Average Size of a Horse
Horses' height and weight averages vary depending on breed, diet, and genetics. The Arabian horse measures 14.1 to 15.1 hands, while the Spotted Pony ranges from 8 to 14 hands in height.
The Biggest Horse in the World
Sampson, the Shire horse born in 1846, weighed 3,360 pounds at just four years old and measured over seven feet tall. He earned the nickname "Mammoth" due to his incredible size, which surpassed that of many cars.
Why are Horses Measured in Hands?
Horses were measured in hands because there were no other units of measurement in ancient times. King Henry VIII standardized a hand as four inches, measured at the withers, for buying and selling purposes.
Exploring Large Horse Breeds: The Shire and More
The Shire breed is a draft and farm animal originating in England, standing at an average of 17 hands tall and weighing up to 2,000 pounds, with other large horse breeds also discussed.
The Suffolk Punch
The critically endangered Suffolk Punch is England's oldest horse breed, standing between 16.1 and 17.2 hands high and weighing 2000 to 2200 pounds, known for their strength, adaptability, and agreeable nature.
Clydesdales, originating in Scotland, weigh between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds and are 16 to 18 hands high. They have a similar appearance to the Shire and are recognized for their intelligence, adaptability, and peaceful nature. They are famous as the mascot for Budweiser beer ads.
Belgian horses are a powerful draft breed originating in Belgium, weighing 2,100-2,300 pounds and standing 16.2-17 hands tall. They are known for their reliability, intelligence, and calm temperament.
Percheron horses are versatile, adaptable, and gentle working horses suitable for parades, shows, and riding, weighing between 1,800 to 2,200 pounds and standing 16.2 to 17.3 hands tall.