The Weight of a Horse and Other Equine Facts

The horse is a fascinating creature. People at one time relied on these animals to help them travel and to help them do work around their homes.

What are some other interesting horse facts?

How Much Does A Horse Weigh?

Horses in Nature

Horses come in different sizes. There are about 350 breeds of horses known to man. The standard horse will weigh between 800 and 1,100 pounds. 

Horses are usually divided into categories of light or heavy for their breeds.

Different Breeds Will Weigh Different Amounts

                        Breed                    Weight
Clydesdales            1,700 lbs.  to 2,000+ lbs.
Percherons            1,700 lbs.  to 2,000+ lbs.
Belgians            1,700 lbs.  to 2,000+ lbs.
Shires            1,700 lbs.  to 2,000+ lbs.
Arabians              900 lbs. to 1,100 lbs.
Shetland Pony              300 lbs. to 900 lbs.
Haflinger            1,4002 pounds
Suffolk Punch              1600 lbs. to 1900 lbs.
Hackney Pony               500 lbs. to 800 lbs.
Morgan              900 lbs. to 1,100 lbs.

The Height of A Horse

If you know anything about horses you know their height is measured in hands not in inches or feet.

What is a hand and why are horses measured this way?

A hand is four inches.

Before there were tape measures and measurement tools people used their hands to measure the height of things like horses. They placed one hand on top of the other until they had a guestimate of how tall the animal, or object, was.

The use of hands to calculate horse height stuck and did not change after the measuring tools got more sophisticated.

What did change was in the 1500s a standard measurement was made for the hand. We all know human hands come in small, medium and large so there had to be one standard size that could be used by everyone.

The standardized length of a hand when referring to the height of a horse is four inches. That means a horse that stands 16 hands high is 64 inches or a little over five feet tall.

When you write down the height of a horse you write down 16.2 hh. The hh stands for hands high.

How Fast Do Horses Run

Beautiful palomino horse running in a field

At a gallop, the average horse can maintain about 27 mph. 

They can sprint for short distances at close to 55 mph.


The mares carry their young for 11 to 12 months. 

The baby weighs about 10% of what the mother weighs.

To protect the mother during birth the hooves on the baby are covered in a soft tissue. The tissue keeps the young hooves from being able to cut the mother from the inside.

This tissue is known by several different names.

  • Fairy slippers
  • Golden hooves
  • Foal slippers
  • Gills
  • Leaves
  • fingers

Did You Know?

  • The world’s biggest recorded horse was the Shire named Sampson. He stood 21 ½ hands high and he weighed 3,300 pounds.
  • The world’s smallest horse was a miniature or dwarf horse named Thumbelina. She stood 17 inches tall and weighed only 57 pounds.
  • A foal weighs about 10% of its mother’s birth weight. That means a 2000-pound horse will likely have a foal that weighs 200 pounds,
  • The smallest horse breed is the Falabella. They only stand 6 hh to 7 hh.
  • The fear of horses is called equinophobia.
  • Horses drink about five gallons of water daily. 
  • Horse produce as much as 10 gallons of saliva each day.
  • Male horses have 40 teeth in their mouths but the females have only 36.
  • The teeth in a horses mouth takes up more space than their brains do.
  • Horses have three eyelids. The third eyelid closes diagonally.
  • Horses have 10 muscles in their ears.
  • A horse skeleton has 205 bones.
  • A horse cannot vomit or regurgitate do to a band of muscles around their stomach
  • A racehorse named JJS Summer Breeze has the longest recorded tail. His tail measured 12 feet and 6 inches
  • There were no horses in Australia before 1788.
  • A horse’s brain weighs about one-half as much as a human brain.

Related Questions

How Long Do Horses Live?

On average a horse will live 25 to 30 years if they are properly cared for.

Do Horses Lie Down to Sleep?

Horses are unique animals that can sleep lying down or standing up.

Can A Horse Breathe Through Its Mouth?

No. Horses can only breathe through their noses.

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