.
The lifespan of the Arabian horses depends upon a few factors.
The common factors impacting the longevity of an Arabian horse are:
- Living Conditions
Proper nutrition can go a long way in determining the lifespan of your Arabian horse.
Though Arabian horses can survive on very little food and water, yet their dietary needs are similar to other horses.
In an Ideal scenario:
Horses should have clean water and food available at all times.
Alternatively, they should be offered food and water at regular intervals throughout the day.
Those Arabian Horses whose dietary requirements are well-met tend to live longer.
For Arabian Horses, the two primary components of nutrition are:
Let’s have a brief look at both these components.
Arabian horses need food that can provide them with the right mix of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.
90% of their nutrition requirement is fulfilled by forage, which mainly consists of fresh grass or hay. In addition to forage, they also eat oats, corn, and bran to fulfill their dietary requirements.
If you have a hard-keeping horse, we’d suggest feeding it alfalfa hay.
But here’s the deal:
With alfalfa hay, a quality balancer is required to maintain the correct calcium to phosphorous ration in your Arabian horse’s diet.
We’d recommend that you try Select Alfalfa as an alfalfa feed ration balancer as it’s specifically designed for this purpose.
If your horse has retired or has mild workload, you can feed it grass hay instead of alfalfa hay.
How Much Do Arabian Horses Eat?
Well, Arabian horses require to be fed forage equal to 1-2% of their body weight.
Meaning thereby, if you have a horse weighing 1000 pounds, it should be fed 10-20 pounds forage per day. (For reference, here’s an article on the average horse weight..
On average, the Arabian Horses need 5-10 gallons of clean water per day.
The amount of water your horse will drink is dependent upon the weather and condition of your horse.
If the weather is hot and humid, the horse will drink more water
If the horse is pregnant or lactating, it will drink more water.
Senior horses normally drink less water.
2. Living Conditions for Arabian Horses
Although the Arabian horse is a hardy breed, living conditions play a vital role in determining their lifespan.
An Arabian Horse can even survive in harsh conditions of the desert with little food and water.
Having said that:
Right living conditions increase the life span of an Arabian Horse.
Some of the necessary living conditions include:
- Comfortable temperature
- Access to a shelter
- Availability of dry bedding
- Ample exercise
- Safety from hazards
Arabian Horses thrive in the temperatures between 18-59⁰F.
You might be wondering:
That’s quite a range for an ideal temperature. That’s because the perfect temperature for an Arabian horse varies with its coat’s length.
With a thicker coat, a horse will be comfortable at a lower temperature and vice versa.
Naturally, horses have thicker coats in winter and thinner coats in summer.
Access To a Shelter
Arabian Horses need protection from severe weather conditions or hazards.
This protection is provided by clean, dry, and secure shelters.
Availability of Dry Bedding
Cold, muddy, and moist conditions are not suitable for an Arabian horse.
It may become ill in such conditions.
To protect them from such conditions, dry and clean bedding in the shelters is required to sit or lie down.
To remain healthy, horses have to have some form of exercise.
The most natural setting for a horse is always to have a large place to run or move around alongside other horses.
But the minimum exercise requirements can be met by walking the horse for fifteen to twenty minutes daily.
If even this minimum requirement is not provided to the horse, it may develop joint problems, problems of muscles, digestive issues, constipation, and so on.
Safety from Hazards
Hazards like fire, earthquakes, floods, and storms are part of our lives.
To keep your horse safe during such calamities, you need to devise a safety plan and practice it beforehand for successful execution when there’s a real hazard.
A few of the precautionary measures for a possible hazard are taken by keeping:
- All the necessary medicines in a first aid box
- The doors and windows of stables secure
- A safe place to shift the horse to, in case of an emergency
- The horse’s paperwork (proof of ownership and identification)
- A fire extinguisher
- Inflammable things outside the barn or at a safe distance from the horse
Safety From Flies & Pests
Various pests like gnats, ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and flies are a nuisance for both you and the horse.
In addition to irritating the horse, they present a danger of spreading various horse diseases.
To keep flies and pests away you may take the following measures:
- Keep the living area of the horse clean and dry.
- Use repellents or sprays, as per the safety guidelines provided on the label, to keep these creatures at bay.
- Use products to keep away the flies. These products include fly masks, boots, and sheets.
3. Healthcare and The Arabian Horse Lifespan
With the availability of advanced healthcare services, the lifespan of Arabian horses has increased.
Those Arabian horses who have adequate health care available tend to live longer.
Some of the excellent healthcare practices for Arabian horses are:
Complete vet exams
Horses less than 20 years of age should have comprehensive vet exams at least once a year.
Similarly, geriatric horses (horses older than 20 years of age) should visit the vet twice a year.
The vet might recommend further exams and tests as per the condition of your horse, like blood tests or dental scans.
Administration of core vaccines
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends administering ‘core vaccinations’ to all the horses.
These core vaccinations include:
- Rabies Vaccine
- Tetanus Vaccine
- West Nile Virus Vaccine (WNV)
- Eastern/Western Encephalomyelitis Vaccine
All vaccines should be administered in consultation with the horse’s vet.
Taking care of the hygiene of the Arabian horse
Cleanliness of the horse plays a vital role in its health.
Grooming activities like bathing, combing, and hoof-care help keep the house clean and healthy.
Similarly, keeping the living space of the house clean is an essential factor in keeping it happy and healthy.
Monitoring an Arabian horse for any visible healthcare issues
The Arabian horse can be monitored while grooming activities like combing, bathing, hoof-care, or by observing the horse in its general day to day activities.
If you find any signs of injury, laziness, or any unusual behavior, then you need to talk to a professional to find the root cause of the problem.
Despite good general health:
There are some diseases which might cut short the life span an Arabian horse.
Genetic Diseases That Affect the Lifespan of an Arabian Horse
An Arabian horse may suffer from some genetic disorder which would decrease its lifespan.
Let’s have a look at the most common of these disorders.
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID, Genetic Testing available)
A baby horse affected by this disorder doesn’t have a proper immune system.
Without an immune system, it cannot fight with even the minor infection.
Such a foal might not even hit six months of age mark and die.
Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA, Genetic Testing available)
The foals suffering from this disorder do not have a sense of space and distance.
Due to the lack of this sense, the foal might collide with things or have frequent falling.
This is not a life threatening disease in itself, but it poses a danger for the horse itself and others around it.
These horses are not safe for riding.
Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS, Genetic Testing available)
Foals suffering from LFS has an unusual coat and skin color known as coat color dilution.
Some have dull pinkish-grey color while some other foals are unusually pale.
Standing and nursing are not possible for such foals.
OccipitalbAtlanto-Axial Malformation (OAAM, Genetic Testing unavailable)
Symptoms of OAAM range from mild in-coordination to the paralysis of both front and rear legs.
Juvenile Epilepsy Syndrome (JES, Genetic Testing unavailable)
This condition is usually not fatal in itself, but foals might get severe injuries by falling during a seizure.
The foals appear normal between seizures.
Luckily this condition is self-limiting, and foals outgrow it at around 12-18 months of age.
Guttural Pouch Tympany (GPT, Genetic Testing unavailable)
GPT causes a swollen guttural pouch.
GPT is more common in female foals.
Horses suffering from GPT are prone to respiratory infections like pneumonia.
Usually, surgery is required to rectify this disease.
How long can Arabian Horses go without water? An Arabian horse can go approximately 72 hours without water.
Generally, all mammals cannot live without water for long except camels.
How old is a 28-year-old horse in human years? In 2003 a research by Equine vets, compared horse ages and stages with humans.
According to that research, a 28-year-old horse is approximately equivalent to an 80-year-old human.
It should be kept in mind that this is just an approximation as horses and humans grow at different
What breed of horse lives the longest? Shorter breeds like dwarf horses live longer than the breeds with bigger sizes.
Having said that:
Exceptional cases may occur in any breed.
For example, the average age of horses is 25-30 years, but the oldest horse, ‘old Billy,’ is said to have died at an age of 62 years.