The height of a horse is measured in hands, and 1 hand is equal to 4 inches. The measurement should be taken from the ground vertically to the highest point of a horse’s withers.
However, there may be times when you need to know the corresponding measurement in meters, feet, or inches.
The table below will convert the height of your horse into both metric and imperial measurements (feet, inches, and centimeters).
One hand is equivalent to four inches which means it’s fairly simple to work out the number of inches yourself. If you don’t have the conversion table handy, you can use this calculation:
4 x WH + FH = number of inches
WH is the number of whole hands and FH is any fraction of a hand. Here’s how this would work in an example: 14.2 hands (4 x 14 = 56 + 2 = 58 inches)
Here is the height conversion chart for hands, feet, inches, and centimeters:
Why Horses Are Measured in Hands?
Horses are measured in hands because it is a traditional unit of measurement that has been used for centuries. The hand is thought to have originated with the Ancient Greeks, and has been used in various cultures around the world to measure length, height, and volume.
In the horse world, a hand is equal to 4 inches. Horses are measured from the ground to the highest point of the withers, which is the ridge between the shoulder blades. To measure a horse’s height, a measuring stick is placed vertically on the ground next to the horse’s withers, and the height is read off the stick in hands.
There are several reasons why horses are still measured in hands today. First, it is a very accurate unit of measurement. A hand is equal to 4 inches, which is a small enough increment to allow for very precise measurements. Second, it is a traditional unit of measurement that has been used for centuries, and horse people are comfortable with it. Finally, it is a convenient unit of measurement to use when buying and selling horses.
Horse buyers and sellers can easily compare the heights of different horses by simply looking at their hand measurements.
Here are some additional reasons why horses are measured in hands:
- It is a quick and easy way to measure a horse’s height, especially in the field.
- It is a more precise measurement than using inches or centimeters, as horses do not grow in even increments.
- It is a universal unit of measurement that is used by horse people all over the world.
While the metric system is now the standard unit of measurement in most countries, the hand remains the preferred unit of measurement for horses. This is likely due to the fact that it is a traditional unit of measurement that is well-established in the horse world.
Fun Fact: The tallest horse ever, a Shire called Sampson, was 21.25 hands!