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Assessing your horse's body weight

Using scales

If you have access to a set of horse weigh scales, you should weigh your horse on a regular basis. This helps you ensure your horse is within a healthy weight range and helps your vet to determine correct dosages of medications.

If your local feed mill has scales that you can drive onto, you can weigh the combined weight of your trailer + your horse, then subtract the weight of the empty trailer from this total to obtain your horse's weight.


Using a weight tape to assess your horse's weight

You can use a "weight tape", sourced from your vet or your feed supplier, to assess your horse's weight. Wrap the tape around the horse's girth directly behind the elbow and you will find the weight designated on the tape at the point where the ends overlap. This is not a particularly accurate method, but you can improve the accuracy by doing a calculation.

Measure the girth circumference directly behind the elbow, then measure the length of the horse from the point of its shoulder to the point of the “bum bone” (the ischium). Use the following equation to calculate your horse's weight.1


Reference: 1. Reavell DG.  Measuring and estimating the weight of horses with tapes, formulae and by visual assessment.  11, no.6 (1999): 314-317.