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Horse Facts and Tips
First Posted: Mar 27, 2008
Mar 24, 2011

Estimate Your Horse's Weight

There are special measuring tapes that you can buy that will help you estimate your horse's weight, however, the following is a formula to use if you do not have one.

  • You will need a piece of paper, pen or pencil, and a tape measure of some sort.
  • Heart Girth - Measure the horse's heart girth by placing an inch tape measure around the horse's body about 4" behind the front legs. (Circumference) Pull so there is no slack. The horse should be standing squarely. The head should be upright. An easy way to do this, if you are alone, is to put your horse in cross-ties. Record measurement.
  • Body Length - Measure your horse's body length. Measure body length from the shoulder straight back along the horses side to the center of the tail bone. Record measurement.


Using the formula below, "plug in" your results.

Heart girth width_____ multiplied by_____heart girth width multiplied by horse's length_____ divided by 300. Then add 50 = approximate horse's weight.

So if the horse had a heart girth of 70, and a length of 60 the calculation would look like this:

Heart girth width 70 times heart girth width 70 times the horse's length 60 divided by 300. Add 50. That is the horse's approximate weight.

70 x 70 x 60 = 294,000/ divided by 300 = 980/ +50 = 1030 lbs. This is suppose to be accurate within 3%. Different breeds carry more muscle mass and larger bone. For example, a Thoroughbred versus a Quarter Horse or Draft Breed.

Health Problems in Overweight Horses

Research is showing that over weight horses tend to develop health problems. Obesity in Horses

  • Increased stress on the heart and lungs
  • Greater risk of laminitis or founder
  • Increased risk of developmental orthopedic (bone and joint) problems in young, growing horses
  • More strain on feet, joints, and limbs
  • Arthritis
  • Temperature regulation problems
  • Fat build-up around key organs which interferes with normal function
  • Reduced reproductive efficiency
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue

How to Measure Heart Girth and Length

A Patchy and Debbie

This is quicker, but not quite as accurate.

Measurements are in:inchescentimeters

Girth: Length: 

Horse Facts and Tips