Estimating Your Horse’s Weight

Do you know how much your horse weighs?  You should!  Even if you don’t have access to a heavy-duty scale, you can estimate your horse’s weight with a fairly simple formula.

It’s important to have a pretty good estimate of your horse’s weight for feeding the proper amount of hay and conentrates, not to mention for administering supplements, de-wormers, and medications. Here’s how it’s done:

First of all, you will need a measuring tape–such as the kind a seamstress would use. Tie your horse up or have someone hold him.

You will need to take two measurements:

  •  Body Length:  point of shoulder to point of buttock (which is described as “the highest point of the buttock at the extreme rear of the animal”)
  • Heart Girth: circumference of chest just behind the withers and just behind the elbow (which is at a slight diagonal)

measuring weight 300x261 Estimating Your Horses Weight

You might want to take each measurement a couple of times to make sure it’s accurate.  Also, make sure your horse is standing fairly square (and still!) when you take the length measurement.

Then, plug your measurements into this formula:

weight in lbs = (heart girth2 x body length) / (330)

Or, if you prefer to work in metric, you can use this similar formula that I wrote about in an article for The Horse a couple of years ago:

weight in kilograms = ( heart girth2 x body length) / (11,880 cm3)

I measure my horses every spring to estimate their weights before I balance their diets, and I’ve found that they do fluctuate a little.  Last year, I had the chance to get Hershey weighed at a university veterinary hospital and I was happy to find that I’d been fairly close with my estimates.






5 thoughts on “Estimating Your Horse’s Weight

  1. Your first line isn’t going from the point of the shoulder, as you stated in the text. In the picture, it spans from the point of the breastbone to the point of the buttock beside the tail. :)

    1. I apologize for the lack of precision on the picture–I ‘ll see what I can do to correct it! Yes, the point of shoulder is a bit forward of where the line appears to start. The point of shoulder can be easily palpated though.

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