The horse starts as a foal (male) or filly (female). During the first 12 months the foal/filly has long legs compared to its body. After two months the foal/filly sheds its milk hairs. Two months later it would stop drinking milk from its dam (mother). After it has passed drinking milk from it's dam, it is considered a horse.
A 12 month becomes a Yearling on January 1. At 12 months the baby horse is still uncoordinated in movements, and quite leggy, but their frame is beginning to fill out. This is an ongoing process until maturity, when it's hind quarters, or croup, are in line with it's withers, the part right below the neck. The last parts of growth are the epiphyses or the growth plates on the very long bones of the legs. Until these are closed, the horse isn't able to keep working because they are too weak. This happens particularly when they are under weight, without the risk of the legs being damaged. The epiphysis is located at the end of the cannon bone, over the fetlock joint, an\ usually is closed in the middle of nine and twelve months.
After this it goes on to Middle years. These are when it is 5-10 years old. By then the horse is fully formed. After this stage it goes on to Late years when the joints might become puffy as the circulation might become lass effective. Then the effects of work will start to show. This is the horse life cycle.
The foal/filly is born with no teeth. As it gets older, the horse grows teeth. By the time the foal/filly is six to nine months, the young horse has all of it's milk teeth. At five to six years of age, the horse replaces it's milk teeth with it's permanent teeth. You can tell how old a horse is by it's teeth. When it becomes older it becomes even easier to tell because of the "Galvayne Groove" on the corner of the incisor of the upper jaw.
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