How Much Is A Hand When Measuring A Horse? (Correct answer)

hand, ancient unit of length, now standardized at 4 inches (10.16 cm) and used today primarily for measuring the height of horses from the ground to the withers (top of the shoulders). The unit was originally defined as the breadth of the palm including the thumb.

What does 15 hands mean on a horse?

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. 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.

Is a 17 hand horse big?

How tall is the average horse? Light riding horses are typically 14–16 hands (1.42–1.63m), larger riding horses are 15.2–17 hands (1.57–1.73m), and heavy or draft horses are usually 16–18 hands (1.63–1.83m). Growth can also be influenced by genetics and nutrition.

How do you measure how many hands a horse is?

When it comes to horses, you measure them in “hands”. One hand is equal to 4 inches. Horses are measured from the ground to the top of their withers. The difference between a horse and a pony is the size.

What is a wither on a horse?

Definition of withers 1: the ridge between the shoulder bones of a horse — see horse illustration.

Why are horses called Gee Gees?

GG or gee-gee is a word for horse used by children or in colloquial speech in UK. Wikipedia says that the term “Gee-Gee” is taken from horse-racing where a Gee-Gee is the first horse out of the starting gate. Other sources say that GG is short for the command given to horses to go: “gee up”.

What is the tallest horse?

Shires are the tallest horses in the world. It is not uncommon for one of these beauties to measure 20 hands. In fact, the biggest horse ever measured is the Shire gelding Sampson, who is now called Mammoth. Mammoth was born in England in 1846 and stood at 21.2-1/2 hands, over 7 feet 2.5 inches tall!

Is 14.3 hands short for a horse?

Most adult full-size horses’ height is in a range from 14.2 to 16.2 hands. Even though most riders consider 15 to 15.2 hands high medium-sized horses the most comfortable, novices find the smaller horse a better option for ride learning.

How many hands is a horse vs pony?

A pony is 14.2 hh (hands high) or smaller, while a horse is anything taller than 14.2 hh. So, a pony is any equine 58 inches at the wither or shorter, and a horse is anything taller than that.

Is 14.3 a horse or pony?

For many forms of competition, the official definition of a pony is a horse that measures less than 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) at the withers. Standard horses are 14.2 or taller.

How much should I weigh to ride a horse?

When horseback riding, the rule of thumb is that a horse can safely carry 20% of its body weight. So, if you weigh 250 pounds, you should aim to ride a horse that weighs 1,250 pounds or more. This will help ensure the horse’s safety and ability to work. Balance is also a key aspect of how much weight a horse can carry.

Can a horse be 14.5 hands?

Hands and Other Measurements A horse could never be said to be 14.5 inches, as the number after the decimal is not a fraction, but represents an entire inch. If a horse is 14.2 1/2 HH, that means he’s two and one-half inches over 14 hands.

How many hands has a horse?

In general, a horse is an equine that stands about 14.2 hands high or more and a pony is an equine that stands under that mark, give or take depending on region; for instance, in Australia the dividing line is 14 hands rather than 14.2.

What measurement is a hand?

hand, ancient unit of length, now standardized at 4 inches (10.16 cm) and used today primarily for measuring the height of horses from the ground to the withers (top of the shoulders). The unit was originally defined as the breadth of the palm including the thumb.

How are horses measured? Why “hands high”? Horse & Hound explains

  • One of the most bizarre features of the horse industry is that horses are measured in hands, an ad hoc unit of measurement that isn’t used for anything else.

What is a ‘hand’?

A hand is four inches in length, thus a horse that is sixteen hands and two inches in height will be referred to as “16.2hh” (sixteen hands and two inches). Sometimes that number is used as a noun, such as when referring to a horse standing at the corresponding height as “a sixteen-two.” Measurement is taken to the wither, which is the highest point above the horse’s shoulder that is not subject to movement. The hand is based on a four-base method for measuring distances. Sixty-four inches would not be represented as 16.5 or sixteen-and-a-half hands, but rather as 16.2, and 68 inches would be stated as 17 hands, not 16.4.

Why are horses measured in ‘hands’?

But why are horses measured in hands in the first place? Unsurprisingly, a four-inch hand is about the breadth of a man’s hands, with or without the thumb, and is a measure of length that may be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and other cultures. They have the world’s oldest known regulated system of measuring, which is based on the royal cubit, which is the length of a man’s arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, as measured from the tip of the middle finger. Cubits are subdivided into seven palms, each of which is around 75cm in length.

  • The English palm, also known as the hands-breath, was around three inches (7.61cm) in circumference, however it was often mistaken with the hand and has been described as both the fist and the palm.
  • In the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, and India, the hand is still the standard unit of measurement for horses, but the majority of European countries and the FEI use metres and centimetres.
  • Continue reading below.
  • We Brits are sticklers for tradition, and nowhere is this more evident than in the noble sport of equestrianism, which has been around for hundreds of years.
  • “It is a really practical means of evaluating cattle in the field, and of course, an entire infrastructure of everything from horse trade to exhibiting classes has arisen around particular standards,” explains equestrian historian Katrin Boniface.
  • A new issue of HorseHound magazine is published every Thursday, and it is jam-packed with all the latest news and updates, as well as interviews and special features, as well as nostalgic articles and veterinarian and training tips.

Find out how to get the magazine sent to your door every week, as well as how to upgrade to access ourH H Plus online service, which provides you with breaking news as it occurs, as well as other perks, by visiting our website.

Measuring Your Horse’s Height Accurately

If you read advertisements for horses, or if someone tells you about the height of their horse, the likelihood is that they will use the term “hands” to represent the measurement. For example, an extremely tall horse may stand at 17 HH in stature. Ponies are equines with heights less than 14.2 HH. “HH” or “H” is an abbreviation for “hands high” or “hands,” respectively. A hand is a measurement unit for the height of an equine that has been in use for hundreds of years to determine its height.

A hand is four inches wide, which is about the breadth of a male adult’s hand in circumference.

The height of horses is measured in cm in some countries and for FEI competition.

Hands and Other Measurements

Due to the fact that one hand is equivalent to four inches, fractional hands are given in decimals. When a horse reaches 14.2 hands, it is 14 hands + 2 inches in height. 14 x 4 plus 2 is a total of 58 inches: (14 times 4 plus 2). As a result, it is impossible to say that a horse is 14.5 inches since the number following the decimal is not a fraction, but represents one complete inch. If a horse’s height is 14.2 1/2 HH, it implies he is two and one-half inches taller than the standard 14-hand height.

This is the only portion of the horse’s top line that remains constant regardless of whether he lowers or raises his head or whether he drops or arches his spine.


There are a number different tools that may be used to determine the height of a horse. When measuring the height of a horse, the most precise and straightforward approach is to use an equine height measuring stick. With a horizontal bar that glides up and down the length of the stick, this is a tall stick marked with inch measurements. The stick is held alongside the horse, and the horizontal bar is slid down until it hits the horse’s withers, then the process is repeated. Some sticks are equipped with a leveling bubble, which allows you to be certain that you are holding the stick level.

  1. The difficulty with tape measures is that they are floppy and light, making it difficult to hold them taut enough to obtain an accurate reading.
  2. You are not permitted to place the tape against the horse.
  3. Height tapes are frequently printed with a weight tape printed on the other side of the tape.
  4. Additionally, metal tape measures generate rattling noises that horses might be sensitive to, making it difficult to persuade the horse to remain still long enough to take a measurement with them.
  5. Using the metal weight as a stop, the handler may keep the string firm as he or she inspects the withers and signs the twine with a magic marker.

To make it simpler to obtain a line from the string to the withers, another method is to use a yardstick, piece of lath, or even a whip. Simply position the yardstick so that it sits on the horse’s withers and is parallel to the ground, and record the point at which it touches the tape.

How to Measure

Allow your horse to stand straight on a level surface while you measure it. Hold the tape or stick perpendicular to the ground and beside the horse, with the highest point of the horse’s withers exactly in line with the tape or stick. Use a suitable measuring stick and lower the bar until it is level with the horse’s withers on a level surface, if possible. Remember to make a note of the measurement. If you can only measure in inches, divide the inches by four and use the remainder of the inches to get the length.

You may need to take into consideration horseshoes if the height of your horse is a deciding factor in whether or not your horse will compete in pony or horse activities.

Whether you require a horse of a certain height or need to qualify a horse’s height, you’ll need to know whether the measurement takes into account the horse’s footwear.

Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

Hand (unit) – Wikipedia

See Palm for information on the handbreadth or handsbreadth (length). The measures of the hand (2) and palm (3) are illustrated, among other things, on a human hand. When measuring length, the hand is a non-SI unit of measurement that is standardized to 4 inches (101.6 mm). There are numerous English-speaking nations where it is used to measure the height of horses. These countries include Australia; Canada; the Republic of Ireland; the United Kingdom; and the United States. In the beginning, it was based on the breadth of a human hand.

It is sometimes shortened as “h” or “hh.” In spite of the fact that measures between whole hands are typically stated in what appears to be decimal notation, the subdivision of the hand is not in decimal format but rather in base 4, and subdivisions after theradix point are in quarters of a hand, which are measured in inches.


In some cases, “Hands” might be shortened with the letter “h” or “hh.” In certain circles, the abbreviation “hh” is understood as standing for “hands high.” Whenever hands are mentioned aloud, they are stated as numbers. For example, 15.0 is “fifteen hands,” 15.2 is variously “fifteen-two” or “fifteen hands, two inches,” and so on. To convert inches to hands, divide the number of inches by four, and then add the leftover after the radix point to get the final result. For example, a horse that measures 60 inches tall is 15 hands high (15 4 = 60), while a horse midway between 15 and 16 hands tall is 15.2 hands, or 62 inches tall (15 4 + 2 = 62) when measured in hands.

A designation of “15.5 hands” does not refer to the midway point between 15 and 16 hands, but rather to 15 hands and five inches, which is impossible in a base 4 radix numbering system, where a hand is four inches in length.


Cubit rod in the Museum EgizioofTurin, with lengths of the fingers, palm, hand and fist shown in detail. Originally based on the breadth of a malehuman hand, with or without the thumb, or on the height of a closed fist, the hand, also known as the handbreadth or the handsbreadth, is an anthropic unit of length. The royal cubitis split into seven hands, each of which has four fingers or four digits, according to the ancient Egyptian cubit-rods that have survived. Five numerals correspond to a hand with the thumb extended, while six digits correspond to a closed fist.

See also:  How Much Does Horse Riding Cost? (Solution)
Ancient Egyptian units of length

Name Egyptian name Equivalent Egyptian values Metric equivalent Imperial equivalent
Royal cubit
meh niswt
7 palms or 28 digits 525 mm 20.67 in
Fist 6 digits 108 mm 4.25 in
Hand 5 digits 94 mm 3.70 in
Palm shesep 4 digits 75 mm 2.95 in
Digit djeba 1/4 palm 19 mm 0.75 in

Biblical use

If you look at a passage like Ezekiel 40:43, you’ll see that the hand measurement is commonly interpreted to bepalmor handbreadth. In current translations, this measurement is either referred to as “handbreadth” or “three inches,” depending on the context.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the hand is a conventional unit of measurement. However, considerable misunderstanding between the different forms of hand measurement, and notably between the hand and the handsbreadth, appears to have lingered even after a legislation of King Henry VIII in 1540 fixed it at four inches. In Phillips’s dictionary from 1706, the length of a handful or hand is four inches, and the breadth is three inches. In Mortimer’s dictionary, the same is true, with three inches for the Hand’s-breadth and four inches for the “Handful, or simply, Hand,” but he also adds “The hand among horse-dealers,c.

Use in measuring horses

Horses, ponies, and other equines are now measured by the hand, which was formerly used to measure their height. It is widely used in the United States, as well as in several other countries that use the metric system, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (UK). Horses are measured in metric measurements in other regions of the globe, particularly continental Europe, and in FEI-regulated international competition. Metric units are commonly measured in metres or centimetres.

In areas where hands are the standard unit of measurement for horse height, inches are sometimes used instead of hands to measure the height of smaller equines such as miniature horses/ponies, tiny mules, donkeys, and Shetland ponies.

Palpation and marking of the spinous process of the fifth thoracic vertebra, if necessary, can be used to determine the official measurement of this vertebra.

Horses can be measured with or without shoes in international competition governed by theFédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and in USEF competition governed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

A body called the Joint Measurement Board is in charge of overseeing official horse measurements in the United Kingdom (JMB). Prior to taking measurements for the JMB, the shoes must be removed and the hooves must be properly prepped for shoeing before taking the measurements.

See also

  • Anthropic units
  • A list of horse breeds
  • Anthropic units A list of strange units of measurement is provided below. Pony
  • Span (as a unit of measurement)


  1. “Equestrian Australia Measuring Rules Effective 1 July 2008” (PDF) Equestrian Australia Limited. 2008. “Equestrian Australia Measuring Rules Effective 1 July 2008” (PDF). On January 25, 2013, a PDF version of this document was made available for download. Obtainable on August 17, 2014
  2. Abcdefghi “The “Hand” Measurement for Horses,” says the author. Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs is located in Canada’s province of Ontario. The original version of this article was published on August 22, 2011. 30th of June, 2011
  3. Retrieved 30th of June, 2011
  4. Michael Brander is the author of this work (1971). The Complete Guide to Horsemanship is a comprehensive resource for horse enthusiasts. AC Black, p. 444.ISBN0-7136-1701-2.p.409
  5. London: AC Black, p. 444.ISBN0-7136-1701-2.p.409
  6. “Can you tell me how large a hand is?” Archived at the Wayback Machine on March 26, 2012
  7. Hand Conversion
  8. AbHow to Measure a Horse | Horse Height and Weight
  9. AbShlei
  10. AbcHand Conversion “Can you tell me how tall a hand is?” Equines are being measured. There is an organization called the American Donkey and Mule Society. Retrieved on May 19, 2007
  11. Measure the height of the horse accurately
  12. Good, J.M., Gregory, O., and Bosworth, N. (1813). PANTOGRAPHIA: A new cyclopaedia, comprising a complete series of essays and treatises and systems, all alphabetically organized
  13. Together with a general dictionary of arts, sciences and words, the entire work presenting a distinct survey of human genius, learning, and industry
  14. Illustrated with engraved plates, the historical plates being based on original drawings by Edwards and others. Kearsley, London.:CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)”Hand (2)”
  15. Selin, Helaine, ed., London: Kearsley (1997). An encyclopedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-Western cultures is published by the University of California Press. Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN 978-0-7923-4066-9
  16. AbClagett, Marshall, and others (1999). Ancient Egyptian Science, A Source Book, Volume 3: Ancient Egyptian Mathematics is the third volume in the series. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA, ISBN 978-0-87169-232-0
  17. Richard Lepsius is credited with inventing the term “lepsius” (1865). The altaegyptische Elle and her enthralling enchantment (in German). Dümmler is a German publisher based in Berlin. Ezekiel 40:43 is a verse in the Bible that says The New International Version (NIV)
  18. Ezekiel 40:43 is a verse in the Bible that says Thomas Mortimer’s An Acte for Bryde of Horses (32 Hen. VIII c. 13) is included in the New Century Version (1810). One of the world’s most comprehensive dictionaries of business, trade, and manufacturing, illustrating their current situation in every corner of the globe and meticulously compiled from the most recent and greatest experts. R. Phillips & Sons Limited, London. Edward Phillips and John Kersey (eds.) have published a book titled (1706) This is the new universe of words, often known as the Universal English dictionary. Including an explanation of the original or appropriate sense, as well as a variety of other meanings for all hard terms adopted from other languages. Additionally, there is a concise and straightforward explanation of all terminology relevant to any of the arts and sciences, to which is also added the interpretation of proper names. This is the sixth version, which has been altered. Because of the insertion of about twenty thousand additional words London
  19. s^ Le Clerc, George Louis, Comte de Buffon was a French nobleman who lived in the nineteenth century (1831). A natural history of the world, including the evolution of man, animals, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and plants. John Wright is the fifth volume (trans.). Gray and Bowen
  20. Thomas Desilver, Jr.
  21. Gray and Bowen, Boston
  22. Gray and Bowen, Philadelphia (1816). Encyclopaedia Perthensis
  23. Or Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature, and other fields, intended to replace the usage of other reference books, Volume 16
  24. “Equestrian Australia Measuring Rules Effective 1 July 2008”
  25. “Equestrian Australia Measuring Rules Effective 1 July 2008” (PDF). Equestrian Australia Limited,, Equestrian Australia Limited, 2008. On January 25, 2013, a PDF version of this document was made available for download. On the 17th of August, 2014, I found this: “Show Rules. Standards of Excellence: MiniatureSmall Horse.” The Australian Miniature HorsePony Registry is a non-profit organization. “About Miniature Mules,” which was retrieved on July 3, 2011. The American Miniature Mule Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of miniature mules. The original version of this article was published on June 24, 2011. “The Donkey,” which was retrieved on July 3, 2011. Agriculture and Rural Development is a department of the Alberta government. The original version of this article was published on November 16, 2012. 3 July 2011
  26. Retrieved 3 July 2011
  27. Elwyn Hartley Edwards is a fictional character created by Elwyn Hartley (1994). The Horse: A Reference Guide is a comprehensive resource for horse enthusiasts (1st ed.). p.176
  28. Ab”JMB measurement,” The Joint Measurement Board, London: Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 0-7513-0115-9
  29. Ac”JMB measurement,” The Joint Measurement Board. The original version of this article was published on March 26, 2012. Retrieved on June 30, 2011.

Horse Height Conversion Chart

The height of a horse is measured in hands, with one hand equaling four inches in height. When measuring the withers of a horse, the measurement should be taken vertically from the ground to the highest point of the withers. If you need to know the appropriate measurement in meters, feet, or inches, you may look up the information on the internet. The height of your horse may be converted into both metric and imperial dimensions using the table provided below (feet, inches, and centimeters). Given that one hand is equal to four inches, calculating the number of inches is a rather straightforward process.

As an illustration, here’s how it might function in practice: 14.2 hands (4 x 14 = 56 + 2 = 58 inches) is equal to 56 + 2 = 58 inches.

Why Horses Are Measured in Hands?

You’ll be able to employ metric or imperial measurements now that you know how to convert the customary hands measurement. But what precisely are hands, and why are they employed to assess the size of horses in this context? The solution to this question extends back hundreds of years, to a time when rulers and tape measures were not available. Instead, various portions of the horse body were employed as yardsticks in most cases. A foot – which currently measures 12 inches – was once referred to as a man’s foot, which was pretty literal.

  • It was eventually standardised at four inches, and it is still the commonly used horse measurement today.
  • Aside from the fact that there were no measuring instruments available at the time, it has been argued that one of the reasons that hands were employed was because horses loved to use them.
  • Although it is unclear whether this is a true urban legend, it is a plausible idea!
  • Also view our chart of typical height and weight for horse breeds.

Measuring a Horse’s Height

The image above was borrowed from Pinterest The height of a horse is measured in ‘hands,’ which is a unit of measurement equal to 4 inches. The height of the horse is measured from the ground to the highest point of the withers. There are two popular methods for determining the size of a horse. One method is by the use of a measuring stick. The image above was borrowed from Pinterest The alternative method involves the use of a measuring tape. The image above was borrowed from Pinterest There is a correct method for calculating and writing down the measurement of a horse.

  1. Here are three additional instances of the proper method to write down a horse measurement in the format shown above.
  2. The.25 refers to a quarter of a hand, which is equal to one because a hand is four inches in length.
  3. The only numbers that are correct to be placed to the right of the decimal point are 0, 1, 2, and 3 due to the fact that a complete hand is 4 inches in length.
  4. The height of miniatures, ponies, and horses is typically determined by their breed: Miniatures – A miniature horse is defined as one that is less than 38 inches tall (approximately equal to 10 hands).

Ponies are equines with a height of less than 14.2 hands, and are classified as such. Horses with a height of 14.2 hands or more are considered average horses. The rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse under him is not to be emulated. – Jelaluddin Rumi – Get Your Saddle On

Why Are Horses Measured in Hands? Tradition or More to it?

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! When it comes to characterizing the height of horses, everyone always utilizes the conventional measurement of the hands. This unusual method of measuring horses piqued my interest, and I was intrigued as to why it was utilized and where it originated, so I did some research to find out more.

In the United States, one hand equals 4 inches, hence a 15 hand horse is 60 inches tall.

You’ll probably agree that this standard measurement should be maintained once you’ve learned the background information.

History of measuring horses by hands.

Horses have been utilized for transportation, agriculture, and warfare for hundreds of years. The development of a technique for measuring horses by their height in hands was necessary for reliable measurement of horses. Ancient Egyptians utilized a unit of measurement based on bodily parts, including the hands, to measure distances. They assessed the height of a horse by measuring the distance between the ground and the top of its front leg, with fists or open palms serving as units of measure.

It was necessary to establish a defined unit due to the widespread usage of horse-trading.

Buyers and sellers of horses were able to use the constant breadth of the horse as a common reference point.

Following a more in-depth explanation of how we measure a horse, we will examine the significance height plays in the lives of racehorses.

Standard hand measurements started in the 1500s.

Other European countries, as well as the Federal Equestrian International (FEI), use meters as their primary unit of measure. The hand is still the primary unit of measure in the United States, as it is in most English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and so on.

Are other animals besides horses measured in hands?

Do you have any idea how big a hippopotamus is? How about an elephant as an example? Hands are one of the tools that humans use to gauge the size of other animals. Horses, in reality, were not the first animals to be measured in this manner. Hands are one of the most commonly used units of measurement when it comes to measuring other animals, including humans. Historically, humans have used their bodies as a reference point for measuring other objects, which is why this system is believed to have evolved.

There are a couple of reasons behind this.

In addition, the size of human hands was rather consistent throughout species.

However, it is still in use for ponies and other animals. Whether it’s an appropriate practice or not, my friends and I refer to the height of deer, elk, and moose in terms of our hands when describing their size.

What are other units of measurementsbased on body parts?

  • The cubit was defined as the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger on the right hand. The average height is around 18 inches. This unit of measurement has been in use in the Middle East for many years. Palms:cubits are subdivided into seven palms, each of which is around 75cm in length. foot: the length of a man’s foot serves as the basis for the unit foot. Digit: The breadth of a finger, which is about 2cm (approximately 13/16 of an inch) in circumference. The “finger” or two of liquor that someone requests is the same height as the finger in a small tumbler. Span: Extend your hand to the point where the tip of your thumb is as far away from the tip of your pinky as feasible. For most people, the distance is known as a “span,” and it is almost precisely half a cubit in length. Thumb: The breadth of a thumb, which was later used as the foundation for the unit of measurement inch

How to properly measure a horse.

Horses are measured from the top of their withers down to the ground. Step one in determining the accuracy of your hand measurement is to position your horse on a level, flat area and measure from the ground to his withers. The withers of a horse are the highest point on the back of the animal. It is located near the base of the neck, right behind the shoulder. Because withers are stable, they are selected as the measuring point for this procedure. Because a horse’s head is always moving up and down, it would be difficult to take a measurement from it.

A horse’s back might be arched, or he could have a naturally low or high back, depending on his breed.

When measuring a horse, the withers are the most stable location to measure from.

Horse measuring sticks are easy to use.

It is perfectly OK to measure horses using an ordinary tape measure. However, it may be difficult to maneuver around horses while still getting an exact measurement. A measuring stick is the most straightforward tool to use and provides the highest possibility for the user to accurately measure an animal. Horse height and weight tapes are available on Amazon for a reasonable price (see this link for more information). Measurement sticks are long bars with markings attached to them, with a horizontal bar that glides up and down the rod as you measure.

These instruments produce a more precise output and contain indications to distinguish between hands, inches, and centimeters, allowing for simple conversion between the three units.

However, fractional hands do not transfer to decimal hands in the same way.

Converting hands to inches is simple.

If this were written in the traditional decimal format, it would be written as 14.5 instead of 14. The.5 would represent one-half of four inches. The horse in our illustration stands at 58 inches in height. 58 inches is equivalent to 14/4=56 + 2 inches, or 58 inches. The normal riding horse will typically stand between 15 and 17 hands tall. While a draft horse may reach heights of over 20 hands, tiny horses can only achieve heights of less than eight hands. To learn more about the size of jockeys, go visit this page.

What is the average height of a horse in hands?

Do you have a horse of your own? Alternatively, are you considering purchasing one? If this is the case, you may be wondering how large they grow. At the withers, the typical height of a horse is around 15 hands tall. Taking this measurement begins at the highest point on the horse’s back, which is located immediately in front of the shoulder blades. Please don’t be concerned if your horse is a bit taller or shorter than this; horses come in a variety of forms and sizes. Some breeds, like as the Shire, are renowned for being on the taller side of the spectrum.

Furthermore, some tiny horses only reach a height of 36 inches at the withers. So, how does your horse’s height compare to that of the general population? Consider the information in the chart below if you’re still not sure. Several popular horse breeds’ typical heights are included in this section.

Horse Breed Height in hands
Thoroughbred 16 hands
Quarter Horse 15.1 hands
Arabian 15 hands
Shire 17 hands
Friesian 15.3 hands
Morgan 15 hands
Standardbred 15.5 hands
Icelandic 13 hands
Belgian 16.5 hands
Appaloosa 15 hands
Tennessee Walking Horse 15.2 hands

Heights of Different Types of Horses: How Do You Compare?

Worldwide, there are three basic varieties of horses to be found, and each of these groups is distinct in its own way. When it comes to horses, one of the most remarkable characteristics is their height, which varies widely from one breed to another. Large draft breeds, Warmbloods, and hot-blooded horses are the three most common types of horses in existence. All horses, but particularly large draft types, stand between 16 and 18 hands high, making them the tallest of all breeds. Compared to the draft breeds, warmbloods are slightly shorter on average, standing at around 15.2-16.2 hands high in most cases.

Does the entire equestrian world use the hand unit of measurement?

A topic that has baffled me for years is whether or not we all measure horses in hands, or whether this is a uniquely American phenomenon. There are many various ways to measure horses across the world, and many countries have their own unique methodology, as it turns out. Throughout the globe, horses are measured in a variety of different ways, but the Hand is the most often used unit of measurement. Horses are most commonly measured in hands in the United States, Canada, Australia, and parts of Europe, although in other countries like as France, Spain, and Germany, horses are most commonly measured in meters.

Do Taller Racehorses Run Faster?

The height of certain Thoroughbreds always astounds me when I’m at the track, and this is no exception. Each season, they appear to grow in height relative to the preceding season; this led me to ponder if horses are being bred for height and if taller horses run quicker than shorter horses. Taller racehorses do not run quicker than their shorter counterparts. The height of a racehorse is not a factor in determining its running speed. In comparison to thoroughbreds, quarter horses are lesser in height, yet they are faster over certain distances.

What matters is the length of the step as well as the frequency of the stride.

Stride length is critical to horse speed.

A horse’s stride is the distance it travels in a single bound when running. A horse’s stride is defined as the distance between where his front foot first contacts the ground and where that same foot strikes the ground again. The typical stride length of a racehorse is around 20 feet. The champion Man O’ War, on the other hand, had a stride length of 28 feet.

Stride rate is important in racehorse speed.

Stride rateor turnover ratio calculates the number of strides a racehorse performs per a given time frame. Most racehorses have a stride rate between 130 and 140 strides per minute. The faster horses will be able to quicken their pace without shortening it. Some champion horses have a stride of over 160 strides per minute. Quarter horses, on average, have a faster stride rate than thoroughbreds. But thoroughbreds have to maintain their stride over a longer distance and time.

To perform this feat, several factors have to work together. For the racehorse to run efficiently while taking such a long stride and maintaining a high stride frequency takes the perfect balance of the body’s anatomical systems.

Horses draw in a lot of oxygen when running.

The intake of oxygen must be enhanced. Horses breathe through their noses as they stretch their bodies during a race, and when they tighten their legs inside, they exhale through their mouths. The heart of a racehorse must also be operating at peak performance. The heart of an aracehorse can pump up to 75 liters of blood per minute, increasing the number of oxygen-rich red blood cells in the body’s circulation. During the race, this ensures that the horse receives the essential oxygen. The heart of a typical horse weighs between 9 and 10 pounds on average.

Stride angle affects a horses speed.

Stride angle is a measurement of the distance between a horse’s front and hind feet, which is often taken at the time of a horse’s rear foot pushing off. The stride angle, in other words, is a measure for determining how much a horse will flatten out during a racing event. Racehorses with higher stride angles will have a longer stride length as a result of this. Secretariat had the greatest stride angles of any racehorse, with 110 degrees, according to an analysis of stride angle data. Proponents feel that the stride angle of a racehorse is an important aspect in influencing the success of the horse.

The length of a horse’s stride and the velocity at which it moves are the two most significant characteristics of a fast racer.

Interesting Facts about Smaller Horses:

The general consensus appears to be that larger is better when it comes to humans; however, this is not always the case when it comes to horses.

  • Seabiscuit was a little racehorse, even for his day. He had a successful racing career and is the topic of several racehorse novels
  • John Henry is another little racehorse who has had a successful racing career. He became the first horse to win more than $4,000,000.00 in a single race. Sir Walter Gilbey wrote a book titled “Small Horses in Warfare,” which was released in 1900 and detailed his career profits of more than $6,000,000.00. After retiring, he spent the rest of his life in retirement. For example, during the Crimean War, horses ridden by Armenian and Bashi Bazouks constantly performed “above the capability of the English Thoroughbred cavalry,” citing example after example of how horses 13.2 to 14.3 excelled large horses in practically every attempt
  • In November of 1889, D. Peschkof, a Cossack, embarked on a journey from Blagoveshchensk, Siberia. Despite the fact that his horse and trappings weighed 180 pounds, he rode 5,478 miles in 193 days on his pony, which was just 12.3 hands in height. During the winter, the pony, called Seri, traveled across Siberia at an average speed of 37 kilometers per day. Incredible! l

What is the tallest horse?

It was an English Shire horse named Sampson, who lived in the 1850s, that was the tallest horse I could find. Sampson was described as being 21.2 1/2 hands (7 feet 2-1/2 inches at his withers) and weighing 3,300 pounds, according to legend. Shires are still the most common breed of draft horse in the world.

What is the smallest horse?

The world’s tiniest horse was a 14-inch pony from New Hampshire, which was the smallest ever recorded. Einstein was his given name. The original horse, on the other hand, was roughly the size of a golden retriever.

How tall is a 16 hand horse in feet?

A sixteen-hand horse stands 5’4′′ tall. Because a hand measurement is 4 inches, a sixteen-hand horse is 64 inches tall (416), or 416 inches tall. When measured in feet, 64 inches equals five foot four and a half inches.

The Hand Measurement for Horses

Dr. Bob Wright wrote the book in 2001. When someone asks, “How tall is this horse?” the answer is frequently given in “hand” units, which are the smallest unit of measurement. A standard unit of measurement, the horse’s height is currently solely used to quantify the height of the animal. To trace a tradition’s roots backwards is a risky venture. It is currently widely accepted in the horse world that a “hand” is 4 inches, measured in one-inch increments from level ground to the highest non-variable skeletal element on the horse’s back, known as the withers.

  • Horse owners, and especially dealers, came to an agreement at some point that the “hand” will always represent 4 inches, and that the height from level ground to the withers will always be measured in inches.
  • The hand unit, as well as other measurements, emerged in ancient Mediterranean societies on the basis of references that people of the period could connect to, such as bodily parts and other physical attributes (e.g., foot).
  • There were several inconsistencies in the information.
  • According to encyclopaedic sources, the “hand” measurement was four fingers broad at one point in time and four fingers and a thumb wide at other points in time.
  • The hand was finally standardized by the Egyptians circa 3,000 BC, using a sophisticated system that included the “cubit.” Because of the great impact of Egyptian culture, the usage of this method has spread to a variety of nations and civilizations throughout the world.
  • The cubit was the unit of measurement in the Egyptian system (which is frequently cited in connection with the construction of the pyramids or the building of Noah’s ark).
  • In ancient times, the cubit was measured by measuring the length of an arm from its elbow to its extended fingers, an arbitrary distinction that was later standardized by a royal master cubit made of black granite.

This was not a system that was planned in advance.

The standardized “hand” has evolved into a unit of measurement that is as accurate as any other for determining a horse’s height at the withers.

In any case, the hand has established a tradition of British measuring, regardless of where it came from.

In various parts of the world, such as Europe and South Africa, there is a dual system of measuring in cm and in hands simultaneously.

a.Egyptb.Sumeriac.Greeced.Japan In comparison to the human body, what component of the horse’s withers is equivalent?

the tailbone 3.On what basis were the majority of the earliest measurements made?

references to the body (hand or foot) 4.Can you tell me why these sorts of measurements are so inaccurate?

d.traders would exaggerate the sizes 5.How long is a cubit in inches?


a.cubitb.pacec.centimeterd. foot a.cubitb.pacec.centimeterd. foot 8.Measurements that are considered “standard” do not include: Compute, vary, travel, and flow (a.computeb.vary, travel, flow)

Measure Horse Height

It is simple to obtain an accurate measurement of your horse’s height. To determine the height of a horse, measure the horse from the ground in a straight line up to the highest point of the withers and record the measurement in inches. The yellow line in the photo below serves to demonstrate this point. Below: Height of a horse measured from the ground to the highest point of its withers in inches is considered suitable height for a horse. Now is the time to pin it! A level surface with even or nearly even front feet is required for the most accurate assessment of the horse’s height.

Calculating The Results

It is necessary to translate the findings of your horse’s measurements from inches to “hands” once they have been taken. The right term for horse height is “hand,” which is a unit of measurement that is used to measure the height of the horse. Four inches are represented by one hand. From the ground to the top of her withers, the gray mare in the photo above measures 58 inches in height. When you divide 58 by 4, you get the number 14.5. The number 14 refers to the number of hands, and the.5 indicates that another half of a hand, or another 2 inches, has been added.

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Correctly Writing The Results

If we continue to use the gray mare as an example, her height should be stated as 14.2 inches. This implies she is 14 hands tall, plus an additional two inches on top of that. More information on how to appropriately record a horse’s height may be found in the following section:

  • The first number written is the total number of hands
  • The second number written is the total number of hands
  • And the third number written is the total number of hands. After that, there is a period. Following that, the remaining amount of inches is given

Correctly Speaking The Results

For the sake of argument, let us use our 14.2 mare as an example. Horsemen typically pronounce a measurement like this as “fourteen two” or “fourteen and a half” out loud.

A Few Examples

The following are a few examples of how to appropriately write and pronounce the height of a horse. Keep in mind that the number in front of the period represents forhands, and the number after the period is the number of inches remaining.

  • 15 – This is a proper manner of expressing that a horse is 15 hands tall in written form. 15.0 – This is another right method of writing that a horse is 15 hands tall
  • 15.1 – This is another correct way of writing that a horse is 15 hands and one inch tall
  • 15.1 – This is the proper way of writing that a horse is 15 hands and one inch tall. (Spoken as “fifteen one,” or “fifteen hands, one inch.”)
  • 15.2 – This is the proper method of writing that a horse is 15 hands, 2 inches tall. (Spoken as “fifteen one,” or “fifteen hands, one inch.”)
  • 15.3 – This is the correct way of writing that a horse is 15 hands, 2 inches tall. This is the proper way to write that a horse is 15 hands and 3 inches tall. (Spoken as “fifteen two,” or “fifteen hands and two inches.”)
  • 15.3 – This is the correct way to write that a horse is 15 hands and 3 inches tall. (Spoken as “fifteen three,” “fifteen hands, three inches,” or “fifteen hands, three inches.”)
  • 15.4 – Incorrect! This indicates that a horse stands 15 hands and 4 inches tall. Considering that a hand is equivalent to four inches, this horse is actually 16 hands tall
  • 15.5 – Wrong once again! Some individuals mistakenly believe that the number following theperiod represents fractions of a hand, while in fact it should be interpreted as inches. For example, some individuals write “15.5” to signify 15 and a half hands, but this should be spelled correctly as “15.2” instead.

If you like, you can add the letter “hh” to the end of a measurement, as in “15.1hh.” “Hands high” is represented by the letter “hh.”

Horse Measuring Devices

There are measuring equipment for horses available on the market that are labelled with hand and inch measures on the outside. Others are stiff poles with small cross bars at the top that may be lifted or lowered to rest on the withers of a horse. These are really convenient and provide precise measurements with ease. Horse height/weight tape, which is an unique tape measure with hands and inches marked on it, is another frequent equipment used in the horse industry. If the person conducting the measuring makes certain that the tape is run straight up and down, as well as that the measurement is read at a level angle, they are economical and precise options.

Where Did “Hands” Come From?

As previously stated, the height of a horse is measured in hands. The practice of measuring a horse in this manner has a long history, yet it is simple to grasp. People did not have the usual measuring devices (such as tape measures, etc.) that we have now in those days that seem so long ago. They measured a horse using what was readily available (no pun intended): their own hands. A “hand” has been defined in several ways throughout history and in various locations, including the width of a person’s hand using only the fingers, the width of a person’s hand using the fingers plus the thumb, the height of a clenched fist, and maybe others.

  1. Despite its ancient origins, the hand is still the standard unit of measurement for horses among current horse owners.
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Understanding Horse Height & Hand Measurements

People who haven’t spent a lot of time with horses may find the many ways in which horse height is defined to be perplexing. Horse sizes are described in horse industry publications (such as sales webpages, equipment vendor catalogs, and so on) in terms of “hands,” but for many novice horse owners, riders, and horse-curious individuals, this measurement is completely useless and confusing! Horse sizes, how horses are measured, the benefits and drawbacks of owning a very tall or very small horse, as well as why horses are measured in hands rather than feet will all be discussed in this article.

Having a better understanding of how horses are measured can help us communicate more effectively about the height of a horse.

First, How Horses are Measured:

Horses are measured in what is known as a “hand,” which is a unit of measurement. A hand measures exactly 4 inches in length. This measurement defines how tall a horse stands when measured from the ground to the withers—which is defined as the place where the horse’s neck joins the body with a tiny hump at the base of the mane—when measured from the ground to the withers. Horse’s head and neck are never measured since the posture of the horse’s head might have a significant impact on the height measurement of the horse!

Why is horse height measured in this unit?

People and horses have been partners for millennia. Long before rulers and measuring tapes were accessible, much alone standardized, there was a need to be able to explain the size of a horse accurately and precisely to others. When horse handlers realized that most people’s hands were approximately the same size: 4 inches, they began to assess horse height by measuring the breadth of the hand. This is a simple, portable, and fairly universal method of measuring horse height. They would simply stack their hands one on top of another and count how many hands it required to measure the horse from hoof to shoulders when measuring a horse for sale or auction.

photo courtesy of carterse

Rounding Horse Hands Up or Down

In most cases, the height of a horse is not rounded to the closest hand, either up or down. As an alternative, measures between.1 and.3 are represented with decimal points spanning from.1 to.3. This is a bit unique, because it is not the way decimal points are generally calculated in most cases. A half-unit measurement would normally be represented by the symbol.5, but with horses, it is never correct to describe a horse as “_.5 hands.” Instead, to represent one half of a hand,.2 (representing 2 inches of the 4-inch hand measurement) is used.Thus, horse heights might be represented as 14.1, 18.2, 12.3, and so on, but never as 14.5, 15.7, and so on.

Is a Hand Measurement Accurate?

It is well known that measuring horse height, and especially doing so with an actualhand, is a rather unreliable procedure. The fact that human hands vary in breadth led to the widespread use of a measuring stick that stands straight up from the ground and has an extension arm that can be placed on the horse’s withers in the twentieth century.

Below is an illustration of this unique horse measurement stick in action. This measuring tool assists in obtaining a more precise measurement than using one’s hands or a tape measure (which might result in an erroneous reading owing to the curves of a horse’s body being measured).

How to Measure Your Horses Height

Check to see that your horse is standing on level ground, and position or give your horse the instruction to stand square before measuring from the ground to the withers of your horse. Alternatively, if you don’t have a measuring stick, you may construct one out of cardboard. You may simply mark the height of your horse with a pen, and then measure the distance from the ground to that mark using a regular tape measure. The great majority of adult full-size horses are between 14.2 and 16.2 hands in height and weight.

The mounting and riding of horses above 16.2 hands can be more difficult, as well as possibly more dangerous, due to the possibility of a more difficult fall from a higher horse.

The taller horses with a long beautiful stride are generally preferred in other horse activities, such as hunter/jumper competitions and dressage.

Because of their adjustable size, average-sized horses are easy to saddle and provide a high level of versatility.

Should Larger Riders have Larger horses?

Many new plus-size riders believe that because they are larger, their horse should be larger to suit them. However, this is not always the case. As a result of this misconception, many larger riders purchase draft or draft-cross horses that are 16, 17, or even 18 hands tall. However, larger horses may not be the ideal choice for all situations. Why? In order to properly draw weight, draft horses have been deliberately bred for thousands of years and through countless generations. They are generally built downhill (with their withers lower than their rump) and may not be any more adapted to supporting a huge rider than an ordinary horse of medium build, owing to their powerful, hefty shoulders.

Heavy riders may find that horses with withers that are somewhat higher than their rump, as well as a shorter body length from withers to rump, are more suitable for carrying them.

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