Official Horse Measuring

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Indigo King, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Indigo King

    Indigo King New Member

    So I thought I would share my experience and see what some other people think about the situation.

    This time last year I had my 4 year old mare officially measured at 15.3 3/4, and was told by the measurer that she still had quite a bit of growing to go.

    Yesterday I had her measured now at 5 years old, and she had definitely grown!! Which is why I was getting her measured again out of curiosity to see how much she had grown in 1 year (I don't show, so just getting measured out of curiosity and to be able to know).

    Soo anyway they finished measuring her and they said she is 15.2 3/4. I asked why such a big difference and the measurer wasnt very happy to answer any questions but the assistant who was lovely said it may be because she was more tense last time she got measured etc and I stated if anything she was more relaxed last year than this year.

    I continued to ask what could have made an inch difference when she has clearly grown and they could not answer my question.

    Since talking to a few other people, someone who had their horse measured at 16.1 (who infact was actually approx 16.3-17 hands) then measured again by someone else as 17 hands.

    A woman who got her horse measured last year the same time as I got my mare measured got a result of 15.3 1/2 and her horse was clearly taller than mine, he was about the height of my gelding (give or take) who was 16.1.

    So just how accurate are the measurer and can we really trust their measurements??

    I am a tad confused at the moment :/
  2. Topcat

    Topcat New Member

    I doubt it is a mistake on the measurer's part - they're all well qualified and it's a pretty simple process: stand the horse in the measuring bay, place the spirit level and guage on the horses wither, wait till spririt level is in right place, read out measurement.

    Heights can vary widely from measurement to measurement. One of my geldings measured 3/4 inch SHORTER this year as a 5yo than he he did last year as a 4yo. When he got measured this year he still looked tense. But what is important is WHICH muscles WHERE are tense.

    Your boy may looked relaxed but if he had muscles along his back or neck which in turn caused his wither to measure up higher (or lower if he is more relaxed in those muscles) you will get varying measurements.

    Lots of things can affect the final measurement including:

    * Length of feet - if he's recently trimmed he'll measure shorter
    * Hydration levels - horses who are more dehydrated will 'slump' and measure shorter while those with higher levels of hydration will measure higher
    * Fatigue - tired/relaxed horses will measure shorter, fresh horses will measure higher
    * Placement of feet - horses should be standing square but if yours refuses and you still insist on a certificate, position of the feet under the body will affect final height measurement
    * position of the neck - if the neck/head is carried higher above the wither, final measurement will be higher. If the neck/head is held lower below the wither, final measurement will be lower.

    So as you can see with so many variables, it has very little to do with the measurer themselves, and a lot more to do with the factors mentioned above.

    As a result of the factors above, there are some who will deliberately leave their horses feet long, hype it up and hold their horses head as high up as the measurer allows them to get a higher reading so they are eligible for large hack rather than small hack classes, for instance. Conversely, I have heard of others lunging their pony for a while to fatigue it, withholding water and ensuring the feet are recently trimmed to ensure it measures UNDER a particular height. Obviously the ethics of some of this is pretty dubious but there is no question that it all affects the final height measurement.

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