Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is it really that hard to measure a horse??

No. No, it's not that hard to measure a horse, unless of course, you have been imbibing on too many adult beverages.
So why is it that so very many horse people seem to have no clue as to how to measure their horse for sale? Or, should I say, the horse they're selling for their brothers' friends' sisters' neighbor.
I think it's just laziness, or just plain stupidity. It's not hard. The toughest part is making sure your measuring device is plumb (that's square 2 different ways) and that the horse is squared up and on a level surface. They even sell these handy dandy devices - some of them even have little bubble levels built right in so you know you're getting the right number!

All ya have to do, is measure from the highest point of the withers to the ground. Like so ...

Here it is in plain black & white - top of the withers ..... to the ground.....

After that, it's just a matter of simple math. Divide by 4, and whadda ya know - BOOM! That's how tall your horse/pony/ass is. lol. So, if your horse is 44 inches tall - he's 11hh. If your beloved grade arab/appaloosa is 57 inches at the top of the withers, she's 14.1hh. Oh, so - .1? What is that? Well, it's an inch. A hand is 4 inches, and anything between hands is expressed as .1, .2, or .3. There is no such thing as 15.4 hh. Or, 13.5hh for that matter. The .5 is, I belive someone trying to say 'half a hand' but it don't jive that way.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been told how tall a horse is only to go look at it, and find that no, it's not a horse, it's a pony.... 14.2hh(58" - that's just shy of 5 feet! at the withers!!) is the breaking point between the animal in question being considered a pony or a horse and, well - even that is debateable from one area of the country to the next.
I know it's a long way around, but for the sake of the sanity of most people that have half a clue, measure the horse before you tell someone how tall it is. If they really want a horse that 16hh, and you tell them yours is 16.2, but measures out in reality at 14.3 - don't be all shocked & shaken when the people that came out to look get ticked off and just leave.
It's irritating & misleading to the potential buyers.

NOW, after having gotten that all off my chest - I do have a horse up for sale, and have no idea how tall she is. But, I don't claim to know. I will one of these days take the time to haul my arse out, square her up & measure her. Probably tomorrow, in between messin' with pony, riding Velvet, and irritating the younglings... I'll update ya on a post just about her.

Thanks so much for letting me get that out. I was gettin' a burn on.


  1. What do you consider when they say their horse is 15.6?

    I smile :)

  2. I guess then I just figure they're tryin' to piss me off! lol!

  3. Being that I have never owned horses I didn't know this. Now I do which may be a good thing. I have been trying to convince Dave to buy me a donkey for years. LOL Thanks for the education Kimmi :P

  4. anytime, Jess - if I can help, I will sure try! It's just amazing to me how many 'horse people' there are that don't have clue one about height.