A few simple measurements can help you accurately determine your horse’s weight.

The most accurate way to determine weight is with a livestock scale or truck scale.  A livestock scale at an auction yard will be accurate. At a truck weighing station you can weigh your pulling vehicle and empty trailer, then weigh it with your horse in it, making sure the horse is the only change in cargo. Subtract the difference to determine the horse’s weight.

If there is no livestock or truck scale nearby that you can use, a weight tape (to measure the girth and read the estimated weight) can give a fairly close estimate. These tapes can often be obtained at a feed store. If you don’t have a weight tape, measure the horse’s girth with string (and then measure the string, to your mark on it) or a cloth measuring tape and use these estimates:  a girth circumference of 62 inches = 720 pounds, 64 inches = 790 pounds, 66 inches = 860 pounds, 68 inches = 930 pounds, 70 inches = 1,000 pounds, 72 inches = 1,070 pounds, 74 inches = 1,140 pounds, 76 inches = 1,210 pounds, 78 inches = 1,290 pounds, 80 inches = 1,370 pounds. But this kind of estimate (or weight tape) is not very accurate for horses with body builds different than “average.”

More accurate than a weight tape is a formula based on heart girth and body length. Measure the girth just behind the horse’s elbow, taking the reading right after the horse exhales. Measure his body length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, in a straight line. A plastic-coated tape works better than a cloth tape (which may stretch) or a metal carpenter’s tape. The metal tape is noisy and might spook the horse. You can also use a piece of cord or string that has no stretch, and mark the spot with a pen. Then measure the cord with a carpenter’s tape or a yardstick.

After taking the two measurements, multiply the heart girth (in inches) by itself (heart girth x heart girth), and then multiply that figure by the body length, in inches. Divide the total by 330 to give you the approximate weight of the horse. For example, if he measures 75 inches around the girth, and his body length is 64 inches, you would multiply 75 x 75 x 64 to come up with 360,000, which you would then divide by 330, to arrive at an approximate weight of 1,090.9 pounds.





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