## Measuring Horses in Hands (Honors)

Honors material explaining the tradition of measuring a horse in hands.

Measuring a horse in hands is a common practice in the equestrian world. This measurement is used to determine the height of a horse at the highest point of its withers, which is the point between the base of the neck and the back. The term "hands" is a unit of measurement used for horses, and it is equivalent to 4 inches or 10.16 centimeters. We will discuss how to measure a horse in hands and why it is important in the equestrian world. Measuring a horse in hands is a simple process that can be done with a measuring stick, also known as a "horse stick," or a measuring tape. To measure a horse in hands, stand the horse on a flat surface, such as concrete or a level surface. Position the measuring stick or tape at the base of the horse's neck, just behind the ears, and extend it along the horse's spine to the highest point of its withers. Read the measurement on the stick or tape, and round up or down to the nearest half or whole hand.

Hands are expressed in a decimal format, but it is not the equivalent to true decimals. Instead, a .1,.2, and .3 refer to additional inches. So a horse that is 14.1 hands would be 57 inches tall. (14 x 4) + 1.

It is important to measure a horse in hands because it can determine the horse's eligibility for certain classes or competitions, as well as help in selecting appropriate tack, such as a saddle, bridle, and girth. In addition, knowing a horse's height can be useful when selecting a breeding mate or determining the horse's weight.

In the United States, the most common method for measuring horses is by hands. However, in some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, horses are measured in centimeters. The conversion factor for measuring a horse in centimeters is 2.54, which means that 1 centimeter is equivalent to 0.1 hands.

The use of hands as a unit of measurement for horses has a long history dating back to ancient times. It is believed that the term "hands" originated from the width of a human hand, which was used as a standard unit of measurement. Over time, the hand measurement became standardized, and it is now recognized as the standard unit of measurement for horses in many countries.

Remember, measuring a horse in hands is an important practice in the equestrian world. It is a simple process that can be done with a measuring stick or tape, and it helps determine a horse's eligibility for certain classes or competitions, as well as aid in selecting appropriate tack and determining weight. The use of hands as a unit of measurement for horses has a long history and is now recognized as the standard unit of measurement for horses in many countries.

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From Lesson: Measuring Length

Learning Gig Lesson List: The Basics of Measurement Systems

From Learning Gig: The Basics of Measurement Systems