How Much Does A Horse Weigh? (And Other Useful Information)


If you are thinking about buying a horse, or if you want to know how much a horse weighs so that you can make sure that yours is a healthy weight, then you have come to the right place. Here you can find out everything you need to know about horses, how much they weigh on average and what factors go into their total weight.

So, how much does a horse weigh?

The average horse will weigh between 900 and 2,000 pounds. This will depend on the size and the breed. A racing-fit thoroughbred will weigh between 900 and 1,100 pounds. A Clydesdale on the other hand will come in between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds.

Infographic On Different Types Of Horses And Their Weight Plus How Much The Most Popular Horses Weigh

Why Does Weight Matter?

There are a few good reasons why you should know how much your horse weighs. Aside from general interest, knowing how much your horse weighs will help you to determine how much they should be eating.

Each horse is different, so if you know their weight and lifestyle, this can help you work out how much they should be eating. The average fully-grown horse will eat around 20lbs of hay a day.

Horses consume 2.5% of their total weight in food every day, so obviously this is a very important factor if you want your horse to be healthy. Don’t forget about hydration either. Horses need between 5 and 15 gallons of clean water a day.

How Do I Find My Horse’s Weight?

If you want to find your horse’s weight, then you need to use this formula. This formula has been developed by the University of Texas. You essentially need to do the heart girth multiplied by the heart girth. When you have done this, times it by the body length. This number then needs to be divided by 330. This will give you your horse’s total measurement in pounds.

The heart girth measurement is very easy to do. Take a measuring tape and measure around the horse’s girth. You need to do this from the highest point, going just around the elbows. For the body length, do this from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock.

Why Should We Know A Horse’s Weight?

Knowing a horse’s weight is very important. If you are able to know and understand your horse’s weight, then this will help you to understand any seasonal changes.

Horses have a tendency to lose weight in the winter, as forage isn’t as available and their calorific needs increase. Horses need extra calories at this time, and usually, this will come from high-quality hay. Monitoring calories in the summertime is also important, as they will have more access to grass which can lead them to put on extra fat.

Knowing your horse’s weight can easily help you to flag health issues as well as helping you to determine what medication they should be taking. Mis-dosing can have severe consequences, so you need to make sure that you avoid this if possible. If you want to help yourself, check out this horse weight calculator.

How Much Should My Horse Weigh?

The average horse should weigh around 1,000 pounds. A draft horse can double this amount.   If you are concerned about your horse being under or overweight, then look at this checklist:

Spine– You should not be able to see your horse’s spine. If you can, they are too thin.

Ribs– You should be able to feel the horse’s ribs but not see them.

Tailhead– You should not be able to see the tailhead.

Withers– You should not be able to see the withers of your horse.

Neck– The bone structure shouldn’t be visible for your horse.

How Much Does a Quarter Horse Weigh?

The average US quarter horse can weigh up to 1250lbs. It’s important to know that quarter horses have a large variance in size, even within the breed. Quarter horses tend to be small, powerful, quick and able to work all day. They are around 15 hands high, and quarter horses tend to have a much denser bone structure when compared to other horses.

How Much Does a Clydesdale Horse Weigh?

Adult male Clydesdales tend to measure up to 19 hands. The male’s average weight stands at around 1,700 to 2,200lbs. Adult females, on the other hand, tend to weigh around 1,500lbs to 2,000lbs. The Clydesdale is very strong, with a barrel chest that was bred originally for hauling and farm work.

How Much Does a Friesian Horse Weigh?

An average Friesian horse weighs approximately 1300 lbs. Geldings can weigh slightly more, but the mare counterparts can be a little less. A Friesian is around 15 hands and needs to measure this to be registered in an adult studbook, and has to be a minimum of 15.3 hands by the time they turn the age of four.

How Much Does a Mustang Horse Weigh?

A Mustang horse can weigh on average between 700 and 1,000 lbs and can measure approximately between 12 and 14 hands. A Mustang horse is considered one of the smaller breeds and is classed by the US government as a feral breed. A very popular breed of horse for livestock.

How Much Does A Miniature Horse Weigh?

So, how much does a horse weigh if it’s a miniature breed? Miniature horse enthusiasts tend to use inches, as opposed to hands when measuring a horse.

The American Association for Miniature Horses only counts horses as miniature if they measure under 8.5 hands or 34 inches.  There are also two divisions. There are “A” division miniatures, which measure around 8.5 hands, and there are “B” miniatures, which weigh up to 9.5 hands. Miniature horses, on average, weigh between 150 and 350lbs.

How Much Does A Draft Horse Weigh?

Draft breeds range from 16 to 19 hands high. The weight varies from 1,400lbs to 2,000lbs. Draft horses are usually crossbred with light riding horses. This adds height and weight to the offspring, helping to increase both the power and the scope for the offspring.

How Much Does A Full-Grown Horse Weigh?

The average horse weighs anywhere between 900 and 2,000lbs. A lot of this comes down to the breed and the size. A thoroughbred may weigh between 900 and 1,100lbs, but the average Clydesdale comes in at 1,800 to 2,000lbs. Ponies can range from 200lbs for a Shetland or 1,400lbs for a Haflinger.

How Much Does A Horse Head Weigh?

Did you know that a horse’s head weighs around 10% of the animal’s total body mass? A matured horse comes in between 900 and 2,200 pounds, so it’s safe to say that horses heads are very heavy.

The Biggest horse on record

The biggest horse ever to exist was born in Bedfordshire, England. He was bred by Thomas Cleaver in 1846.

The horse was of the Shire breed, which is commonly tall with extreme strength. His name was Sampson, later changed to Mammoth due to his immense size. As a foal in 1846, Mammoth measured around 21 hands, which equals around 7 ft 2.5 inches. Just four years later in 1850, he grew to 22 hands and an impressive 3,360 lbs.

There is also a great article on this site about the 6 biggest horse breeds. These are the biggest horse breeds in the world!

The Smallest horse on record

Opposingly, the smallest horse on record measured at 17.5 inches tall. The miniature dwarf horse was called Thumbelina and was born in St. Louis, America. She weighed just 26 kg. At the age of 17, she sadly passed away in 2018. Below is a picture of Thumbelina.

How Much Does A Race Horse Weigh?

The average weight of a typical racehorse is around 1,100 pounds. They can range from 900lbs all the way up to 1,300lbs. The size can be between 15 hands and 16.3 hands.

How Much Does A Gypsy Vanner Horse Cost?

Gypsy Vanners are very sought-after. They have stunningly long manes and tails. They are also known for having a lot of feathering.

Gypsy Vanner horses tend to cost anywhere from $10,000 and $40,000. They are still somewhat rare in northern America. The price of a trained show horse can be between $45,000 and $60,000. Factors can include the bloodline, the color, show record and the conformation.

The age will also play a part in the price of a Gypsy Vanner. Gypsy Vanners are also known as being Gypsy Cobs or Gypsy Horses. They are from Great Britain originally, but they have gained a lot of popularity over the years due to their elegant and sturdy builds.

What Factors Contribute To Horse Weight?

There are many factors that contribute to the weight of a horse. Some of them include the bone density of the horse, age, bloodline and activity level. You also have the muscle vs fat mass of the horse and any existing health conditions.

The breed of a horse can also be a major factor in their overall weight. A racehorse that weighs 1400lbs would be classed as being very overweight, but for a Clydesdale, this would be classed as being very underweight.

When assessing the weight of your horse, you have to take into account the breed. Using the weight formula listed earlier in this article will help you to determine whether or not your horse is under or overweight for its size and build.

All About Body Condition Scoring

Maintaining your horse’s weight can be a challenge to say the least, so you have to make sure that you provide them with the right diet. Your horse’s weight can fluctuate depending on the season, the amount of food they are eating and the total exercise they’re getting.

What is Fat Scoring?

Fat scoring is a good way for you to find out your horse’s fat covering. It will also help you to determine if your horse is a healthy weight or not.

There are three areas that you need to consider here, which include the neck, the body and the hindquarters. You will need to use your hands to determine what is muscle and what is fat. Fat will feel mainly spongy, but muscle will feel firmer.

Crest fat, which is dangerous, will start to feel hard, and it will be very difficult to move from side to side. This guide will help you to determine which category your horse falls into. Your horse should fall between category 2 and 3.

Why is Being Overweight Dangerous for a Horse?

Worryingly, around 50% of horses are overweight. Horses that carry too much fat are at a much higher risk of developing EMS, arthritis or even laminitis. This can be very detrimental to a horse’s health, and it can also really impact their welfare.

Research has shown that weight gain doubles the risk of laminitis occurring, showing how important it is to regularly maintain your horse’s weight.

EMS and the Link with Fat ScoringHorses that have Cushing’s Disease can be very hard to fat score. This is because horses that have EMS tend to have fat all throughout their body. They may also have a pot-bellied appearance even though their ribs are visible.

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