Vol. VIII, No. 1, 1995

To Tell the Age of a Horse

From The Toronto Truth

To tell the age of any horse,

Inspect the lower jaw, of course;

The six front teeth the tale will tell,

And every doubt and fear dispel.

Two middle "nippers" you behold

Before the colt is two weeks old.

Before eight weeks two more will come;

eight months the "comers" cut the gum.

The outside grooves will disappear

From middle two in just one year.

In two years from the second pair;

In three, the comers, too, are bare.

At two the middle "nippers" drop,

At three the second pair can't stop.

When four years old the third pair goes.

At five a full new set he shows.

The deep black spots will pass from view

At six years from the middle two;

The second pair at seven years.

At eight the spot each "comer" clears.

From middle "nippers" upper jaw

At nine the black spots will withdraw;

The second pair at ten are white;

Eleven finds the "comers" light.

As time goes on the horsemen know,

The oval teeth three sided grow;

They longer get, project before

Till twenty, when we know no more.

-from the Cookbook of Samuel Baker in the papers of William Giles Baker


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