The teeth of a horse

At five years of age the horse has forty teeth--twenty-four molar or jaw teeth, twelve incisor or front teeth and four tusks or canine teeth between the molars and incisors, but usually wanting in the mare.

At birth only the two nippers or middle incisors appear.

At one year old the incisors are all visible of the first or milk set.

Before three years the permanent nippers have come through.

At four years old the permanent dividers next to the nippers are out.

At five the mouth is perfect, the second set of teeth having been completed.

At six the hollow under the nippers, called the mark, has disappeared from the nippers, and diminished in the dividers.

At seven the mark has disappeared from the dividers, and the next teeth, or corners, are level, though showing the mark.

At eight the mark has gone from the corners and the horse is said to be aged. After this time, indeed good authorities say after five years, the age of a horse can only be conjectured. But the teeth gradually change their form, the incisors becoming round, oval, and then triangular. Dealers sometimes bishop the teeth of old horses, that is scoop them out, to imitate the mark: but this can be known by the absence of the white edge of enamel which always surrounds the real mark, by the shape of the teeth, and other marks of age bout the animal.

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