# Slight rant* Knowing what height your equine is.... only 4" in a Hand

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by AkTomboy, Nov 2, 2010.

1. ### AkTomboyChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 21, 2009
Okay so this is a huge peeve of mine and this is just my two pennies.

A equines height is measured in hands there is 4 inches in a hand.

Say you have a horse who is 60 tall that is 15 hands, 61 inches is 15.1 Hands , 62 = 15.2, 63 = 15.3 and the big kicker 64 is 16 hands!!!

No horse is 15.7 or 16.9 or 13.8 hands high! Instead it would be 16.3, 18.1 and 15 hands!

I know its a little thing but it freaking kills me!!! I know I am no saint I do a million and five things that annoy the heck out of people. It just drives me crazy and today I have seen 9 adds on different sites for horses that have the crazy measuring systems!

Sorry all!

Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
2. ### AkaneOverrun With Chickens

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Jun 15, 2008
Do you have an issue with measuring things in feet? It's the exact same concept. A hand is 4" because that was the average width of a man's hand. You can't really stack feet to measure a horse when you don't have a tape measure. Really it's not complicated and I've done it one hand over the other in a few circumstances. Unfortunately my much smaller hands required some practice to figure out exactly how wide I had to spread my thumb to make up for the shorter width.

3. ### IlliaCrazy for Colors

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Oct 19, 2009
Forks, WA
Awww I thought you'd rant about MY pet peeve - People who exaggerate their horse's height.

Example - A neighbor who says, with absolute assurance, her Arab x Quarterhorses are 18 hands. BIG difference between 14 or 15 and 18. . .

There are so many people who do that too. Especially in sale ads. No, your horse does not look anywhere near 17 hands. . .

4. ### AkTomboyChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 21, 2009
Quote:Measuring in feet have nothing to do with this topic, much less stacking feet as you mentioned. No matter what you are measuring you should use the said standard for the item or risk sounding like you dont know what you are talking about.

It is the standard way of measuring any equine and if you are going to list a horse, mule, donkey or any other equine for sale and do not know the height, or how to measure your animal why would one think you know what you are talking about with the rest of what you have said?

5. ### AkTomboyChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 21, 2009
Quote:Yes Illia I have that one as well!!! Im glad im not alone in this, I do the very same at those adds.

6. ### arabianequineOverrun With Chickens

Apr 4, 2010
Learned this already here on byc but thank you!

7. ### greyhorsewomanChillin' With My Peeps

Mar 3, 2008
Endless Mts, NE PA
You can add me to your list ... especially the overestimating size. I know folks who SWEAR they'd never be able to ride a horse under 15 hands ... and the horse they are sitting on BESIDE me, is the same height as mine ... and mine is 14-1. DUH?

8. ### KansaseqPrairie Wolf Farm Asylum

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Feb 12, 2009
NE Kansas
Thank you--it drives me nuts to read that someone has a horse that is 16.5 hands tall--aaak!

9. ### 2DogsFarmChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 10, 2009
NW Indiana
Wait until you enter the Land of Ponies where the measure is in inches.
I know Hunter ponies still get measured officially in hands, but in the Driving World you don;t have a 13h pony, you have 52"

I've been "corrected" twice now by Hackney people when I mentioned my 12h pony.

I wonder how they'd refer to my other horse: 17h+ WB ?
68" ??

I say po-tay-toe
They say po-tah-toe
{shrugs}

10. ### patandchickensFlock Mistress

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Apr 20, 2007
16.5 is just a natural byproduct of people learning the decimal system It is awfully easy to interpret and says more about the bizarreness of using a period within a number to represent something *other than* a decimal point, than it does about people's stupidity or anything like that. (Basically it just tells you that the person is not a dyed-in-the-wool lifelong horse person, which you probably already figured out because those ads tend to contain other peculiarities as well <g>)

As far as I have ever been able to determine, other numbers following the period are likewise attempts to represent decimal fractions of a hand. So the person who represents their horse as "16.9" hands is probably thinking "gee, I'd like to say he's 17 hands but I don't think he really is, so lets call him *almost* 17 hands". (Mind you the actual horse is probably 15.1) And so forth.

I don't honestly see what practical difference it makes -- the whole "hands then a period then remainder inches" notation is unique to the European-origin horse world and pretty arbitrary, and the big PRACTICAL problem (which is what I figured the thread would probably be about ) is that nobody ever actually measures their horse (at least not properly) and thus everybody is convinced that your average basic horse is maybe 17 hands, with something *tall* going even bigger

So it boils down to: whatever height people advertise their horse as, is usually TOTALLY imaginary anyhow, so who cares what notation they use?

(Unfortunately you can't even use a consistant correction factor to read ads and figure out what size the horse really is, as there are just enough people out there who DO list their horses true height to throw a monkeywrench intot he works of any plan like that. Unfortunately you have to either see a photo of the horse next to a stick or known-height object, or go visit the horse yourself)

Pat