.... Many folks believe the working life and the total life span of drafts are shorter than for other horses. .... Some drafts however, have lived 40 years. With proper care and attention, there's no reason a draft horse shouldn't live to a ripe old age. ....
This is a VERY controversial subject, and every horse person out there has a slightly different opinion about this practice.....
So here is mine:
Please don't take everything a Vet (or other horse person) says for pure gold. No matter how good they are, not everybody is always right - ESPECIALLY in regards to age. If you take a horse over 8 and have 10 people guess his/her age, I guarantee you you will get 10 different answers, and the older the horse is, the more diverse the answers will be. In fact, after a horse is over 8-9 years old, his/her age can not be determined for sure anymore, because so many factors play into the wear of their teeth:
"Environmental factors and habits the horse may have acquired affect the teeth and can interfere with determining the horse's age. Horses that crib or live in sandy areas are more likely to wear their teeth down making it difficult to estimate the horse's age."
A previous adopter sent me this VERY INTERESTING info:
How to Tell a Horse's Age by its Teeth This method is very effective on horses between 10 and 30. A groove, called Galvayne's groove, starts down the side of the rear upper incisors at the age of ten. It is half way down at 15, all the way at 20. It begins to recede at 20 and is gone again at 30. The forward angle of the incisors also becomes more prominent as the horse ages. See diagram below: