To measure your horses body length, measure (in inches) from the point of the shoulder to the point of the hip. Your tape measure should run at an angle as shown by the yellow line in the image. The measurement you take is your horses body length.
Divide the number of inches by four. The resulting number is how many hands tall your horse is. The number may not divide evenly. For example, your horse may measure 62 inches, which results in 15 hands plus an additional 2 inches.
Thus, a horse that measures 60 inches is 15 hands high (15 × 4 = 60) and a horse halfway between 15 and 16 hands is 15.2 hands, or 62 inches tall (15 × 4 + 2 = 62) Because the subdivision of a hand is a base 4 system, a horse 64 inches high is 16.0 hands high, not 15.4.
Hands are the traditional unit of measurement.
Henry VIII standardized the hand measurement at 4 inches in the 1500s. Having a consistent width allowed buyers and sellers of horses to have a standard reference. It is a practical way to measure horses and is still used today.
Your inseam should be 60% or less of the horse’s height in inches. That means, if you have a 36″ inseam, your horse should be at least 15 hands tall. It’s not that you couldn’t ride a taller or shorter horse, you absolutely could, based on the information above.
1.4 – 1.8 mAdult, At the withers
The thoroughbred grows to an average height of 63.78 inches, or about 16 hands, with a range of 62 to 68 inches or more. The standardbred, used for harness racing, averages about 63 inches tall, with a range of 60 to 66 inches or more.
In English–speaking countries, horses are measured in “hands,” or four–inch increments, a measurement that originated in ancient Egypt. For example, a horse that measures 56 inches from the ground up to the top of the withers is 14 hands high, or 14 hh.
Every horse is different and capable of carrying a different amount of weight than other horses. As a general rule, anything over 300-350 pounds is too heavy for a horse to carry safely.
Big Jake the Belgian Gelding horse has earned worldwide fame for his extraordinary height. Standing (without shoes) at a majestic 20 hands 2.75 in (210.19 cm, 82.75 in), he officially became the Tallest horse living when measured on 19 January 2010.
A “Hand” is a unit of measure equal to 4 inches, used to measure the height of a horse at the highest point of the withers. The number of whole hands is properly followed by a period, then the remaining height in inches. Thus a horse who measures 5 feet and two inches at the withers would be designated “15.2 hands”.
15.2 – This is the correct way of writing that a horse is 15 hands, 2 inches tall. (Spoken as “fifteen two,” or “fifteen hands, two inches.”) … This means that a horse is 15 hands, 4 inches tall. Since a hand is equal to four inches, this horse is actually 16 hands tall.
A hand is four inches, and a horse who is sixteen hands and two inches will be described as “16.2hh.” … If you measured a horse in inches, 64.8in would not be described as 16.5 or sixteen-and-a-half hands, but 16.2, while 68in would be 17hh, not 16.4.