To keep horses happy, it’s important to prioritize monitoring their weight on a regular basis. After all, weight can help you accurately monitor your horse’s health, which can dramatically improve their lifestyle.
While the average horse weighs around 800-2500 pounds, it’s important to evaluate your horse’s weight on its own. Weight can vary based on age, breed, and overall environment, so every individual horse’s ideal weight will be different.
Below, we’ll go over some common horse weight FAQS so that you can monitor your horse’s health appropriately.
How to Determine a Horse’s Weight
Measuring a horse’s weight is no easy task considering their massive size. Luckily, there are a number of ways to weigh your horse safely and effectively. Here are some of the most common methods:
You can get affordable weight tape from a local or online feed store. While tape isn’t entirely accurate, it’ll give you a good idea of your horse’s weight range. Moreover, you can purchase specialized tapes catered to your horse’s specific body type.
Using a livestock scale to measure your horse’s weight is by far the most accurate method. While you may not have one in on your property, veterinarians clinics often have access to these scales.
Similarly to the weight tape method, you can use a vetted weight chart to help you approximate your horse’s weight based on their dimensions.
How Much Does a Horse Weigh at Birth?
Foals have different needs than adult horses, so it’s imperative that you monitor their weight along with the rest of your health. Generally speaking, a foal will weigh about 10% of the adult horse’s weight. Therefore, if your 1000 pound horse gives birth, the foal is likely 100 pounds.
Young horses can be weighed in the same manner as adults with weight tape, a livestock scale, or by estimating with measurements.
How Much Does a Horse Weigh On Average?
While every horse is different, there are a couple of average weight ranges to look out for based on your horse’s breed. Weight is highly dependent on your horse’s age, level of exercise, and muscle mass.
Common Horse Breed Weight Averages
Clydesdale — Anywhere from 1700 to 2000 pounds
Quarter Horse — Anywhere from 1000 to 1300 pounds
Thoroughbred — Anywhere from 880 to 1300 pounds
Arabian — Anywhere from 800 to 1000 pounds
How Much Does a Race Horse Weigh?
Racehorses are typically smaller, fitter horse breeds than show breeds. For this reason, a racehorse is more often than not a thoroughbred. Thanks to its light build, these horses usually end up clocking in at right around 1000 pounds. Racehorses will eat and exercise differently than other horses, which can also contribute to their notably lightweight size.
How Much Should My Horse Weigh?
Your horse’s weight depends on a variety of factors including age, breed, and level of general physical activity. When your horse is a foal, they should start at about 10% of the mare’s body weight. As they grow older, your horse should fall within the bracket of their breed’s weight average.
However, there can be outliers, and this isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. The best course of action to take is to visit your veterinarian for a thorough assessment of your horse.
How Much Should a 16hh Horse Weigh?
You or your colleagues might refer to your horse’s weight in terms of hands, or hh. A hand measures about 4-inches, so a 16hh horse would be about 64 inches tall. With this information, you can estimate that a 16hh horse should weigh around 1100-1300 pounds. However, remember that every horse is different and should be evaluated on an individual basis.
How Much Does a Thoroughbred Horse Weigh?
Thoroughbreds are usually suited for acting as race or utility horses. Hence, they end up weighing lighter than the average horse. A thoroughbred horse will weigh in at somewhere around 900 to 1100 pounds. Of course, individual variations are possible based on your horse’s diet, exercise, and daily routine.
How Much Does a Quarter Horse Weigh?
The quarter horse is a highly diverse horse breed that can weigh anywhere ranging from 950 to 1,200 pounds. These horses are occasionally used for racing and can be found in lighter varieties for the purpose.
When Are Horses Considered Obese?
It’s important to monitor your horses carefully to ensure that they do not become obese. Obesity can lead to a whole host of other health issues. Luckily, there are a couple of clear methods that calculate whether or not your horse is obese without fail.
1. Ideal Body Weight Comparison
You can quickly determine your horse’s current weight with the above methods or utilize the Healthy Horse App developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota. With this knowledge, you can compare the weight of your horse to the breed’s ideal body weight, and adjust your horse’s routine if needed.
2. Cresty Neck Indicator
Horse owners have learned that the level of fat around a horse’s neck can be a pre determining factor of neck diseases. To keep your horse healthy, your horse should have a cresty neck “score” (see below) of no larger than 2(source).
3. Girth To Height Ratio
Another way to monitor your horse’s health is by figuring out the girth to height ratio. To do this, you’ll need to divide the girth measurement of your horse by the height measurement. Ideally, your horse’s ratio is no greater than 1.26.
4. Talk To Your Veterinarian
When in doubt, take a trip to the vet. Your horse will be better for it and you’ll be able to conclusively check-in on your horse’s health.
Monitoring Your Horse’s Weight Is Essential
Hopefully, this horse weight guide brought you one step closer to determining your horse’s weight on a regular basis. Doing so will not only make your horse healthier and therefore happier, but it will also give you invaluable peace of mind. Enjoy bonding with your horse in an entirely new way.