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How To Estimate A Horses Height


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#1 DreamWhisper

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:05 PM

I was just wondering if there is any way to estimate how tall a horse will be when he/she is mature? I am currently looking into buying a new horse and the one that I am interested in is a two year old APHA(will be three in may). The owner says he is about 14.1 or 14.2 now so I'm wondering if he will grow up to be pretty short? Thanks for the help!
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#2 equicrzy

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:59 PM

This is what *I* was told.

Measure from the top of the coronet to the middle of the knee, where it bends, whatever it is in inches, is the height of the horse at maturity......I read somewhere, that the length of the cannon bones were the same at birth as they are at full maturity.

My horse's cannon measures 16 inches, so she should mature to at least 16 hands. She's gonna make it, too!
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#3 goatmom

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:57 PM

That is the same thing I was told by all the old timers around here 40 some years ago. It may be off by an inch, but not too often.

#4 Nikki-HorseCityAdmin

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:28 AM

The old wives' tale that I've heard is to measure with a string from the ground to the point of the elbow. Then take that "length" from the point of the elbow "up" and that will be the height of the full grown horse. That seems rather inaccurate in my head when I think about it and I've never actually done it. confused0024.gif

#5 goldentoes

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE (Nikki-HorseCityAdmin @ Jan 21 2011, 11:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The old wives' tale that I've heard is to measure with a string from the ground to the point of the elbow. Then take that "length" from the point of the elbow "up" and that will be the height of the full grown horse. That seems rather inaccurate in my head when I think about it and I've never actually done it. confused0024.gif


I did that, and I also did the other test mentioned in the other posts, and they were pretty accurate. The coronet band- knee one came out to just over 16 hands, the other test came out 16.1, and he matured to 16.1.


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#6 dgRuffian

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:13 PM

QUOTE (equicrzy @ Jan 21 2011, 12:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is what *I* was told.

Measure from the top of the coronet to the middle of the knee, where it bends, whatever it is in inches, is the height of the horse at maturity......I read somewhere, that the length of the cannon bones were the same at birth as they are at full maturity.

My horse's cannon measures 16 inches, so she should mature to at least 16 hands. She's gonna make it, too!


I did that same measurement on a filly and her measurements indicated she would be 17 hands. I was grateful when she matured to be 16.1. It is supposed to be done at a certain age too. But I cannot recall. Did it again on the horse that is my avatar and it said he would be 16.1. He's 16.3 now and still growing.

Edited by dgRuffian, 23 January 2011 - 06:14 PM.

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#7 GraceL_QH

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:22 AM

Nikki: I tried the string test with my 2 year old last year and it seems to be holding true! I sure dosnt seem to make sense but he only has about 2 inches to go and hes only a 3 year old. I have done it with my 2 other 2 year olds (this year) and it sure seems to be about right for what their parents were. If its accurate then my Blue roan is going to be tall! But his mom was kind of on the tall side too.

I guess if your not looking for anything extremely accurate its a good guesstament in my mind.
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#8 GraceL_QH

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

Oh and as a control, I tested it on my husbands horse who is now 6 I think and it is dead on. I go from the fetlock though and not the ground.
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#9 jacie

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:28 AM

i've done both on my filly

right away at 4 months of age, the elbow to ergot string said she was only going to be about 13hh, fetlock to middle of knee said 15hh. at 6 months I did it again, elbow/ergot was then saying about 15hh. cannon measurement 15.3hh. sire was 16hh, dam was 15.2hh. I figure I'll know when she's 4?? but I do plan on doing it again when she's a year. I couldn't find anywhere for either measurement an appropriate age to try them. the elbow/ergot someone said can be done anytime, my filly didn't read that I guess.

for a control I did the elbow/ergot on my two adult horses, they were right on, I didn't think to measure their cannon bones, i'll do that next time I trim.