How do you measure a horse with your hands?

We were asked the other day and there are some ways to do it, but you should probably go with the one that is easiest for you.

So how do you measure a horse with your hands?

Simply put, you only measure in inches from the ground in a straight line to the highest point of the cross (also known as the base of the neck above the shoulders). Once you have the total inches, grab it and divide it by 4, equal to your hands (4 inches = 1 hand).

There is something called a measuring stick for a horse if you have one or know someone who uses it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste your money buying one. I would also not suggest using tape. My personal preference is to grab a thin rope or a tightrope (my favorite). Make the rope step over the bottoms that you pull up to the mark of the cross, then use tape measure. I have found that the tape measure will scare some horses, not all, but some.

Other tips:

  • Make sure your horse is on firm ground
  • If the horse measures half a hand, use a .2 instead of a .5


  • Hand measurement is widely used in the US, England and Canada. Other areas of the world use the metric system more than their hands.
  • The average height of the horse runs to about 16 hands
  • Ponies have 14.3 hands or less

Why is the horse measured in the hands?

According to our research, it is shown that about 5,000 years ago stacking a man’s fist was used as a measure that would have made accuracy non-existent.

This, of course, happened every 4 inches equals one hand. Other body parts dating back to Egyptian times were also used. They used the hand method to use four fingers wide at one point, which made it a little more accurate.

What are the crosses of a horse?

The cross is just above the front shoulder blade just above the ridge of the mane.

Hands Inches Meters Feet
12.0 48 4ft 1.2192
12.1 49 4 feet 1.2446
12.2 50 4 feet 2 1.27
12.3 51 4 feet 3 1,954
13.0 52 4 feet 4 1.3208
13.1 53 4 feet 5 1.3462
13.2 54 4 feet 6 1,397
13.3 55 4ft 7 1,397
14.0 56 4ft 8 1.4224
14.1 57 4ft 9 1.4478
14.2 58 4 feet 10 1 .4732
14.3 59 4 feet 11 1.4986
15.0 60 5 feet 1,524
15.1 61 5 feet 1 1.5494
15.2 62 5 feet 2 1.5748
15.3 63 5 feet 3 1.6002
16.0 64 5 feet 4 1.6256
16.1 65 5 feet 5 1.651
16.2 66 5 feet 6 1.6764
16.3 67 5 feet 7 1.7018
17.0 68 5 feet 8 1.7272
17.1 69 5 feet 9 1.7526
17.2 70 5 feet 10 1.778
17.3 71 5 feet 11 1,803
18.0 72 6 feet 1.8288

First, you need one to buy or make one as shown below. Then make sure your horse is on flat ground. Take the measuring stick move the slot on the cross and write down the measurement.

How do you get your own horse to measure the pole?

It will cost about $ 10 or less and everything you need:

  • a narrow piece of wood 1 inch by inch by 6 feet or more
  • Measuring tape
  • Permanent marker
  • a clothespin
  1. Mark a line every 4 inches starting with 14 hands (56 inches = a little over a foot and a half) if you are measuring horses of normal size.
  2. Label the first mark 14 and then go up from there.
  3. For ponies or mini you will have to start less than that.
  4. Then mark each inch between the 4-inch marks.
  5. Place it next to the horse and place a clothespin right on the cross and you will have your measurement.

Additional tips:

if your horse does not allow you to approach him with the stick I suggest you use the rope method. You can also connect a rope to the clothespin and keep it in a horizontal position it will not be to the millimeter, but accurate enough for most applications.

So how tall is a 16-foot horse standing?

That would be 5 ⅓ feet or 64 inches

How many hands does the tallest horse in the word have?

20 hands or 20hh

His name is Big Jake, a 17-year-old Belgian castrator.

This is according to Guinness World Records, of course. When he was born, he weighed 240 massive pounds and at 17 now he reaches about 2600 pounds. He only eats a bale and a half a day and his stop is 20X20, which is like two of our united places.

How many hands does the smallest horse in the world have?

4.1 mans or 4.1hh

This horse is called, of course, Thumbelina and is considered a dwarf mini horse. Located about 17 inches and born in Missouri, United States. She has a lot of company on the farm and her owners take very good care of her. He was born on May 1, 2001. This information also comes through Guinness World Records. We will try to keep this information up to date, as more and more records are registered, it is a question of verifying them and that is why we are following the records.


Measuring the horse should be a quick task, but depending on the horse it can be an almost impossible task due to several factors. If they don’t want to stand still or don’t like having the measuring stick close by, just hang on to it and keep trying. In the meantime, try alternatives that you can use almost anything, as long as it’s straight and can be measured with a tape measure afterwards. Be careful while doing this, unless your horse is used to it.

  • 1 hand = 4 inches
  • The hand abbreviation is hh, so it would be 16hh for example

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