How to Measure a Horse's Height

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Working with horses is a pleasure and a challenge. There are many things to learn; sometimes you almost despair of every knowing it all. One thing is the common use of terms not really used anywhere else. For example, a horse's height is measure in "hands."

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring stick
  • Start by understanding what a "hand" is. A "hand" is four inches. So when a horse is ten hands high, he is forty inches from the ground to the top of his withers.

  • Purchase or borrow a measuring stick. These will measure exactly how tall your horse is in "hands." This is the easiest method.

  • Make sure you are measuring from the spot where the horse's hoof touches the ground to the very top of his withers.

  • If you cannot locate a horse measuring stick, you may use a measuring tape. Take the total number of inches and divide by four. This will give you the number of hands.

  • Do not round up. Be exact. If a horse is sixty-three inches high, he is 15.3 hands tall. in other words, 15 hands and 3 inches.

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