How Big Is A Horse? (Best solution)

What is the average height of a horse?

  • Though horses span a large range of sizes from rather compact to incredibly massive, most of them fall somewhere closer to the middle. On average, horses are about five feet in height. Many horses are taller and plenty are shorter, but five feet is about average. Of course, horse heights aren’t generally expressed in inches.

How big is a normal horse?

The average height of a horse is 15.2 hands or around 5 feet. Any equine measuring more than 14.2 hands (57 inches) is classified as a horse, and anything less is classified as a pony or miniature horse. A cob measures at about 15 hands and often straddles the line between ponies and “horse” sized.

How tall is a big 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.

What is the biggest horse?

The tallest and heaviest documented horse was the shire gelding Sampson (later renamed Mammoth), bred by Thomas Cleaver of Toddington Mills, Bedfordshire, UK. This horse, foaled 1846, measured 21.2½ hands, 2.19 m (7 ft 2.5 in) in 1850 and was later said to have weighed 1,524 kg (3,359 lb).

How old do horses live?

The domestic donkey is a hoofed mammal in the family Equidae, the same family as the horse. It derives from the African wild ass, Equus africanus, and may be classified either as a subspecies thereof, Equus africanus asinus, or as a separate species, Equus asinus.

How long is a horse pregnant?

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. However, the term pony can be used in general (or affectionately) for any small horse, regardless of its actual size or breed.

What is a big horse?

The Shire is currently the largest horse breed in the world, and it’s known for its tall, muscular build and feathered legs. It is also one of the horses with an easy-going temperament. This breed is typically bay, grey, black, brown, or chestnut.

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.

What are the 3 types of horses?

All horse breeds are classified into three main groups: heavy horses, light horses, and ponies. Heavy horses are the largest horses, with large bones and thick legs. Some weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Light horses are smaller horses, with small bones and thin legs.

What’s the strongest horse?

#1: Belgian Drafts The Belgian draft is the strongest horse in the world. Taller than many of the strongest horses in the world, the Belgian Draft stands at up to 18 hands and an impressive 2000 pounds. Although they are not the heaviest or stoutest breed on this list, Belgian horses are highly muscular and powerful.

Average Horse Height: How Big Do They Get? (with Size Chart)

Horses are considered to be enormous creatures by the majority of people, and for the most part, this is correct. In height and weight, the normal horse is around five feet tall and weighs 800-1200 pounds. Generally speaking, a horse must be at least 57 inches tall, yet some horses are just two feet tall! Horses that weigh more than 2200 pounds and tower well over six feet tall are seen on the other extreme of the range. Today’s topic is horse heights, and this post will cover everything from the tiniest to the highest, as well as everything in between.

What Is the Average Height of a Horse?

Even while horses are available in a wide range of sizes, ranging from quite little to incredibly gigantic, the majority of them are somewhere in the center. A horse’s height is around five feet in height on average. Many horses are taller than five feet, and many others are shorter, but five feet is around the average height. Horse heights, on the other hand, aren’t usually measured in centimeters. It is more common to express heights in hands, thus a horse that is five feet tall will measure 15 hands in height.

The difficulty is that there are just too many distinct breeds of horses, each of which comes in a wide variety of sizes, making it difficult to establish a realistic average.

For this reason, it is advisable to look at typical horse heights by breed rather than the average height of five feet.

Average Height of the Most Popular Horse Breeds

Let’s take a look at several common breeds, as well as a couple that are less well known, to get a better understanding of normal horse sizes. We’ll look at the smallest and tallest equine varieties, as well as the kinds that are in between.

  • Falconella– The Falabellla is a miniature horse breed from Argentina, and it has the distinction of being the world’s smallest breed. Falabellas can grow to be as small as 25 inches in height when completely mature, but they seldom grow to be higher than 32 inches. Unlike other horses, Shetlands are measured in inches rather than hands, which makes them unique among horse breeds. They stand around 40 inches tall on average and never exceed 46 inches in height
  • The American Miniature Horse– As the name says, the American Miniature Horse is a miniature replica of a full-size horse that was developed over 400 years of selective breeding to acquire its current size. They may reach a maximum height of 34 inches, while the most are between 30-32 inches tall. Quarter Horse– Quarter horses, the most popular breed in the United States and the breed with the biggest registration in the world, stand an average height of 14.3 to 16 hands
  • They are also known as American Quarter Horses. Paint– On average, paint horses reach between 14.2 and 15.2 hands tall, which is 58-62 inches in height, however individuals with Thoroughbred DNA can grow to be much higher than this. In accordance with breed standards, Arabians can grow to be 14.1-16.1 hands tall, with an average height of 15.1 hands (61 inches) and a maximum height of 15.1 hands (61 inches). Thoroughbred– Thoroughbreds are horses that are thin and powerful, and they are mostly utilized for racing purposes. Typically, a Thoroughbred will stand at 16 hands, which is equal to 64 inches in height. Horses from Belgium– Belgians are among the world’s largest horses, weighing an average of 2000 pounds! They are not the tallest breed, being on average 16-17 hands tall
  • Nonetheless, they are one of the most docile. Brougham– Broughams are another of the largest horse breeds that exist. Clydesdales are another enormous horse breed that exists. It is possible for them to reach heights of 19 hands and weigh up to 2200 pounds, while the average Clydesdale stands at approximately 18 hands or 72 inches tall. When it comes to horse breeds, the Shire is unquestionably the largest on the globe. One Shire stallion called Sampson stood an incredible 21.2 hands tall, earning him the distinction of the largest horse in history as well as a Guinness World Record for being the tallest horse ever.

Equine Size Chart

TYPE HANDS INCHES
Miniature 6.2 26
Miniature 6.3 27
Miniature 7 28
Miniature 7.1 29
Miniature 7.2 30
Miniature 7.3 31
Miniature 8 32
Miniature 8.1 33
Small Horse 8.2 34
Small Horse 8.3 35
Small Horse 9 36
Small Horse 9.1 37
Small Horse 9.2 38
Shetland 9.3 39
Shetland 10 40
Shetland 10.1 41
Shetland 10.2 42
Shetland 10.3 43
Shetland 11 44
Pony 11.1 45
Pony 11.2 46
Pony 11.3 47
Pony 12 48
Pony 12.1 49
Pony 12.2 50
Pony 12.3 51
Pony 13 52
Pony 13.1 53
Pony 13.2 54
Pony 13.3 55
Horse 14 56
Horse 14.1 57
Horse 14.2 58
Horse 14.3 59
Horse 15 60
Horse 15.1 61
Horse 15.2 62
Horse 15.3 63
Horse 16 64
Horse 16.1 65
Horse 16.2 66
Horse 16.3 67
Horse 17 68
Horse 17.1 69
Horse 17.2 70
Horse 17.3 71
Horse 18 72
Horse 18.1 73
Horse 18.2 74
Horse 18.3 75

Why Are Horses Measured in Hands?

Thanks to contemporary instruments such as tape measures, it is now quite straightforward to measure almost anything. The first tamed horses were domesticated thousands of years ago, and tape measures were not yet invented at that point in time. As a result, individuals resorted to using what they had at their disposal, which was their hands. The practice of measuring a horse with your hands became the norm, and we continue to do it today. Although, back then, there was no common standard other than the hand, and everyone had a different-sized hand, making it a somewhat imperfect method, it is still useful today.

You may quickly convert hands to inches by multiplying the height in hands by four, which is a straightforward calculation.

It is possible to discern a decimal behind a hand measurement, such as 15.1, in some cases.

As a result, 15.1 hands are equivalent to 61 inches. 15.2 hands are equal to 62 inches. The length of 15.3 hands is equal to 63 inches. And because there are only four inches in a hand, the next 15.3 hands are followed by 16 hands, which is equal to 64 inches after that.

How to Measure a Horse Accurately

A lot has been said about horse heights, but how exactly are horses measured is still up in the air. Measuring a human is straightforward; you simply measure from the ground to the top of their head. However, measuring a horse is a little more complicated. Instead of measuring from the top of the animal’s head to the top of its withers, you will measure from the top of the animal’s withers. To begin, make sure your horse is standing on level ground. Simply measure the distance from the top of the front shoulder, also known as the withers, to the ground with a measuring tape or a measuring stick.

Consequently, if your horse’s height is 66 inches, discover the next lower number that is divisible by four, which in this case is 64 inches.

You still have two inches left over, which will be converted to a decimal of.2 for a conversion of 16.2 hands from 66 inches using a decimal of.2.

How to Estimate a Young Horse’s Mature Height

In the event if you were able to observe the parents of your horse, you could already have an idea of how enormous it could become. You may be wondering, though, what size you may expect your horse to grow to if you didn’t have the opportunity to see him at that stage. Fortunately, there is a formula that you may use to estimate the approximate size of your horse when he is completely matured. Your horse will need to be six months old in order to participate in this activity. The length of the horse’s lower leg from the foot to the knee is 93 percent of the size it will be when completely matured at this time.

  1. Begin by taking a measurement of the lower leg of your horse.
  2. In order to multiply by four, you must divide the measurement by 93, multiply by 100, then divide the result by four again.
  3. In our case, 16 divided by 93 is equal to 0.17 a percent.
  4. Photograph courtesy of Stephane Debove/Shutterstock

What Is the Right Size Horse for You?

As you can see, horses come in a wide range of colors and breeds. But how can you know which size is best for you? It is dependent on your requirements. If you only want to maintain a horse as a pet and you want to cut its care requirements to a bare minimum, you can consider a pony or miniature horse as an option. However, if you want to ride your horse, a pony isn’t going to do the trick either. For riding, you’ll need to choose a horse that weighs at least seven times as much as you do in order to guarantee that the horse is capable of carrying your weight as well as all of your extra equipment.

If you’re above six feet tall, on the other hand, you should consider a bigger horse that’s standing a solid 16-17 hands in height.

For heavyweight bruisers, an even bigger horse, such as a gigantic draft horse such as a Belgian or Shire that stands over 17 hands, may be the best choice, such as a Belgian or Shire that stands over 17 hands.

Conclusion

Some horses are colossal, towering about seven feet in height. Even though the normal horse stands roughly five feet tall, ponies and miniature horses may be as tiny as 25 inches in height! None of these horse breeds is superior than the others; they are just distinct from one another. The characteristics of each breed are distinct, and with so many various sizes to pick from, there is a horse available to suit every rider. Credit for the featured image goes to Yurkovski through Shutterstock.

See also:  How To Get A Horse?

Average Horse Height: How Big Do they Get, With Size Chart

Depending on the breed, a typical adult horse measures 14-17 hands at the withers on average, however some may measure up to 18 hands at the withers while others can be as little as 8-9 hands. The Draft horses, which include the Clydesdale, Shire, Belgian, and Percheron, are the world’s biggest horses, having been designed for the purpose of hauling or pulling heavy burdens. The Miniature horse, Falabella, and Shetland pony are the smallest of the breed, yet they are surprisingly powerful and durable for their size.

How to Measure a Horse’s Height

It is possible to determine the size of a horse by placing a height-measurement stick or height tape behind its front foreleg and measuring from the ground to the top of its withers. In this case, the full widths are marked in hands (abbreviated as hh), and the partial widths are denoted in inches. The height of 15 hands and 4 inches is the height of a horse that measures 15.4 hands and 4 inches tall.

Size Chart: Average Height of Some Popular Breeds

Breed Height(hh)
Clydesdale 16-18
Cob 14-15
Miniature Horse 8.5-9.5
American Quarter Horse 14-17
Shire Horse 17-18
Mustang 14-15
Thoroughbred 15.2-17
Arabian 14.1-15.1
Haflinger 13-15
American Paint Horse 14.2-15.2

Interesting Facts

  • Big Jake, a Belgian gelding that is 20 hands 2.75 inches tall, is the world’s largest horse living, according to the World Horse Organization. Sampson (later called Mammoth) was a 19th century Shire gelding that stood at 21.2 12 hands and was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s tallest horse of all time. In addition, Einstein, a Miniature Horse, holds the record for the world’s smallest foal, measuring 3.5 hands when it was born. Thumbelina is a Dwarf Miniature horse that measures 4.25 hands and is the world’s smallest horse
  • Einstein is also the world’s smallest horse.

Horse Height Chart

There are hundreds of distinct horse breeds in the globe, and they come in a variety of sizes. You may find horses that are as little as your sofa and horses that are so tall that you would need a ladder to go close enough to touch their ears. However, if you’re new to horses, getting to know all of the different breed heights might be a difficult task. When compared to a pony, what distinguishes tiny horses as miniature? When compared to a thoroughbred, how large is a draft horse? And what exactly is a ‘hand’ in this context?

Watch a video that demonstrates how to measure the height of a horse.

To see a bigger version of this photograph, click here.

The AMHA will not register a horse that is taller than 34 inches, however the AMHR has two different categories of sizes: horses under 34 inches and horses between 34 and 38 inches in height.

The 12 Smallest Horse Breeds Around the World

Children and smaller, lighter beginning riders who believe they are not ready for a full-sized horse can benefit from smaller horses since they will have a lesser distance to fall if they become dismounted. They are frequently used as a transitional ride when a kid or rookie rider becomes more comfortable with riding and gaining charge of their mount, Horses come in all shapes and sizes, from towering 6-foot draft horses to small ponies that barely rise over 2 feet. The average height of a horse is 15.2 hands, which is approximately 5 feet in height.

Anything larger than 14.2 hands (57 inches) is recognized as a horse, while anything smaller is categorized as a pony or miniature horse. Horses are the most common type of equine. A cob is around 15 hands in height and frequently crosses the border between pony and “horse” sized animals.

Tip

In order to properly measure a horse, you must first ensure that it is on level ground. Put a measuring tape at the base of one of the front hooves and measure up from there. Then, raise the tape up to the top of the withers until it is taut (the ridge between the shoulder blades). The measurement does not include the height of the head.

Breed Characteristics

Horses of smaller stature maintain their modest size throughout their lives and mature more quickly than bigger horses. In comparison to bigger horses, smaller breeds tend to be more stoic and intellectual, which may also translate into them being more stubborn and independent in their thinking. Generally speaking, the larger the breed, the more docile the mount is going to be. Horses and ponies that are smaller in stature are extremely strong. They have greater strength than a horse when it comes to pulling or carrying big things, despite their smaller stature.

Their coats tend to become thicker and have thicker manes and tails in the winter, and their hooves tend to be harder.

These 12 breeds of horses and ponies are among the world’s tiniest horses and ponies.

Miniature Horse

courtesy of ArisSu / Getty Images Known as the little horse, it is one of the world’s tiniest horses. It is divided into two height sections. The tallest person is scarcely more than 9.5 feet tall (38 inches). Miniature horses are frequently too little to be used for horseback riding. They can, however, pull carts, engage in obstacle courses and jumping competitions, and function as therapy animals in some cases.

Breed Overview

  • Height: Typically between 8.5 hands (34 inches) and 9.5 hands (36 inches) (38 inches) Weight ranges from 150 to 350 pounds. Dimensions are identical to those of bigger horses despite their small size and strong build.

Falabella

courtesy of Andyworks / Getty Images The Falabella is a small horse from Argentina that is about the size of a pony. Andalusian and Iberian lineages are included in its ancestral stock. The horse is named after the Falabella family, who intentionally bred little horses in order to produce a continuously diminutive form of the breed over several generations. As a result of their controllable size and trainable temperament, falabellas are frequently utilized as guide animals.

Breed Overview

  • Height ranges from 6.25 hands (25 inches) to 8.5 hands (25 inches) (34 inches) Weight ranges from 40 to 100 pounds. Characteristics: Smooth coat
  • Thin, compact form
  • A huge head.

Shetland Pony

courtesy of Zuzule / Getty Images Don’t be fooled by their little stature. Shetlands are a breed of horse that is robust, clever, and full of personality. They are, nevertheless, kind and frequently wonderful with youngsters as well. These horses, which originated in Scotland’s Shetland Islands, were utilized for a variety of tasks including agricultural labour and coal transport in mines. Their thick coats provide them with the ability to resist harsh winters.

Breed Overview

  • Height ranges from 7 hands (28 inches) to 11.5 hands (32 inches) (46 inches) 400 to 450 pounds in weight Compact body, big head, short legs, luxuriant mane and tail are some of the physical characteristics of this creature.

Noma

OpenCage.com / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 The Noma horse breed is the smallest of Japan’s indigenous horse breeds.

When these horses were produced during the 17th century, they were intended to be used largely as pack animals on steep terrain and on inaccessible islands. Despite the fact that they are a severely endangered horse breed today, they continue to be a popular attraction at Japanese zoos and farms.

Breed Overview

  • Height ranges from 10.75 hands (43 inches) to 13.75 hands (47 inches) (55 inches) 450 pounds is the maximum weight. Physcial Characteristics: Cylindrical body with oblique buttocks, narrow legs, and strong hooves. Continue to the fifth of twelve sections below.

Yonaguni

Getty Images courtesy of Yusuke Okada/a.collectionRF. The Yonaguni is yet another Japanese miniature horse breed that is critically endangered. Yonaguni Island, on the island of Okinawa, is where it originated. Originally, the breed was utilized for farm labor and transportation. Today, it is frequently utilized for teaching reasons in local schools, as well as for leisure riding purposes. As of 2019, there were around 100 Yonaguni left in the world.

Breed Overview

  • Height ranges from 11.75 hands (46 inches) to 11.75 hands (47 inches) (47 inches) 460 pounds is the maximum weight. Physical Characteristics: Large head
  • Short neck
  • Long, sloping back
  • Large eyes
  • Large ears

Icelandic Horse

Beerpixs / courtesy of Getty Images The Icelandic horse is approximately 3 inches shorter than a conventional horse because of its strength and compactness. They are bigger than ponies, although their legs are shorter than those of the Icelandic. These horses are commonly employed in sheepherding to control or manage animal flocks, and they have a long history of success. They are able to withstand adverse environments. Thisgaited horse breed features a stepping action known as a “tolt,” which defines the horse’s single-footed gaiting.

Breed Overview

  • Hands between 13 and 14 inches in height (52 and 56 inches) Weights range from 730 and 840 pounds. A physical characteristic of a wolf is that it is broad at the withers, has an extended chest and robust, powerful legs.

Guoxia

MagicYoung Horses from Guoxia are thought to have originated in China more than 2000 years ago. Guoxia is said to have originated in the Chinese districts of Debao, Jinxi, and Tianyang. In terms of height, the horse is barely 40 inches tall. Guoxia is an excellent choice for youngsters. People frequently employed the ponies to transport fruit baskets in orchards, which is reflected in their name, which translates as “horse beneath the fruit tree.” For centuries, the breed had been forgotten and was thought to be extinct.

Despite the fact that they are still an uncommon breed, their numbers have stabilized.

Breed Overview

  • 10 fingers in height (40 inches) Weight:Unknown Physical Characteristics: A tiny head, a short neck, small ears, and a straight back are some of his physical characteristics. In most cases, the colour is roan, bay, or gray in hue

Fjord Horse

Michael Cummings / Getty Images is the owner of the image. The fjord horse is one of the world’s lesser horse breeds, and it is native to Norway. Its origins may be traced back to Norway. The average height of a fjord is 54 inches, which is approximately 6 inches less than the average height of a horse. This breed is commonly found in mountainous areas and on agricultural fields. It is frequently used to haul tourist buses. They are soft and simple to ride, and they may be ridden by both children and adults alike.

Breed Overview

  • Height: 13.1 to 14.3 feet with hands (53 to 59 inches) Weight ranges between 880 and 1,100 pounds Strong, arched neck
  • Sturdy legs
  • With a compact, muscular body
  • Its head is medium-sized and well defined, with a broad, flat forehead, a straight or slightly dished face, small ears, and large eyes
  • Its body is compact and muscular
  • It has a strong, arched neck
  • And a compact, muscular body. 9th of 12th paragraphs are underneath
  • Continue reading.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse (Class B)

courtesy of Carmelka / Getty Images Class B is a subset of Class A. It is 11 inches shorter than a conventional horse, making it a Kentucky mountain horse. It is a little Kentucky mountain saddle horse of lesser stature. It stands at an average height of 49 inches. The horse is particularly popular with novices, young riders, and children of larger stature. In addition to being nice and clever; the horse is also peaceful and quiet. Aside from that, it is also recognized for its ambling stride.

Breed Overview

  • Height ranges from 11 to 14.1 hands (44 to 57 inches) 950 pounds is the weight of the vehicle. The physical characteristics of the candidate include a well-muscled, compact frame with a flat facial profile, a medium length, well-arched neck, a deep chest, and well-sloped shoulders

Haflinger Horse

Carina Maiwald is a Getty Images contributor. The Haflige area of Austria is where the Haflinger horse got its start. The horse is around 3 inches lower in height than the ordinary horse, with an average height of approximately 56 inches. The horse is clever, powerful, compact, and aesthetically pleasing to look at. The Haflinger horse is a wonderful family horse, capable of transporting both children and adults.

In addition to their outstanding demeanor and disposition, Haflingers are noted for their intelligence. They are frequently seen competing in dressage and jumping contests, as well as Western horse exhibitions.

Breed Overview

  • Height: 13.2 to 15 feet and hands Weight ranges between 800 and 1,300 pounds. Physical Characteristics:Short, stocky form with powerful hooves and legs
  • Light gold to a deeper chestnut or liver chestnut colour with white points on the legs
  • Bright gold to a darker chestnut or liver chestnut coloration with white points on the legs

Pony of the Americas

courtesy of Corbis via Getty Images / Photograph courtesy of Getty Images The pony of the Americas is a horse breed that originated in Iowa in the 1050s as a result of a mix between an Arabian, an Appaloosa, and a Shetland pony. It is a gorgeous spotted pony with a lot of versatility. They were originally developed for Western riding, but are now also used for English and endurance horseback riding. The most distinguishing feature of this breed is its Appaloosa markings, which are combined with height requirements of up to 13 hands.

Breed Overview

  • Height:11 to 13 hands (44 to 52 inches) (44 to 52 inches) Weight:770 to 880 pounds Physical Characteristics:Slightly dished face, a broad chest, and a solid body
  • Appaloosa color patterning
See also:  How Much Weight Can A Miniature Horse Carry? (Solved)

American Quarter Pony

JD Lamb/ Flickr / Creative Commons By the year 2.0 An American quarter pony is a suitable transition horse for young riders as they develop from riding a pony to riding their first small horse. It has a physique and structure that is similar to that of an American quarter horse, yet it is a distinct breed. Breeders created the breed by crossing miniature quarter horses with paint horses, Appaloosas, and American pony breeds, among other things. They may grow up to 14 hands in height and are excellent all-around horses.

These clever ponies are extremely trainable, making them excellent for both beginning and seasoned riders alike.

Breed Overview

  • Hands between 13 and 14 inches in height Weight ranges between 800 and 1100 pounds. A short, broad head with small ears and wide-set eyes, set on a slightly arched neck
  • Shoulders sloping, withers sharp, chest broad and deep
  • Back short, hindquarters broad and deep
  • Sloping shoulders, withers sharp, chest broad and deep
  • Short, broad head with small ears and wide-set eyes, set on a slightly arched neck

Breeds to Avoid

If you are an adult and intend to ride these smaller horses, there are two breeds that you should avoid at all costs: tiny horses and Falabella horses. Only little children, no more than 50 pounds in weight, should ever be allowed to ride these miniature horses. Generally speaking, a pony can carry a human (with tack) who is 20 percent of their own body weight on its back. Falabellas are the tiniest horses, with some weighing as little as 40 pounds. As a result, those ponies should never be ridden for fear of causing damage to the pony’s back.

You should ensure that the pony or small horse is at least 950 to 1000 pounds in weight if you are a bigger person (weighing more than 170 pounds).

How Tall is a Horse? (Average Horse Height Chart)

HHorses are available in a variety of sizes and forms, with their bodies varying based on their breed, food, and degree of exercise. It is necessary to measure the height of a horse since this will allow you to better manage its feeding requirements and exercise level. Furthermore, it is critical information that you will want while selecting the most appropriate horse for you. The proper way to measure the height of a horse is from the withers of the tallest horse to the ground. Let’s see what happens.

Hand Unit

A hand unit is equivalent to 4 inches (10 cm), and you must use it to measure a horse from the wither, which is the place at which the horse’s shoulders are at their tallest.

Despite the fact that the hand may be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, it was Henry VIII who standardized it to 4 inches (10 cm) in length in 1541.

Horse height measurement

Hands Inches (m) Hands Inches (m) Hands Inches (m)
7 28 (0.71) 11 44 (1.12) 15 60 (1.52)
7.1 29 (0.74) 11.1 45 (1.14) 15.1 61 (1.55)
7.2 30 (0.76) 11.2 46 (1.17) 15.2 62 (1.57)
7.3 31 (0.79) 11.3 47 (1.19) 15.3 63 (1.60)
8 32 (0.81) 12 48 (1.22) 16 64 (1.63)
8.1 33 (0.84) 12.1 49 (1.25) 16.1 65 (1.65)
8.2 34 (0.86) 12.2 50 (1.27) 16.2 66 (1.68)
8.3 35 (0.89) 12.3 51 (1.29) 16.3 67 (1.70)
9 36 (0.91) 13 52 (1.32) 17 68 (1.73)
9.1 37 (0.94) 13.1 53 (1.35) 17.1 69 (1.75)
9.2 38 (0.97) 13.2 54 (1.37) 17.2 70 (1.78)
9.3 39 (0.99) 13.3 55 (1.39) 17.3 71 (1.80)
10 40 (1.02) 14 56 (1.42) 18 72 (1.83)
10.1 41 (1.04) 14.1 57 (1.45) 18.1 73 (1.85)
10.2 42 (1.07) 14.2 58 (1.47) 18.2 74 (1.89)
10.3 43 (1.09) 14.3 59 (1.50)

The technique for gauging horses is not difficult to understand. Given that a hand is equal to 4 inches, the computation is as follows: 1hh = WH x 4 inches + FHWH– the total number of hands. The hand fraction is abbreviated as FH. As an illustration: A horse that is 12 hands tall will have 12 x 4 + 0 = 48 inches in length. A horse that is 12.2 hands tall will have 12.2 x 4 + 2 = 50 inches in length. In most countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, the United States, Canada, India, and South Africa, the hand is the primary measurement unit for horses.

Horse Types

Height-based classifications are available for horses, with subcategories such as miniature, Shetland, and draft horses being occasionally seen within the three basic classifications.

Horse heigh

Horse type Hands Inches (meters)
Miniature 6.2 hands 26 to 28 inches (66 – 70 cm)
7 hands 28 inches (71 cm)
7.2 hands 30 inches (76 cm)
8 hands 32 inches (81 cm)
Small 8.2 hands 34 inches (86 cm)
9 hands 36 inches (91 cm)
9.2 hands 38 inches (97 cm)
Shetland 10 hands 40 inches (1.02 m)
10.2 hands 42 inches (1.07 m)
11 hands 44 inches (1.12 m)
Pony 11.2 hands 46 inches (1.17 m)
12 hands 48 inches (1.22 m)
12.2 hands 50 inches (1.27 m)
13 hands 52 inches (1.32 m)
13.2 hands 54 inches (1.37 m)
Horse 14 hands 56 inches (1.42 m)
14.2 hands 58 inches (1.47 m)
15 hands 60 inches (1.53 m)
15.2 hands 62 inches (1.58 m)
16 hands 64 inches (1.63 m)
16.2 hands 66 inches (1.68 m)
17 hands 68 inches (1.73 m)
17.2 hands 70 inches (1.78 m)
18 hands 72 inches (1.83 m)
18.2 hands 74 inches (1.89 m)

When it comes to mature full-size horses, the majority of them stand between 14.2 and 16.2 hands tall. Despite the fact that most riders regard medium-sized horses between 15 and 15.2 hands height to be the most comfortable, rookie riders feel that smaller horses are a better alternative for learning to ride.

Miniatures

Miniatures are miniature horses that have been created by isolating the genes that produce this desired characteristic from the others. A toy horse might be a treasured companion, or you can use it to pull a cart around the yard. They are always shorter than 9.2 hands or 38 inches (97 cm), however there are certain categories that consider creatures shorter than 8 hands or 32 inches (90 cm) to qualify as miniatures (81 cm). The taller animals are herded together with a herd of little horses.

Pony height

Breed Height
Shetland pony 7 to 10.2 hands 28 to 42 inches (71 – 107 cm)
Spotted pony 8 to 14 hands 32 to 56 inches (81–142 cm)
Dartmoor pony 11.1 to 12.2 hands 45 to 50 inches (114 – 127 cm)
Exmoor pony 11.1 to 12.3 hands 45 to 51 inches (114 – 130 cm)
Welara 11.2 to 15 hands 46 to 60 inches (117 – 152 cm)
Eriskay pony 12 to 13.2 hands 48 to 54 inches (122 – 137 cm)
Hackney pony 12 to 14 hands 48 to 56 inches (122 – 142 cm)
New Forest pony 12 to 14.2 hands 48 to 58 inches (122 – 147 cm)
Welsh Pony 12.2 to 13.2 hands 50 to 54 inches (127 – 137 cm)
Connemara pony 12.2 to 14.2 hands 50 to 58 inches (127 – 147 cm)
Dales pony 13 to 14 hands 52 to 56 inches (132 – 142 cm)
Highland pony 13 to 14.2 hands 52 to 58 inches (132 – 147 cm)
Fell pony 13.2 to 14 hands 54 to 56 inches (137 – 142 cm)

Ponies

Ponies are horses that range in height from 10 to 13.2 hands (1.02 m) or 40 to 54 inches (1.02 m) in height (1.37 m). Ponies may be divided into three sizes: small, medium, and large. Small ponies are the most common. Keep in mind that in the United Kingdom, only horses under 14.2 hands or 58 inches (1.47m) in height are called ponies.

Horses

This category includes any horse with a height greater than 14.2 hands, however some of them may stand as tall as 18.2 hands, or 74 inches (1.89 m). Only a few of horses stand at around 19.2 hands or 78 inches (1.98 m) tall.

Horse height

Breed Height
Spanish Mustang 12 to 14 hands 48 to 56 inches (122 – 142 cm)
Halfinger 13.2 to 15 hands 54 to 60 inches (140 – 152 cm)
Gypsy Vanner 14 to 15 hands 56 to 60 inches (142 – 152 cm)
Morgan 14 to 15 hands 56 to 60 inches (142 – 152 cm)
Walkaloosa 14 to 15 hands 56 to 60 inches (142 – 152 cm)
American Standardbred 14 to 15 hands 56 to 60 inches (142 – 153 cm)
Appaloosa 14 to 15.3 hands 56 to 63 inches (142 – 160 cm)
American Quarter Horse 14 to 16.1 hands 56 to 65 inches (142 – 165 cm)
Paso Fino 14.1 to 15 hands 55 to 60 inches (140 – 152 cm)
Arabian 14.1 to 15.1 hands 55 to 61 inches (140 – 155 cm)
Tennessee Walker 15 to 15.1 hands 60 to 61 inches (152 – 155 cm)
Lipizzaner 15 to 15.3 hands 60 to 63 inches (152 – 160 cm)
Criollo 15 to 15.3 hands 60 to 63 inches (152 – 160 cm)
Paint Horse 15 to 16 hands 60 to 64 inches (152 – 163 cm)
American Saddlebred 15 to 16.1 hands 60 to 65 inches (152 – 165 cm)
Andalusian 15 to 16.1 hands 60 to 65 inches (152 – 165 cm)
Hackney 15 to 16.2 hands 60 to 66 inches (152 – 168 cm)
Gypsy Vanner 15 to 16.2 hands 60 to 66 inches (152 – 168 cm)
Orlov Trotter 15 to 17 hands 60 to 68 inches (152 – 173 cm)
American Cream draft 15 to 17 hands 60 to 68 inches (152 – 173 cm)
American Warmblood 15 to 17 hands 60 to 68 inches (152 – 173 cm)
Belgian Draft 15 to 17.3 hands 60 to 71 inches (152 – 180 cm)
Westphalian 15.2 to 17.2 hands 62 to 70 inches (157 – 178 cm)
Ardennes 15.3 to 16.1 hands 63 to 65 inches (160 – 165 cm)
Irish Draught 15.3 to 16.1 hands 63 to 65 inches (160 – 165 cm)
Dutch Warmblood 15.3 to 17 hands 63 to 68 inches (160 – 173 cm)
Suffolk 15.3 to 17 hands 63 to 68 inches (160 – 173 cm)
Trakehner 15.3 to 17 hands 63 to 68 inches (160 – 173 cm)
Thoroughbred 15.3 to 17.2 hands 63 to 70 inches (160 – 178 cm)
Percheron 16 to 17 hands 64 to 68 inches (160 – 173 cm)
Holsteiner 16 to 17 hands 64 to 68 inches (160 – 173 cm)
Shire 16 to 17 hands 64 to 68 inches (163 – 173 cm)
Swedish Warmblood 16 to 17 hands 64 to 68 inches (163 – 173 cm)
Hanoverian 16 to 17.2 hands 64 to 70 inches (163 – 178 cm)
Oldenburg 16 to 17.3 hands 64 to 71 inches (163 – 180 cm)
Cleveland Bay 16 to 17.3 hands 64 to 71 inches (163 – 180 cm)
Clydesdale 16 to 18 hands 64 to 68 inches (163 – 173 cm)

Height of an average horse varies depending on the breed of the horse. Quarter horses, for example, often reach 15 hands or 60 inches (1.52 m) in height, which permits them to perform their intended functions. In contrast, Thoroughbreds are utilized for racing, and as a result, they must be significantly taller. They typically have at least 16 hands or 64 inches between them (1.63 m). Finally, draft horses are the tallest, with heights ranging from 17 to 19 hands, or 68 inches (1.73 m) to 76 inches (1.93 m), respectively (1.93 m).

Summary

When it comes to practicing proper horsemanship, knowing the height of the horse is critical.

This measurement establishes the specific breed and provides the required information for determining the meal size and medicine dose, if any are necessary.

The Average Height for a Horse

Ponies are defined as animals measuring 14.2 hands or less at the withers and less than 15 hands overall. Horses are defined as any equine reaching more than 14.2 inches in height. A horse’s average height and weight is around 15.2 hands. However, this is not representative of the average performance of all horses across all breeds and disciplines. It’s been said that “horses for courses,” which refers to the fact that horses were raised and trained for a specific size and physiology in order to do distinct duties.

Equine Measurements

Equines are measured in hands, with each hand equaling 4 inches in circumference. That indicates that the average horse with 15.2 hands is 62 inches tall at the withers, or slightly about 5 feet and 2 inches tall at the withers. Determine the height of your animal by measuring it from the bottom of the hooves to the top of the withers with a measuring stick or tape. When measuring your horse, make sure he is standing on a level place.

Small, Medium and Large Ponies

Ponies are classified according to their height into three categories: tiny, medium, and giant. A small pony cannot be taller than 12.2 hands in height for competition reasons, while a medium pony can be anywhere between 12.3 and 13.2 hands in height. The height of a huge pony is between 13.3 and 14.2 hands.

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Smaller Average Height Breeds

Some well-known breeds of horses typically mature at a size that is close to or somewhat smaller than the norm. A good example of this is the quarter horse, which is among the most popular breeds in terms of yearly registrations and stands an average height of 59.3 inches, with a height range from 57.3 to 61 inches. The Morgan stands 60 inches tall on average, with heights varying between 56 and 63 inches. However, a third average-sized breed did not develop in the United States, unlike the first two.

Taller Breeds

Despite the fact that many of them have “normal” stature, two racing breeds stand out as being significantly taller than the usual horse. With a range of 62 to 68 inches or more, the thoroughbred develops to an average height of 63.78 inches, or approximately 16 hands, with a maximum height of 63.78 inches or more. The standardbred horse, which is used for harness racing, stands around 63 inches tall on average, with a range of 60 to 66 inches or more on occasion. Horses of a variety of warmblood breeds, which are frequently employed as sport horses in disciplines such as dressage and show jumping, as well as eventing, are among the tallest of the equines used primarily for riding.

The Oldenburg is available at sizes ranging from 16 to 17.2 hands (64 to 70 inches).

Draft Breeds

Draft horses, the heaviest of all equines, are also the tallest, with an average height of 6.5 feet. Despite their calm demeanor, these “gentle giants” are genuine workhorses, capable of hauling tremendous amounts of weight. When fully grown, the Belgian, one of the most prevalent draft horse breeds, stands at an average height of 16 hands.

While the Percheron averages 16.2 hands, the Clydesdale averages between 16 and 16.1 hands every session. Despite being the biggest and heaviest of the draft breeds, the Shire stands an average height of 17 hands, with several approaching the 18-hand mark. References Photographic Credits

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years and has published several books. In addition to reporting for a large newspaper chain, she has been published in a number of publications, including “Horse News,” “Suburban Classic,” “Hoof Beats,” “Equine Journal,” and other similar publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University as well as an Associate of Arts degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where she currently resides.

How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight

It is understandable if you are new to horses and are unsure of what size horse you require. Finding the correct size horse for your needs, whether you are a child or an adult, can be tough if you aren’t aware of the factors to consider. What Kind of Horse Do You Require? The size of the horse you require is determined by your height and weight, among other factors. Horses who can carry a rider and saddle that weighs no more than 20-25 percent of their own body weight or less are generally considered to be in good condition.

Based on that value, the following chart can be used as a guideline:

  • A 600-pound horse (or pony) can carry 120-150 pounds total
  • An 800-pound horse can carry 160-200 pounds total
  • A 1000-pound horse can carry 200-250 pounds total
  • A 1200-pound horse can carry 240-300 pounds total
  • A 1500-pound horse can carry 300-375 pounds total
  • And an 1800-pound horse can carry 360-450 pounds total.

Continue reading for more information on sizing a horse to the rider’s height and weight.

Determining How Big Your Horse Should Be Based on Your Weight

When determining the appropriate size horse for your weight, you must consider a number of various aspects, including the following:

  • Your physical fitness
  • Your riding experience
  • The physical fitness of your horse
  • The type of activity you intend to participate in

When horses are under a great deal of stress, the size of the rider becomes more essential. This isn’t a worry for most people who are just starting started with horseback riding. Consider your ability level and the intended use of the horse when learning how to ride or when purchasing your next horse. If you want to learn how to ride or when purchasing your next horse, consider your skill level and the intended use of the horse. The majority of horses are capable of carrying a load at the heavier end of the commonly regarded acceptable range if you are only riding at a walk and trot on level trails or in the ring.

You’ll want to stay closer to the lower end of the safe range when you’re adding in factors such as pace, elevation, and length, such as a six-hour mountain trail ride.

Equitation balance may be attained at a basic level if you are comfortable riding in all three gaits and can do so with up and down transitions without using the reins or horns.

For your convenience, the total weight in pounds is shown on the left, and the minimum horse weight is shown on the right in the recommended 20 -25 percent ranges. Keep in mind that the overall weight includes the rider’s weight as well as the saddle, saddle pad, and saddle bags.

Choosing The Right Sized Horse Based on Rider Weight

Total Weight Minimum Horse Weight(20% Value) Minimum Horse Weight(25% Value)
110 550 440
120 600 480
130 650 520
140 700 560
150 750 600
160 800 640
170 850 680
180 900 720
190 950 760
200 1000 800
210 1050 840
220 1100 880
230 1150 920
240 1200 960
250 1250 1000
260 1300 1040
270 1350 1080
280 1400 1120
290 1450 1160
300 1500 1200

Figuring Out How Much Your Saddle Weighs

To get an exact estimate of the overall weight you are asking your horse to carry, you must take into account the weight of the saddle, saddle pad, and any other accessories. But how much do such items weigh in the first place? The answer is very dependent on the type of saddle you ride in. Is your saddle made of leather or synthetic material? If it’s an English saddle, what kind of roping saddle is it in the western style? All of these factors contribute to the final result. Western saddle pads are often the heaviest, weighing 6-8 lbs or more in most cases on horses.

Chart of Saddle Weights

Riding Style Type Weight (lbs)
Western Roping 45 lbs
Western Cutting 27 lbs
Western Trail 22 lbs
Western Barrel Racing 24 lbs
Western Synthetic 18.9 lbs
English Jumping 14.3 lbs
English Cross Country 12.7 lbs
English Synthetic 13.3 lbs
Endurance Bob Marshall Treeless 15 lbs
Endurance Synthetic 18 lbs
Dressage Leather 14.9 lbs
Dressage Synthetic 11.2 lbs
Australian Stock 29 lbs
Australian Synthetic 18.7 lbs

How to Measure Horse Weight

The weight of a horse must be estimated in order to decide whether or not it is the appropriate size for you to ride him. This is not always a simple task. Generally speaking, the height of the horse corresponds to the amount of weight it carries, although this is not always the case. The weight of a horse is generally measured in one of three ways. The first and most precise method is to weigh the horse on a livestock scale, which will provide an exact reading of the horse’s weight. Getting a genuine reading can only be accomplished in this manner.

So, how do you determine the weight of a horse if you don’t have access to a livestock scale?

Using a Horse Weight Tape

A weight tape is the most convenient tool for determining a horse’s weight. These are commercially available and, in most cases, reasonably priced. Each weight tape is labeled with a sequence of numbers and letters. On most scales, one side is used for measuring height, while the other is used for measuring weight. Please keep in mind that this approach is not as exact as weighing your horse on a scale. Even for persons who are accustomed to employing the procedure, the weight loss might be between 100 and 200 pounds.

Some fundamental guidelines are as follows:

  1. Make sure the weight tape is placed over the horse’s back so that the weight measuring side is facing upward. Pull the tail end of the weight tape beneath the horse’s belly until it is snugly secured. Vertically level and directly around the horse’s cinch area, it should be installed. Maintain a firm grip on the tape without pulling it too tight. Take a reading at the point where the zero mark meets a weight mark, for example. This is an estimate of your horse’s weight in pounds, in kilograms. Make a note of your weight

TIP: Take a number of different measurements. Each of your readings should be reasonably close to the other. If this is the case, you should practice your technique until you can consistently obtain the same weight measurement.

Using Measurements to Calculate Horse Weight

A horse weight tape is essentially a technique of transmitting the determined weight method to a measurement equipment, such as a scale. If you don’t have access to a physical weight tape, you can perform this computation on your own. Even while this approach is more time-consuming than utilizing a weight tape, it is often more precise. The formula for calculating a horse’s weight is:= Weight (lbs) First and foremost, you must get two measurements:

  1. You should measure the horse’s heart girth, which is defined as a circle around its barrel, where the cinch is often placed. This is the measurement for the Heart Girth. Measure the length of the horse’s body from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, including the tail. The Body Length Measurement is as follows:

Now, let’s go over an example of a horse weight calculation based on the above equation. = 1,009 kg According to some sources, the divisor should be adjusted in accordance with the horse’s age. It would be necessary to compute horse weight using the following equation in that situation.

  • Weight (pounds) of an adult horse
  • Weight (pounds) of a yearling horse
  • Weight (pounds) of a weanling horse

Choosing Horse Size Based On Rider Height

There is minimal correlation between horse size and a rider’s height, however a tall rider riding on a little horse may appear unusual. However, the fact is that tall men ride shorter horses than do small women who ride longer horses. The height of the horse does not matter as long as it is physically capable of carrying the rider on its back. But what height horse should you select if you don’t want to appear as if you’re riding a little horse? In actuality, tall riders who are concerned about appearing too big for a shorter horse are the only ones who have a legitimate reason to be concerned.

  1. I’m 5’8″, so I understand what it’s like to feel like you’re too large for a horse.
  2. No, I’m not able to provide you a definitive response since I’m not aware of any scientific studies that address this issue.
  3. It is recommended that you have an inseam that is 60 percent or less of the horse’s height in inches.
  4. It’s not that you couldn’t ride a taller or shorter horse; in fact, based on the facts provided above, you very certainly could.

A 14-hand Hafflinger horse will appear significantly larger than a 14-hand Arabian horse. For this reason, the weight is quite significant. Please keep in mind that this is only a rough guideline based on my own personal experience with how you could “feel” on a horse depending on its height.

How Tall Should A Horse Be Based On Rider Height

Rider Inseam Minimum Horse Height
24″ 10 hands
26″ 10.3 hands
28″ 11.2 hands
30″ 12.2 hands
32″ 13.1 hands
34″ 14 hands
36″ 15 hands
38″ 15.3 hands
40″ 16.2 hands

Related Questions

When it comes to heavy riders, what breed of horse is the most suitable? Draft breeds, such as the Belgian horse, the Shire horse, the Percheron Horse, the Clydesdale Horse, and the Ardennes Horse, among others, are best suited for riders weighing more than 250 pounds. Is it possible that I’m too tall for my horse? When establishing the right rider size for a horse, height is not taken into consideration. In order to be considered scientifically valid, riders must be of proper weight. Despite the fact that a rider may appear to be excessively tall on a horse, as long as the rider’s weight does not exceed 20-25 percent of the horse’s body weight, the rider is not excessively large for the animal.

Recommended Reading

Based on your interest in this post, you may also be interested in the following articles on our website.

  • Detailed information about Off the Track Thoroughbreds, including a tattoo reading guide
  • A breakdown of the best reins for trail riding
  • And a list of fruits and vegetables that horses like to consume.

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