Measuring a Horse's Height

Posted by Saddle Up on Jun 1st 2016

(photo taken from Pinterest)

A horse's height is measured in 'hands' which is a measuring unit of 4 inches. The horse is measured from the ground to the highest point of the withers.

There are two popular ways to measure a horse. One is by use of a measuring stick.

(photo taken from Pinterest)

The other is by using a measurement tape.

(photo taken from Pinterest)

There is a proper way to figure and write out the measurement of a horse.

Example: If a horse measures 60 inches you would divide that number by 4 (since a 'hand' is 4 inches) and get 15, which means the horse is 15 hands tall. Below are three more examples of the correct way to write out a horse measurement.

61 inches - 15.1 (when you dive by 4 you will get 15.25, which is an incorrect way to write out the measurement. The .25 means a quarter of a hand, which is 1 because a hand is 4 inches. Therefore you would rewrite the measurement to say 15.1, meaning the horse stands at 15 hands and 1 inch.)

62 inches - 15.2 (when you divide by 4 you will get 15.5, but the .5 means half of a hand which is two inches, so you would replace the five with a two to represent that the horse stands at 15 hands and two inches.)

63 inches - 15.3 (when you divide by 4 you will get 15.75, mean 15 hands and 3/4 of a hand, which is three inches.)

Since a whole hand is 4 inches the only correct numbers to be placed to the right of the decimal point are 0, 1, 2, 3. (0 inches, 1 inch, 2 inches, and 3 inches)

Miniatures, ponies and horses are usually categorized by their height:

Miniatures - An equine under 38 inches (roughly under 10 hands) is considered to be a mini.

Ponies - An equine under 14.2 hands is considered to be a pony.

Average Horse - Any equine 14.2 hands and over.

"Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him." -- Jelaluddin Rumi

~ Saddle Up