Horse Weight Calculator

By Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate
Last updated: Jul 25, 2021

Welcome to Omni's horse weight calculator where we'll try to estimate the Arabian, stock horse, or pony weight, together with the ideal one. Scientific journals have multiple articles on the topic, each trying to perfect the formula and get the best result possible. Nevertheless, remember that horses greatly differ between species and breeds, so all we can hope for here is an estimate and not a flawless result. Still, it's amazing how accurately we can estimate the average horse weight with the right mathematical and statistical tools.

So, how heavy is a horse, exactly?

How heavy is a horse?

Obviously, it depends on the breed. Clearly, Arabians are, in general, heavier than ponies or miniature horses since (surprise, surprise) they are a bit larger.

Still, even horses that are similar in size can differ in weight. Breeds can have a different distribution of fat in their bodies, which translates to different measurements. For instance, Arabians are, in general, rather lean, so the average horse weight in their case is around 1,000 lbs (or around 450 kg), while their average horse height is 60 in (or 150 cm). For comparison, a Shire horse (no, not the Shire from The Lord of the Rings) can be twice as heavy and even taller, with their average horse height being almost 70 in (or 180 cm).

What we wish to say here is the following:

🐎 Omni's horse weight calculator gives an estimate. In other words, the actual weight strongly depends on the breed, age, etc. Consult your vet for more precise information.

That being said, there has been extensive study on how to estimate a horse's weight. Scientists are continuously working on perfecting the formulas, and our tool uses a quite recent one.

Make sure to check if your buddy is somewhere around the average horse weight.

Do you need any other horse tools? You may want to try our mare gestation calculator.

Ways to estimate the horse or pony weight

Usual horse weight formulas use three measurements: height, length, and girth circumference. In a study from 2014, K. L. Martinson et al. suggested adding a fourth one: neck circumference. Then, based on a study of 629 horses and ponies that were:

  • Not pregnant;
  • 3 years or older; and
  • Measured at least 112 cm in height,

they developed (through polynomial regression) a formula that estimated their weight. It reads:

EBW (kg) = [girth (cm)1.486 * length (cm)0.554 * height (cm)0.599 * neck (cm)0.173] / div

where,

  • EBW is the estimated body weight; and
  • div is a divisor equal to 3,596, 3,606, and 3,441 for Arabians, ponies, and stock horses, respectively.

Additionally, the study dealt with the so-called body condition scoring (or BCS for short): an objective scoring system to evaluate the amount of fat on a horse's body. After all, "How heavy is a horse?" is as important a question as "How much should a horse weigh?" And what's the answer to the second?

Ideal horse/pony weight

In the above section's formula, the girth and neck circumferences are the only numbers that distinguish underweight and overweight horses, while the height and length are constant. Therefore, it's the latter two that we should use to determine the ideal horse weight, and, indeed, K. L. Martinson et al. do just that:

IBW (kg) = [length (cm) * 2.8] + [height (cm) * 4.2] – sub

where,

  • IBW is the ideal body weight; and
  • sub is a subtrahend equal to 611, 606, and 577 for Arabians, ponies, and stock horses, respectively.

Alright, let us now put the formulas to the test! We'll explain how to use Omni's horse weight calculator on a nice example and see what we get.

Example: using the horse weight calculator

Let's find out what the tool says for an equine with more or less the average horse weight and the average horse height. For that, we need the four measurements given in the calculator and described in the picture at the top. However, to be on the safe side, let's say a few words about measuring each:

  1. Height (A) - From the ground to the third thoracic vertebra.
  2. Neck circumference (B) - Halfway between the poll and withers.
  3. Girth circumference (C) - At the base of the mane hairs.
  4. Body length (D) - From the point of the shoulder along a line perpendicular to the point of the buttock.

(Note, how it's enough to input only the first and last values to compute the ideal body weight, while the estimated one requires all four.)

Recall that the formulas from the above section were done in centimeters. Nevertheless, our imperial friends out there can have inches and pounds in the horse weight calculator - the tool will convert them and display the result whichever way the user wishes.

Suppose that our horse has the following measurements:

height = 58 in;

neck circumference = 36 in;

girth circumference = 70 in; and

body length = 58 in.

Once we give input the numbers, the horse weight calculator will tell us that

estimated weight = 933.6 lbs; and

ideal weight = 926.5 lbs.

Only seven pounds difference? Seems like our horse is doing just fine! Do you think we're ready to invite our date over and offer them a ride?

A horse will always have your back.

FAQ

How much does a horse weigh?

It depends. Different breeds not only differ in size but also in the distribution of fat in their bodies. For instance, Arabians usually weigh around 1,000 lbs (or 450 kg), while some of the heaviest breeds like the Shire horse can reach twice that.

How much does my horse weigh?

To estimate your horse's weight, you need to:

  1. Measure its height.
  2. Measure its neck circumference.
  3. Measure its girth circumference.
  4. Measure its body length.
  5. If needed, convert the above to centimeters.
  6. Use the formula EBW = [girth1.486 × length0.554 × height0.599 × neck0.173] / div, where
    • div = 3,596 for Arabians;
    • div = 3,606 for ponies; and
    • div = 3,441 for stock horses.
  7. EBW is the horse's estimated body weight in kilograms.

How much does a pony weigh?

It depends. Obviously, breeds differ in size, but they may also have a different distribution of fat in their bodies. For example, Shetland ponies weigh over 400 lbs (or 180 kg), while quarter ponies can reach twice that.

How do I make my horse lose weight?

It'd be best to consult your vet for advice, but in general, you can try to:

  • Increase the amount of exercise;
  • Reduce high-calorie concentrates;
  • Reduce high-fat supplements;
  • Feed them grass or hay instead of legumes; or
  • Limit the time the horse spends out at pasture.

How do I help my horse gain weight?

It'd be best to consult your vet for advice, but in general, you can try to:

  • Check if it isn't an underlying health problem;
  • Increase the amount of hay;
  • Introduce alfalfa to their diet;
  • Try performance feed products;
  • Introduce high-fat supplements; or
  • Allow them 24/7 access to the pasture.
Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate
Type
Arabian
The measurements to calculate horse weight.
Horse's measurements
Height (A)
in
Neck circumference (B)
in
Girth circumference (C)
in
Body length (D)
in
Result
Actual weight
lb
Ideal weight
lb
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