Measuring a horse

Equine Instinct
Measuring a horse
Arena Figures


It is important to know the approximate height and weight of your horse. You can check the weight of your horse compared to the normal weight for his height to make sure he is in good flesh and not over or under weight.  When your horse needs medicine or if you paste worm your horse, you need to know his approximate weight to determine the dose. Before buying a blanket or sheet you need to find out what size to buy. When you are describing your horse, you want to be able to say how tall he is as well as his breed, color and markings.

When discussing the height of a horse, the measurement is given in HANDS. (15.2 or 15 hands 2 inches). A hand represents 4” or approximately the width of a hand.

Measuring tapes are available at tack and feed stores. One side of the tape measures height and the other side measures weight.


You measure a horse’s height from the ground to the top of his withers. Hold the tape on the ground next to  the horse’s front leg (you need a helper) and stretch it up to the top of his withers to get the height measurement. Though a  little more expensive, measuring sticks are also available and can give a more accurate measurement.

The weight of a horse can most accurately be measured using a scale, but most barns don’t have access to a scale and the horse would have to be transported to a truck scale or landfill to be weighed.

The Weight Tape can give a fairly accurate weight measurement. The horse’s weight is determined by wrapping the tape around the horse’s heart girth right behind the elbow and the withers and  reading the results.  For the exact weight, you can trailer your horse to a truck scale, weigh the horse and trailer and subtract the trailer weight.

  To measure for a blanket, you  use a tape measure and stretch it from the middle of his chest to the middle of his rump right under his tail. Make sure you take shrinkage into consideration.


ADD GRAPHIC  to demonstrate

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