Horses are measured in a unit called a "hand." Each hand equals 4 inches. This means that a single foot contains three hands. Horses are measured from the bottom of the hoof through the top of the shoulder just below the neck, an area called the withers.
Halter your horse and then use the leadrope to tie him to a sturdy location so he can't move around while you are trying to measure him. You can also have a helper hold the horse for you. Make sure your horse is standing on level ground.
Place your measuring tape on the ground at the bottom of one of your horse's front hooves. Stretch the tape upward until you have reached the very top of the withers. Make note of the number of inches between the bottom of your horse's hoof and the top of his withers.
Divide the number of inches by four. The resulting number is how many hands tall your horse is. The number may not divide evenly. For example, your horse may measure 62 inches, which results in 15 hands plus an additional 2 inches. In such a case, add a decimal point followed by the remainder. Your 62-inch horse is 15.2 hands tall.
- You can use a regular tape measure to measure your horse or you can use a specialty tape measure that measures in hands.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.