How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight (2022)

If you are new to horses, you may be wondering what size horse you need. Whether you are a kid or an adult, choosing the right size horse can be difficult if you don’t know what things to look at.

What Size Horse Do You Need? The size of the horse you need depends on your height and weight. Most horses should be able to carry a rider and saddle that total 20-25% of their own body weight or less. This number varies based on the horse’s fitness. This chart can be used as a guideline based on that number:

  • 600 lb horse (or pony) can carry 120-150 lb total
  • 800 lb horse can carry 160-200 lb total
  • 1000 lb horse can carry 200-250 lb total
  • 1200 lb horse can carry 240-300 lb total
  • 1500 lb horse can carry 300-375 lb total
  • 1800 lb horse can carry 360-450 lb total

Let’s look at some more information about sizing a horse to fit it’s rider.

Table of Contents

Determining How Big Your Horse Should Be Based on Your Weight

Determining the right size horse based on your weight really has to take into account several different factors including:

  • Your Fitness
  • Your Experience as a Rider
  • Your Horse’s Fitness
  • What Type of Activity You Plan on Doing

Rider size becomes more important for horses under a high amount of stress. For most people getting started riding horses this isn’t the concern.

If you are wanting to learn how to ride or purchasing your next horse, you need to think about your skill level and your intended use for the horse.

(Video) How to Measure a Horse's Height

If you plan on just riding at a walk and trot on flat trails or in the arena, most horses can carry a load at the heavy end of the generally accepted safe range. A horse who is moderately fit should be able to handle close to 25% of his body weight at a walk with no ill effects.

How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight (1)

As you add in speed, elevation, and duration, like a six-hour mountain trail ride, you will want to stick closer to the lower end of the safe range.

Think about rider balance and how it affects the horse as well. If you are experienced at riding at all three gaits and can do so with up and down transitions without grabbing the reins or horns you have achieved a basic level of balance. That means you are no longer as much of a burden to your horse to carry as he doesn’t have to compensate for you moving suddenly to one side or another when you lose your balance.

This chart has total weight in pounds on the left and a minimum horse weight at the recommended 20 -25% ranges for your convenience. Remember total weight is rider weight plus saddle, saddle pad, and saddle bags.

Choosing The Right Sized Horse Based on Rider Weight

Total WeightMinimum Horse Weight
(20% Value)
Minimum Horse Weight
(25% Value)
110550440
120600480
130650520
140700560
150750600
160800640
170850680
180900720
190950760
2001000800
2101050840
2201100880
2301150920
2401200960
25012501000
26013001040
27013501080
28014001120
29014501160
30015001200

Figuring Out How Much Your Saddle Weighs

If you want an accurate number for the total weight you are asking your horse to carry, you need to factor in the weight of the saddle, saddle pad and any other extras. But how much do those things weigh?

That answer really depends on what style saddle you ride in. Is your saddle leather or synthetic? Is it an English saddle or a western roping saddle? All of these things make a difference.

Western saddle pads are typically the heaviest and generally weigh 6-8 lbs or more. All other saddle pads usually weigh under four lbs.

Chart of Saddle Weights

Riding StyleTypeWeight (lbs)
WesternRoping45 lbs
WesternCutting27 lbs
WesternTrail22 lbs
WesternBarrel Racing24 lbs
WesternSynthetic18.9 lbs
EnglishJumping14.3 lbs
EnglishCross Country12.7 lbs
EnglishSynthetic13.3 lbs
EnduranceBob Marshall Treeless15 lbs
EnduranceSynthetic18 lbs
DressageLeather14.9 lbs
DressageSynthetic11.2 lbs
AustralianStock29 lbs
AustralianSynthetic18.7 lbs
How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight (2)
(Video) How to determine a horse's weight and height using a weight tape and deworm dose according

How to Measure Horse Weight

In order to determine if a horse is the right size for you, you will have to get an estimate of his weight. This isn’t always easy. Typically the taller the horse the more it weights but that isn’t always the case.

A horses weight is commonly measured one of three ways. The first and most accurate way is to use a livestock scale to accurately measure the horses weight. This is the only way to get a true reading.

Unfortunately, livestock scales can be hard to find and are very expensive to buy. So how do you measure a horse’s weight without a livestock scale?

Using a Horse Weight Tape

Measuring a horses weight is most easily done with a weight tape. These are commercially available and generally pretty cheap.

Each weight tape comes with a series of markings. Typically one side is used for measuring height and the other used for measuring weight.

Keep in mind that this method is not as accurate as weighing your horse. The results can be 100 – 200 lbs off even for people experienced using the method.

The process of using the weight tape is fairly simple. Here are some basic instructions:

  1. Lay the weight tape over the horse’s back so that the weight measurement side is facing up.
  2. Pull the tail end of the weight tape under the horse’s belly. It should be placed vertically level right around the horse’s cinch area.
  3. Pull the tape taught but not too tight.
  4. Take a reading where the zero mark meets a weight mark. This is your horse’s estimated weight in pounds.
  5. Record weight.

TIP: Take multiple measurements. Your readings should be fairly close to each other. If not, practice your technique until you can reliably get the same weight measurement.

Using Measurements to Calculate Horse Weight

A horse weight tape is just basically transferring the calculated weight method onto a measuring device. If you don’t have an actual weight tape handy, you can do this calculation yourself.

(Video) How To Measure Your Horse for Bit Size

This method isn’t as easy as using a weight tape but it is typically more accurate. The calculation for horses weight is:

[(Heart Girth (in) x Heart Girth (in) x Body Length (in)) / 300] = Weight (lbs)

First you need to obtain two measurements:

  1. Measure the horse’s heart girth which is the area all the way around its barrel, where the cinch normally goes. This is the Heart Girth measurement.
  2. Measure the horse’s body length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. This is the Body Length Measurement.

Let’s go through a sample horse weight calculation using this equation.

  • Heart Girth = 70″
  • Length = 68″

[(70 x 70 x 68) / 330] = 1,009 lbs

Some sources note that the divisor should be changed based on the horse’s age. In that case, you would calculate horse weight with the following equation:

  • Adult Horse = [(Heart Girth (in) x Heart Girth (in) x Body Length (in)) / 300] = Weight (lbs)
  • Yearling Horse = [(Heart Girth (in) x Heart Girth (in) x Body Length (in)) / 301] = Weight (lbs)
  • Weanling Horse = [(Heart Girth (in) x Heart Girth (in) x Body Length (in)) / 280] = Weight (lbs)
How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight (3)

Choosing Horse Size Based On Rider Height

The ideal horse size for a rider has little to do with the rider’s height although a tall rider on a small horse might look odd. The reality is, tall men ride short horses and short women ride tall horses. As long as the horse is physically capable of carrying the rider, height does not matter.

But what height horse should you choose if you don’t want to look like a giant human on a small pony?

(Video) Q7: What Weight Is Too Heavy To Ride A Horse #BeginnerEquestrianStartingOut

The reality is the concern for height is only really for tall riders who may worry that they appear too big for a shorter horse. For the short-statured men and women out there, there is no horse too big for you.

I’m 5’8″ so I know what it is like to feel too big for a horse. My horse is 16.1 but what is reasonable?

I can’t give you an exact answer, I don’t know of a scientific study that addresses this. Instead, I offer up the following general guideline.

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.

A 14 hand Hafflinger horse is going to feel much bigger than a 14 hand Arabian. That is why the weight is so important.

Again, this is just a general guideline, based on my own opinion of how you might “feel” on a horse based on its height.

How Tall Should A Horse Be Based On Rider Height

Rider InseamMinimum Horse Height
24"10 hands
26"10.3 hands
28"11.2 hands
30"12.2 hands
32"13.1 hands
34"14 hands
36"15 hands
38"15.3 hands
40"16.2 hands

Related Questions

What breed of horse is best for heavy riders? For riders over 250lbs, draft breeds are most suited such as the Belgian horse, Shire horse, Percheron Horse, Clydesdale Horse, and Ardennes Horse among others.

Am I too tall for my horse? Height is not a factor in determining appropriate rider size for a horse. The only true scientific studies are tied to appropriate rider weight. Although a rider may feel tall on a horse, as long as the rider’s weight is within 20-25% of the horse’s body weight, the rider is not too big for the horse.

(Video) How To Measure For A Horse's Cinch Size Without a Saddle

Recommended Reading

Based on your interest in this article, you may find these articles on our site interesting as well.

  • Information about Off the Track Thoroughbreds Including Tattoo Reading Guide
  • Breakdown of the Best Reins for Trail Riding
  • List of Fruits and Vegetables Horses Love to Eat
How to Choose The Right Size Horse Based On Your Height and Weight (4)

FAQs

What size horse should I ride for my height? ›

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.

How much can a 1000 pound horse carry? ›

A: Laurie, the basic rule of thumb for a horse's weight-carrying capacity is 20 percent of the horse's weight, or, say, 200 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse. (Two hundred pounds would be an approximate upward limit, not an average of what he can carry.)

What horse can carry 250 pound person? ›

The horse breed that can carry the most weight is the shire horse. Average shire horses can weigh up to 2,425 pounds, and comfortably carry 20 percent of their body weight. This means the largest of shire horses can carry up to 485 pounds with ease.

What weight can a 15.2 horse carry? ›

The maximum weight a horse can carry is 400 pounds based on the 20% rule. Most horses can safely carry 20% of their body weight.

Can you ride a 13 hand horse? ›

Riders of ponies 12.3 – 13.2 hands may not weigh more than 150 pounds. Riders of ponies 13.3 – 14.2 hands may not weigh more than 190 pounds. Riders that exceed 190 pounds may not participate.

What size horse do I need for my weight? ›

As a general rule, a horse can only comfortably carry up to 15–20% of its own body weight, though this may differ slightly from horse to horse. For instance, a horse that weights 500kg can comfortably carry a load of 100kg.

How do I know if I'm too big for my horse? ›

When people wonder if they're too heavy for their horse, their main concern is weight. There is debate about this percentage, but the general rule is that a horse should carry no more than 20 percent of their weight.

What is the 20% horse rule? ›

The researchers found that an average adult light riding horse could comfortably carry about 20 percent of their ideal bodyweight. This result agrees with the value recommended by the Certified Horsemanship Association and the U.S. Cavalry Manuals of Horse Management published in 1920.

Can a 300lb person ride a horse? ›

As a general rule, anything over 300-350 pounds is too heavy for a horse to carry safely.

What kind of horse can carry a 300 pound man? ›

Spotted Draft Horse

Weighing between 1,500-1,600 pounds and standing at 16-17 hands, an average American Cream Draft can carry up to 300 pounds. This is equivalent to around a 260 pound rider and tack that weighs up to 40 pounds.

What weight is too heavy to ride a horse? ›

Deb Bennett, PhD, founder of the Equine Studies Institute and an expert in the biomechanics of horses, has advised that the “Total weight of rider plus tack must not exceed 250 lbs. There is no horse alive, of any breed, any build, anywhere, that can go more than a few minutes with more weight on its back than this.

Can Clydesdales be ridden? ›

Can you ride Clydesdales? Yes! Most equipment manufactures now offer saddles, bits and bridles in draft horse sizes. The Clydesdales are very easy to train and their great style is a hit in the show ring.

How much can a 800 pound horse carry? ›

Weight limit to ride a horse
Horse's weightWeight carrying capacity – 15%Weight carrying capacity – 20%
700 pounds (317.5 kg)105 pounds (47.5 kg)140 pounds (63.5 kg)
800 pounds (363 kg)120 pounds (54.5 kg)160 pounds (72.5 kg)
900 pounds (408 kg)135 pounds (61 kg)180 pounds (81.5 kg)
11 more rows

How much weight can a 1200 lb horse carry? ›

The results from this study showed that all the horses in the study had no problem carrying up to 20% of their body weight (which translates into an average 1,200 pound horse being able to carry a total of 240 pounds).

What does horse riding do to your body? ›

Natalie says: “Riding physically strengthens the body, especially the core. It's a full body workout and helps to increase our balance and improves our posture. It's likely that your posture out of the saddle will improve the more regularly you ride.”

Can a horse carry two riders? ›

Two persons riding horseback is acceptable when you do it in a safe and controlled environment. It is also important to not overload the horse or ride it at a very high speed when riding double. A child and adult can ride together with use a buddy saddle, a pillion, or bareback with a pad.

How much exercise do horses need? ›

Horses need 20 minutes of movement every day so that's a good initial goal and can be increased from there. More intense programs for competition conditioning can build up to two hours daily. Always begin and end with a 5-minute warm-up.

Can a horse be too big for you? ›

The length of saddle a horse can carry comfortably is influenced by his size and conformation, but in general the bigger the horse the longer the saddle they can carry. But not every big horse is capable of carrying a big rider.

Is 15 hands a big horse? ›

Light riding horses are typically 14–16 hands (1.42–1.63m), larger riding horses are 15.2–17 hands (1.57–1.73m), and heavy or draft horses are usually 16–18 hands (1.63–1.83m).

How much does a 14.2 horse Weigh? ›

Horse weight based on height
Horse height in handsHorse weight
14.2h880 to 990 pounds (399 – 449 kg)
15h880 to 1,215 pounds (399 – 551 kg)
15.2h905 to 1,215 pounds (410.5 – 551 kg)
12 more rows

How much weight can a 1100 lb horse carry? ›

It is recommended that the rider plus their tack and other equipment weigh no more than 20% of the horse's weight. So, for a typical 1,100-lb horse, the rider, tack and any extras should weigh no more than 220 lbs.

Can a saddle be too heavy for a horse? ›

Horses may be strong, but sometimes riders can be too heavy for a horse to carry comfortably. While most healthy horses can easily carry a rider and saddle, they do have their limits.

How much weight can a 13 hand horse hold? ›

13 hand ponies typically weigh between 620-880lbs. So based on the weight, a rider (and tack!) should weigh a maximum of 120 to 170 lbs.

Do horses like being ridden? ›

Conclusion. There is no definitive answer to the question of whether horses like being ridden. While some horses seem to enjoy the companionship and the attention that they receive from their riders, others may find the experience to be uncomfortable or even stressful.

Should obese people ride horses? ›

Am I too fat to ride a horse? People of all shapes and sizes have been riding horses for over 4,000 years. Fat people can ride horses just like anybody else. But it's important to make sure you choose an appropriate horse and the right equipment.

How much should a 15hh horse weigh? ›

A Thoroughbred horse that's primarily used for racing would be expected to weigh in at around 500kg (1,100lbs) on average, ranging from about 400kg (900lbs) for a 15hh horse to roughly 600kg (1,300lbs) for a 16.3hh horse.

How do I stop bouncing when riding a horse? ›

HOW TO STOP BOUNCING ON A HORSE - YouTube

Does horseback riding hurt back? ›

Horseback Riding and Back Pain

Compared to the general population, there is a high occurrence of back pain among horse riders. Horse riders are at a greater risk of experiencing back pain than the general public due to both the repetitive nature of riding as well as the long-term consequence of a riding injury.

What horse is best for a heavy rider? ›

Andalusian horses are usually at least 15 hands tall and at least 1200 lbs which means that larger members of the breed are excellent for heavier riders. A 1,500 lb Andalusian horse would be able to easily carry a combined rider and saddle weight of 300 lbs.

Can a horse carry 500 pounds? ›

Based on these results, the study's authors recommend that horses not be loaded with greater than 20% of their body weight. A 545-kilogram (1200 pound) horse, then would be best off carrying no more than 109 kg (240 lbs) of tack and rider.

What do you do when a horse refuses to jump? ›

If your horse refuses a jump, don't rush! Be patient and try again at a slower speed so that you can control the situation better if he refuses once again. Try not to turn around or let him run out. Gently encourage him to jump and give rewards after he jumps correctly.

Are male or female horses better to ride? ›

Often male horses develop quicker, making them better suited for sports such as dressage or showjumping. Stallions also tend to have greater stamina than mares and are less likely to tire during long rides or races.

Is a gelding or mare better for a beginner? ›

Geldings. For a beginner rider, there is a slight bias in favor of geldings. The reason for this is that geldings tend to have fewer mood swings than mares because they have no heat cycles.

How much does it cost annually to own a horse? ›

Responses to a horse-ownership survey from the University of Maine found that the average annual cost of horse ownership is $3,876 per horse, while the median cost is $2,419. That puts the average monthly expense anywhere from $200 to $325 – on par with a car payment.

Why am I sore after riding horses? ›

Therefore if you sit unevenly it takes more, uneven muscular effort to maintain balance and individual muscles then can become sore. Balancing the upper body above the horse is one of the crucial key points for good riding.

How much can a person weigh to ride a horse? ›

As a general guideline in the UK, a rider should weigh no more than 10% of the horse's bodyweight, but in the US, this limit is doubled to 20% of the horse's weight. This means for a 500kg horse, the range for the maximum rider weight is large – 50kg in the UK (just less than 8st) and 100kg in the US (15st 10lb).

Why do they cut off Clydesdales tails? ›

Docking traditionally has been performed to prevent the tail of the horse from interfering with harness and carriage equipment. Specifically, if a rein passes under the horse's tail the horse may clamp its tail down and cause the driver to lose control of the horse.

What happens to retired Budweiser Clydesdales? ›

Clydesdales retire to prestigious homes such as Anheuser-Busch's Grant's Farm, in St. Louis, or other display stables. > Members of the breed can live to 20 years old and beyond.

Does Budweiser sell their Clydesdales? ›

"We have very, very stringent requirements to be a Budweiser Clydesdale," Knapper said. "They must have a white blaze, a black mane and tail ... and four white, stocking feet." Those that don't make the cut are sold for roughly $5,000 apiece.

How much can a 600 pound horse carry? ›

How much weight can a horse carry?
Horse weightRider weight without tack (15% of horse weight)Rider weight with tack (20% of horse weight)
600 lb90 lb120 lb
700 lb105 lb140 lb
800 lb120 lb160 lb
900 lb135 lb180 lb
16 more rows

How much should a 14 hand horse weigh? ›

Smaller varieties, however, weigh around 900 to 950 pounds with an average height of 14 hands.

How much weight can a 900 lb horse carry? ›

That means a 900-pound horse like your gelding, in general, shouldn't be expected to carry more than about 180 pounds, including tack, to avoid putting excessive stress on his joints and ligaments.

Is it OK to ride a 2 year old horse? ›

While some trainers believe it is acceptable to work a two-year-old under saddle, many believe that riding is best put off until the horse is more mature. Many wait until a horse is up to four or five years old to begin training under saddle.

What are the disadvantages of horse riding? ›

It can be tiring

A lot of physical and emotional strength is required to ride a horse and it will wear you out, especially if you are dedicating a lot of your time to the sport. If you lead a busy lifestyle, then you will need to take this into consideration before taking up horse riding properly.

Is it OK to ride your horse everyday? ›

It's OK to ride your horse every day, but not advisable to work your animal strenuously during each outing. Horses need recovery time after vigorous exercise, just like human athletes. Many people think the more you ride, the better, but often the opposite is true.

Does horse riding reduce belly fat? ›

Horse riding can give you abs since they are one of the primary muscles that get toned through horseback riding. Other muscle groups include thighs, pelvic and abdominal muscles. With horseriding, you can improve stability in your torso and gain flexibility and balance.

Can horses ride side by side? ›

It may be appropriate to ride two abreast if you are escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider, so they can be on the inside. “If this is not the case, it is safer to ride in single file where road conditions and traffic requires you to.

What horse did cowboys ride? ›

The American Quarter Horse was the breed most commonly used by cowboys in the old west. However, they also rode horses of many different breeds. Other notable types were Appaloosa, American Saddlebred, Missouri Fox Trotter, Morgan, Mustangs, and even Arabian.

How big of a horse do I need? ›

As a general rule, a horse can only comfortably carry up to 15–20% of its own body weight, though this may differ slightly from horse to horse. For instance, a horse that weights 500kg can comfortably carry a load of 100kg.

What is the best age of a horse to buy? ›

The best age to buy a horse is typically between 5-16 years old, as this is when a horse will be in its prime. Typically, younger horses are not a good match for first-time owners as they generally are not experienced enough yet.

How long should you ride before buying a horse? ›

You should be taking weekly riding lessons and should have a fair bit of recent riding experience before you buy a horse. How much? Aim for at least six months. Practice taking care of a horse is as important as experience riding.

What age should you get your first horse? ›

Selection is best in the fall and spring, but horses tend to be cheaper in the fall because sellers try not to “winter” horses because of feed costs. Prices are least expensive in the winter, but the selection is limited.

How many times a week should a horse be ridden? ›

To maintain fitness levels, the average horse should be ridden for at least 30 minutes 3 or more times a week. That does, however, depend on the type of riding you do, pleasure riding at a slower pace is fine every day but barrel racing puts more strain on a horse so shouldn't be done as often.

Do horses need a day off? ›

Budget time for your horse to rest and recover. Most horses can take up to 30 days off without losing significant fitness. This period of time is likely even longer if the horse is being hacked or trail ridden a couple of days a week.

When should you stop riding a horse? ›

Some horses have physical conditions or diseases that require an early retirement. Other horses can be ridden late into their life without issues. As a general rule, most horses should stop being ridden between 20 to 25 years old. Any horse, no matter their age, still requires a decent amount of exercise.

Does horse riding increase height? ›

Riding helps develop postural muscles (think shoulder blades and upper back) that help you stand taller in daily life. And in fact, you'll develop more traditional upper body strength when and if you take on general horse maintenance: picking up the saddle, brushing the horse.

How tall is a 14.3 hand horse? ›

Here is the height conversion chart for hands, feet, inches, and centimeters:
HandsInchesFeet
14.3594ft 11
15605ft
15.1615ft 1
15.2625ft 2
21 more rows

Can a horse carry a 200 pound person? ›

Can a horse carry a 200-pound person? Yes, some horses can comfortably carry a 200-pound rider. Some lighter, smaller horses and ponies cannot carry this weight but many larger horses and certainly draft horses can carry it.

How much does a 14.2 horse Weigh? ›

Horse weight based on height
Horse height in handsHorse weight
14.2h880 to 990 pounds (399 – 449 kg)
15h880 to 1,215 pounds (399 – 551 kg)
15.2h905 to 1,215 pounds (410.5 – 551 kg)
12 more rows

Is it OK to ride your horse everyday? ›

It's OK to ride your horse every day, but not advisable to work your animal strenuously during each outing. Horses need recovery time after vigorous exercise, just like human athletes. Many people think the more you ride, the better, but often the opposite is true.

What is too heavy to ride a horse? ›

Deb Bennett, PhD, founder of the Equine Studies Institute and an expert in the biomechanics of horses, has advised that the “Total weight of rider plus tack must not exceed 250 lbs. There is no horse alive, of any breed, any build, anywhere, that can go more than a few minutes with more weight on its back than this.

What age should you start a horse? ›

On average, it's safe to introduce a horse to a rider at the age of four. That's not to say equipment and ground work shouldn't be done younger. In fact, it's advisable to give your horse a solid foundation before even thinking about adding a rider. Your horse's workload can increase at the age of five.

How big is a 15hh horse? ›

Horse Height Conversion Chart
HandsInchesFeet
14.2hh584ft 10
14.3hh594ft 11
15hh605ft
15.1hh615ft 1
21 more rows

Is 14.3 hands short for a horse? ›

Light riding horses are typically 14–16 hands (1.42–1.63m), larger riding horses are 15.2–17 hands (1.57–1.73m), and heavy or draft horses are usually 16–18 hands (1.63–1.83m). Growth can also be influenced by genetics and nutrition.

Is 14.3 a horse or pony? ›

For many forms of competition, the official definition of a pony is a horse that measures less than 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) at the withers. Standard horses are 14.2 or taller.

What is the 20% horse rule? ›

The researchers found that an average adult light riding horse could comfortably carry about 20 percent of their ideal bodyweight. This result agrees with the value recommended by the Certified Horsemanship Association and the U.S. Cavalry Manuals of Horse Management published in 1920.

What kind of horse can carry a 300 pound man? ›

Spotted Draft Horse

Weighing between 1,500-1,600 pounds and standing at 16-17 hands, an average American Cream Draft can carry up to 300 pounds. This is equivalent to around a 260 pound rider and tack that weighs up to 40 pounds.

Can a 300lb person ride a horse? ›

As a general rule, anything over 300-350 pounds is too heavy for a horse to carry safely.

How heavy is a 16hh horse? ›

A 16-hand horse can weigh anywhere between 1036 and 1653 pounds, depending on its breed and height. A sixteen-hand Thoroughbred weighs much less than a sixteen-hand Suffolk Punch. But on average, at 16 hands, you can expect a horse to weigh between 1036-1543 pounds, whereas, at 16.2 hands, it is 1080-1653 pounds.

How much should a 15hh horse weigh? ›

A Thoroughbred horse that's primarily used for racing would be expected to weigh in at around 500kg (1,100lbs) on average, ranging from about 400kg (900lbs) for a 15hh horse to roughly 600kg (1,300lbs) for a 16.3hh horse.

Why do they measure horses in hands? ›

Why are horses measured in hands? Thousands of years ago, there were no measuring tapes lying around (or a metric system, for that matter). People needed a way of measuring their riding horses for purposes of selling and trading, and so they used a unit of measurement that they always had with them – their hands.

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