Measuring a Horse’s Height

Measuring a horse

A horse’s height is measured by the number of hands from the ground up to the withers. The horse’s withers are the top of the shoulder at the highest point, between the neck and the back.

The agreed upon measurement of the hand is equal to 4 inches.

Historians believe this measurement may date back 5,000 years.

About 3,000 BC in Ancient Egypt, the hand became a standard measurement along with the cubit which is the length of the arm from elbow to fingertips.

The hand measurement is used in English-speaking countries. Europeans use the “stick” or “tape” measurement and the metric system. The horse’s height is told in meters and centimeters.

A horse measuring 15.2 hands is considered to be 62 inches tall. But a horse 15.4 hands is called 16 hands as the .4 represents the 4 inches of a hand measurement.

Not exactly the most accurate of measurements, but close enough.

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