How To Weigh a Horse

Weighing your horse is important for a number of reasons, primarily for health monitoring and working out feed levels. Here is how to weigh a horse!

Weighing your horse with a tape measure

You can use a tape measure to measure the girth and length of your horse and apply it to a formula to get an approximate weight for your horse.

  • Using the tape measure, place it just behind the withers and pass it underneath the horse around the girth, just behind the shoulders and elbows. Take your measurement.
  • Now measure the length of your horse which is measured from the point of an elbow to the point of a buttock. Take your measurement.
  • To calculate the weight of the horse, follow the fairly simple formula below.

(Girth x Girth x Length) / 11,877 = Weight (kg)

So times the girth measurement by itself, then times this number by the length measurement. Divide it all by 11,877 and you end up with a weight in kilograms.

Weighing your horse with a weight tape

This is much more simple that using a regular tape measure. Simply measure the horse's girth (remembering to wrap it around the horse just behind the withers and shoulders). The equine weight tape will give you an approximate weight measurement that won't need calculating further.

Weighing your horse on an equine weighbridge

Just like our bathroom scales, an equine weighbridge will tell you the weight of your horse very quickly. They aren't that common so you will probably need to travel some distance to your nearest one. They are often used to also weigh your horse transport fully laden.

Why is it important to know a horse's weight?

You should be aware of the weight of your horse for the following reasons:

  • You should be aware of a rapid drop in weight as this may be due to illness
  • To work out the quantity or volume of food required when feeding your horse
  • For transportation purposes - different trailers and lorries will take certain load limits
  • If your horse requires any drugs or medication, the amount is normally based on what your horse weighs
  • Knowing your horse's weight should give you an indication as to whether or not they are receiving enough exercies

NOTE - these methods only give a rough estimate of the weight of your horse.

Knowing the exact weight of your horse can be more critical in other circumstances, for example, during pregnancy. If you are unsure what to do, consult your vet.

Remember that thing like uneven ground, a think winter coat or a poor quality measuring tape can all distort the estimated weight of your horse.