A guide to measuring horse/pony's height
The subject of height, or ‘hands’, in horses can be quite confusing, especially if you’re new to the concept. So I figured this handy little guide might be helpful for everyone here on Spirit Source.
What are ‘hands’?
‘Hands’ are the units of measurement used to describe a horse or pony’s height. They are normally abbreviated to ‘hh’. 1 hand/hh = 10 cm. A horse or pony’s height is measured in hh from their withers (i.e. the top of their shoulders, where their neck connects to their back) to the floor, following the line of their front legs.
Ponies range from 10 hh to 14.2 hh. Horses range from 14.3 hh to 18 hh.
Hands are measured in units of 4. First you have the large number, anywhere from 10 to 18. Next you have a point number. This can either be .0, .1, .2 or .3. There are no points above .3. The next point is .0. So, for example you can have 12.0, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 and 13.0. There is no 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8 or 12.9.
An easier way to think about it would be in quarters.
.0 is a whole number.
.1 is a number and ¼
.2 is a number and 2/4 or ½
.3 is a number and ¾
Most people don’t put .0 on the end of their horse/pony’s height, since everyone knows it’s a whole number. So, instead of saying 14.0 hh, they normally say 14 hh.
Don’t worry if it seems confusing at first. It takes everyone a while to get used to it at first. Just remember to think of it as quarters and you’ll be alright.
Credits: Image from http://www.equine-world.co.uk/about_horses/horse_images/horse_000007640812X.jpg