How Long Is A Hand Horse? (TOP 5 Tips)

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 big is 18 hands on a horse?

  • Horse height is correctly referred to by a unit of measurement known as a “hand.” One hand is equal to four inches. The gray mare in the photo above is 58 inches from the ground to the top of her withers. When 58 is divided by 4, you have 14.5. The 14 is the number of hands, and the.5 means another half of a hand, or another 2 inches.

How tall is a 20 hand horse?

Standing at 20 hands 2 ¾ inches or 210.2 cm, Big Jake, an 11-year-old Belgian gelding, is officially the world’s tallest horse.

Is 15 hands a big 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 many inches is a hand equine?

A hand represents four inches or approximately the width of a male adult’s hand. However, horses are not exclusively measured in hands. In some countries and for FEI competition, horses are measured in centimeters.

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 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 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.

How tall can Clydesdales get?

Thumbelina (born May 1, 2001, died in 2018) was a dwarf miniature horse and the smallest horse on record. She stood 43 centimetres (17 in) tall and weighed 26 kilograms (57 lb), and received the title of world’s smallest from Guinness World Records.

Is a 14.1 hand horse a pony?

Ponies and horses are both equines. 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.

How many hand is a pony?

A horse’s height is measured in hands from the ground to the withers (the area on top of a horse between its neck and back). A hand represents 4 inches. The term horse is generally applied to one that is 14.2 hands (4 feet, 9 inches) or taller. A mature horse shorter than 14 hands is considered a pony by the industry.

Can a horse be 15.5 hands?

There is a proper way to figure and write out the measurement of a horse. Example: If a horse measures 60 inches you would divide that number by 4 (since a ‘hand’ is 4 inches) and get 15, which means the horse is 15 hands tall. 62 inches – 15.2 (when you divide by 4 you will get 15.5, but the.

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 large is a hand?

Hands come in all different shapes and sizes. The average length of an adult male’s hand is 7.6 inches — measured from the tip of the longest finger to the crease under the palm. The average length of an adult female’s hand is 6.8 inches. However, there’s more to hand size than length.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Continue reading below.
  4. 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.
  5. “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.
  6. 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.

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.


It is acceptable to shorten “hands” to “h” or “h” for “hands and wrists.” In certain circles, the abbreviation “hh” is understood as “hands high.” Whenever hands are said aloud, they are identified by 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 in hand measurements. The height of 15 hands (15 x 4) equals 60 inches, while the height of a horse midway between 15 and 16 hands equals 15.2 hands, or 62 inches (15 x 4) equals 60 inches.

“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 in which a hand is four inches long.

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.

  1. It was eventually standardised at four inches, and it is still the commonly used horse measurement today.
  2. 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.
  3. Although it is unclear whether this is a true urban legend, it is a plausible idea!
  4. Also view our chart of typical height and weight for horse breeds.

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.

Even while measuring the height of horses by hand used to be a valid technique of measurement, it is no longer applicable today. 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.

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. It would be difficult to obtain an exact measurement. 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.

So, how does your horse’s height compare to that of the general population?

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. Finally, hot-bloods are the smallest of the three species of horses on average, standing at an average height of 15.2 hands high on average.

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.

The stride rate (also known as the turnover ratio) is the number of strides a racehorse completes in a given amount of time. For the most part, racehorses run between 130 and 140 strides per minute on the track. Because they are faster, they will be able to increase their speed without slowing down. Champion horses may move at a rate of more than 160 strides per minute in some cases. Quarter horses, on average, move more quickly than thoroughbreds in their stride pace. Thoroughbreds, on the other hand, must sustain their stride across a greater distance and for a longer period of time.

The proper equilibrium of the body’s anatomical systems is required for the racehorse to run efficiently while taking such a lengthy stride and sustaining a high stride frequency.

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 is another phrase that is used to describe the pace of a horse during racing.

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.

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. The similar role is served by meters and centimeters in the majority of European countries.

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 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 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.


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).


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.

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.

It should be noted that horses are not always measured in hands. The height of horses is measured in cm in some countries and for FEI competition. Ponies, miniature horses, and other small equines may also be measured in centimeters or inches rather than hands, depending on their size.

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.

If the height of your horse is a decisive factor in whether or not it can compete in horse or pony activities, you may need to consider using horseshoes.

To determine whether or not a horse is tall enough for you or to certify a horse’s height, you must first determine whether the measurement includes shoes or not.CasarsGuru / Getty ImagesIf you feel your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Measure of a Horse

How did one of the most magnificent creatures come to be referred to as “hands” when it comes to being measured, and why is the word still in use today? The majestic and gorgeous creatures known as horses are among the most spectacular and lovely on the planet. They’re regal, gentle, and industrious, and they’re also a lot of fun to ride. But do you know how these magnificent creatures are weighed and measured? It’s done with the use of a measurement unit known as a “Hand.” We’re not making this up, believe it or not!

  • It is used to determine the height of a horse at the highest point of its withers, which is the tallest section of its back that does not move throughout the measurement.
  • The “hand” measurement is expressed as follows: the total number of hands followed by the remaining inches of the horse, for example: 15.4 hands, 15.4 inches.
  • A horse that was measured at 15.4 hands becomes a “Fifteen Four,” and vice versa.
  • Ancient Egypt is credited with the invention of the earliest measuring system.
  • An arm’s length is measured from the elbow to the tip of a man’s middle finger, which is measured in Cubits.
  • When the term “Hand” was first coined, it was used to refer to both the fist and the palm and was measured at 7.61cm.
  • This was used as the standard measurement of 4 inches going forward.

Following a shift in the unit of measurement during the King’s authority, it has been used to measure horses for the rest of time.

Almost every country in the world, with the exception of the FEI (International Federation of Equestrian Sports) and the majority of European countries, continues to use the “hand” unit.

Because it has been around for so long, the “hand” measurement is still widely used today by a large number of people.

Even in countries that have changed their laws, it takes time for people to become accustomed to them.

At the very least, for those who are accustomed to measuring in this manner!

He was an English Shire Horse Gelding who was born in 1846 in the United Kingdom.

Huge Jake, a Belgian Gelding horse, has been dubbed “the world’s largest horse” in recent years.

Thumbelina, a Dwarf Miniature Horse who was born in 2001, holds the record for being the world’s smallest horse ever recorded.

She has a height of 17 inches, or 4.25 hands. Ask your horse’s height the next time you come horseback riding with us at Middleton Farm. I’m confident that even after reading this, you will be surprised! ​

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)

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