How to Accurately Measure a Horse

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How can you accurately measure a horse?

Below, learn how to make your own measuring stick and how to accurately measure a horse.

Equine Measuring Sticks

There is a variety of measuring sticks and tapes that can be used to measure your horse from various tack shops and even eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Chewy and more for around $40. But if you’re even a little handy, you can make your own measuring stick for less than $10 with the instructions below.

The DIY Horse Measuring Stick: Supplies

  • 6-foot (or longer) 1-inch x 2-inch piece of wood
  • 3/4-inch diameter wooden dowel, 24-inches in length
  • 3/4-inch x 3/4-inch x 1/2-inch PVC saddle tee
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Permanent Marker
  • Zip Ties

Horse Measuring Stick: Directions

Marking the Stick:

  • Make the first mark with a pen or pencil at 48 inches (or 12 hands) and then mark every inch until you reach the end of the stick at 72 inches (or 18 hands).
  • Go over each mark with a permanent marker creating a partial horizontal line. Then write the horse hand height next to each line.
  • Starting at 48-inches, mark the incremental measurements: 12, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 13, 13.1 … until you reach 72” (or 18 hands) as illustrated on the right.

Adding the Measuring Arm:

  • Insert the wooden dowel into the threaded side of the PVC saddle tee getting it as secure and level as possible.
  • Mark a line on both sides of the PVC fitting as an extension of the bottom of the wooden dowel to find an accurate measurement when placed on the horse’s withers.
Courtesy: Horse Pros
  • OPTIONAL: Use the zip ties to loosely secure the measuring arm to the measuring stick. Do not overtighten the zip ties so you can still easily slide the arm up and down.

The finished horse measuring stick is shown below.


(Want to add jump heights on the reverse side? Go to for directions.)

Courtesy: Equine Helper:

Accurately Measuring a Horse: 4 Steps

Horses are measured in units called “hands.” (One hand is equal to 4 inches.) Now, let’s go through the four steps to accurately measure your horse.

  1. Measure your horse on level ground for the most accurate measurement.
  2. Make sure they are tethered to keep them in place.
  3. Ensure your horse is standing “square.” This means the two front legs and both hind legs are standing directly next to each other. Your horse will now be standing at their full height.
  4. Measure from the ground – besides one of your horse’s front hooves to their withers as illustrated below. If you’re using the DIY Measuring Stick, lay the measuring arm across the withers at a 90-degree angle for an accurate measurement.

Courtesy: Equine Helper

The withers are the highest point of a horse that maintains
a consistent height.

Is It a Horse or a Pony?

There is a height distinction between a horse and a pony. Horses are 14 hands and 2 inches (or 14.2 hands) and taller while ponies are below the 14.2 height. (Horses reach their final height around 4-5 years of age.)

Video: How to Measure a Horse’s Height by Equine Helper

The WaterWisk 7-inch Horse Sweat Scraper!

Courtesy: EquiGroomer

Save time and stay dry by adding the WaterWisk to your horse’s bathing tool kit. It will remove excess soap and water from your horse’s coat and prevent the inevitable stream of water that runs down your arm when using other types of scrapers.

Unlike traditional sweat scrapers made of hard plastic, rubber (that often gets hard and cracked) or metal, our blade is made from a tough but flexible polyurethane – the same materials silk screeners use – so you can use it to remove water from every part of a horse’s body, including the bony areas such as hips and legs.

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email.

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