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How to weigh your horse without a scale | Groundmaster

How to Weigh Your Horse Without a Scale

Have you ever wondered just how much your horse weighs? How in the world are you going to get him on a scale?

I doubt that many of us have a scale big enough to accommodate a horse.  Probably not even a mini-pony!  

Comical horse standing on a tiny bathroom scale

Knowing how much your horse weighs is vital information for things like dosing medications, determining how much feed he needs, and giving dewormer.

It’s relatively easy to get a reasonable estimate of a horse’s weight without using a scale at all.  In this post, we’ll discuss 2 methods using common materials you probably have at home.

Use a “Weight Tape”

Weight tapes are easy to find at feed and tack stores. They are frequently given away by vendors at horse-related trade shows.  A weight tape often looks like this:

a photo of a white weight tape with black lettering and measurements

A weight tape is super easy to use and easy to use by yourself. 

  1. Hold the beginning end of the tape (near the large arrows) at the top point of his withers.
  2. Stand at your horse’s shoulder and place the rest of the tape over the horse’s back, letting it fall to the other side.
  3. Reach under the horse, behind his front legs, and grasp the tape. Be careful to remove all twists.  It should lay flat around the horse. You want the tape to be tight but not making an indention in the horse’s flesh.  (pushing in on winter hair is acceptable)

The approximate weight will be shown where the tape meets the large arrows.  In this example, our horse weighs somewhere between 1081 and 1097 pounds.

Use a Cloth Measuring Tape


Don’t have a weight tape?  You may have a cloth measuring tape in your home.  These are commonly used for sewing and taking human body measurements.  

This method is thought to be more accurate than the weight tape.  It requires a bit of math, so you might also need a piece of paper, a pencil, and a calculator.

You’ll take two measurements for this method, the girth and body length. 

  1. Measure the girth, just as you did with the weight tape, and write it down.  Charlie, our model horse, measures 75 inches.

2. Measure the body length.  You may need a helper for this task.  Measure from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump.

weigh horse measuring tape

(Note: this is different from how you measure for a winter blanket size, which is center of chest to center of the tail.) 

Charlie’s length measures 63 inches.

3. Insert those measurements into this formula, girth times girth times length, divided by 330.

weigh horse formula

Charlie’s weight using this method is 1,073 pounds.  Not too far off from the weight tape measurement!

Conclusion on how to weigh your horse without a scale

You don’t have to guess at how much to feed your horse or how much dewormer to use.  Instead, get a close estimate of his weight with one of these methods.    

Do you know how much your horse weighs?  Try these methods and let us know!  We’d love to hear from you!



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