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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
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    Albany NY
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    5,490

    Default Anyone actually ever WEIGH their horse?

    I am wondering something I have wondered since I was a kid. When people have been talking about the ratio between their own weight and their horses' weights, they have been giving a weight to their horses, like say 1000 pounds, or 1200 or sometimes 1500 pounds. I realize there is some kind of measurement test people do to estimate the weight of their horse, but I wonder how accurate that is? Has anyone ever actually taken their horse to scales and weighed the trailer with the horse on and off the scales? I guess its risky to take a horse on and off the trailer at some place with truck scales, but still I wonder if anyone ever has and if so, how did the actual weight of the horse in such circumstances compare to whath the owner previously thought was the weight of their horse?

    When I was young, I had a 17 hand OTTB mare who I thought was surely 1200 pounds. I was told by a vet she was 950 pounds, and other horsemen said she was likely around 950 pounds. She was big boned but racing weight, a very hard keeper and I rarely really got good weight on her, despite feeding her everything I could think of. My girlfriend had a Hancock/Venture )Actually, that was his name, Hancock Venture!!) bred QH who the vet said was 1000 pounds at 15.3, so visually the weight guesstimates made sense to me.

    But I see on this board folks claiming their horses are 1200 and 1500 pounds, and while the horse is clearly fat, I wonder how accurate we really are when we guess the weight of our horses? Anyone have any considerations on the topic?
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    1,108

    Default

    I often weigh my horses. The local feed mill would let me ride on the scales and give me a weight. My little arab Strider who carried me weighed 870 pounds and carried me at a riding weight of 220 pounds for 17 years without missing a beat.
    Shadow was 975 pounds.
    You should not exceed 25% of your horses weight to be successful in 100 mile runs but at 50 miles Strider was fine.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2009
    Posts
    758

    Default

    I've often wondered about the accuracy of the tapes. Seems like they should almost be "breed specific".

    I have a horse that was taping at 1125. Nobody thought he was much over 1000 if any (vet, farrier, etc.). He had to spend the night in the horsepital one time and stepped on the scale @ 1138.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    All you have to do is load them up in the trailer and take them to the local feed mill. Walk them on the scale and you'll know exactly how much they weigh. Our mill doesn't charge if you're a regular customer. I haven't weighed mine yet, but the guy at the mill said people are always surprised to find that their horse weighs more than the weight tapes usually say. He said its very common for competition pullers to bring their drafts in for weights during pulling season.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    9,948

    Default

    My horses were weighed at the NC Vet School a couple of years ago. I was right on with my guessitmate that the pony was around 750 pounds, but less so with my horse. My 16 hand gelding was 1175 pounds at the time, and I had guessed 1100. He is 70-75% blood and built like a TB. Not at all fat at the time either.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Albany NY
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    Default

    Wow, interesting! Maybe I was more right than the guessers with my oldl mare. Well who knows, it was all guessing. But thatnks for the testimonies. I often wonder how much those pulling ponies are, AT. Did they say?
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,635

    Default

    I worked in a vet hospital and every patient admitted got weighed.

    For awhile I started taping some of them for comparison. I taped a mix of horses from fat broodmares to fit racehorses to foals to ponies and so on. I was surprised how accurate the the weight tape was. All of them were within 50 pounds of the tape's reading, most were within 25 pounds or less. When you're talking about a thousand pound animal, I think that's pretty darn good.

    Of course, I've heard plenty of stories of crazy outliers with deceiving conformation that tape hundreds of pounds high or low.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    When Dumplin' got here I taped him and came up with 250 pounds. He had lots of puff and did have that rolly polly sheltland look about him, but I worked for a vet and am a pretty good judge of weight so I went with the tape since it looked right to me.

    Several people said "he's nearly 300, maybe 290". But I stuck my ground and based his feed on that weight because he looked perfect to me under all that fur.

    Took him to Cornell and he was weighed....250 on the nose!!!!
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Not everyone has easy access to a scale.

    Weight tapes are notorious for being off, in the low direction - bad news for deworming

    I have had 2 horses weighed on the scale at the NCSU vet school. One horse was pretty darn close - scale said 1330 or so, and the weight tape said 1320. But the other one tapes lower than the scale said by about 150lb.

    The difference, I feel, is that the first horse - sturdy TB gelding, was pretty proportional in leg vs body mass. The 2nd horse - WB gelding, has a taller leg compare to the depth/width of his body. So, the more proportional the body, the more likely the tape is to be closer to accurate, but a smaller body compared to the overall horse is more likely to tape at a lower weight.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
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    Default

    I've found the tape to be off much as much as several hundred pounds for some critters. If you don't have a feed mill or vet who will let you use their scale, you can go with the trailer (empty) to the highway weigh station, and then go back with horsie on board. Not as accurate, but pretty close.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    you can go with the trailer (empty) to the highway weigh station, and then go back with horsie on board. Not as accurate, but pretty close.
    Do you take into account the gas loss from pulling the trailer back and forth:
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherRound View Post
    I often wonder how much those pulling ponies are, AT. Did they say?
    The mill owner didn't say, but it would be sure interesting to see wouldn't it! Those horses are so huge and all muscle, wow.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2008
    Location
    Sealy, Texas
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    78

    Default

    I get my drafts weighed at Texas A&M. I'm usually pretty close in my guesstimate. I was off on our BIG gelding...I thought for sure he was over 2000.....but he weighed in a paltry 1910 lbs

    Steve



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    Default

    My mare weight tapes at 1050lbs.

    On a scale she weighs 1250.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
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    3,823

    Default

    My vet tapes my horse twice a year. He is looking fabulous now and his body score went from 4+ to 6 but the weight tape stayed the same.

    I have a beef cattle weight tape which I use not for an accurate measurement (unless I want to eat him. . .never mind) but rather a precise measurement so I can see if he is gaining or losing. But after the last visit when he had clearly gained weight, I have stopped.

    When I was a cowgirl we had a scale for the cattle and I used to weigh my horse and myself all the time. not much to do in the high country of Colorado!
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2007
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    Behind the Orange Curtain
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    Default

    There are several studies on the accuracy of various formulas- there was one article that listed a bunch of formulas, and being a math nut I put them all into an excel spreadsheet, did the measurements, and calculated them all. It was pretty interesting!

    Some of them use heartgirth squared, some use various linear calculations of heartgirth and height, some use heartgirth, height, and length. The heartgirth squared methods, I think, would overestimate a super bulky draft type like mine (I believe those calcs were in the 1600-1700 lb range for my horse, and this is the calculation used on some weight tapes) but research shows they are pretty accurate for horses of average build. I ended up taking an average and median, and estimated my big horse to be 1400-1500 lbs. http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/horseweight.html uses a heartgirth/length measurement, and would put him at closer to 1650.

    The range on the big one was pretty wide- from 1250-1700 lbs, I think (don't have the spreadsheet in front of me). The range was smaller on the little one- 750-900, I believe. I worm them based on 1400 and 800 lbs.

    I'd be really interested in getting them weighed and seeing how accurate those numbers are! The calcs are clearly quite variable.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colo.
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    4,830

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Do you take into account the gas loss from pulling the trailer back and forth:
    Ah, well if you want to be really anal about it you can fill up the tank, weigh the rig, go home, drop off horse, return, refill your tank and weigh rig again.

    But the scales at the rock yard only weigh the trailer. Go to the rock yard and do it. Safe enough to unload the horse right there, and let him poop in the mulch pile.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2004
    Posts
    358

    Default

    I have a TB farm down the road from me with a digital scale. I have all TB's and found that the tapes are pretty accurate with them.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Albany NY
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    Default

    Rockyard, didn't think of that. There's a rig scale at the local dump near me. Can weigh the truck and the trailer, but I was thinking of loading and unloading to do the weighing, but I can just see a horse getting excited at the dump and breaking away and falling into the big smasher pit. Not a pretty thought, and if you can conceive of it, a horse will do it, so that's out in my book.

    Weighing the rig and going home and picking up the horse and coming back sounds like the way to go, so there's no loading and unloading at the site. Gives me the willies. That's what friends of mine do with their sailboats, when they strip them down for racing. Go home and come back with and without the boat, first with just the hull, then fully rigged. Without the beer cooler and with. Just to evaluate how to populate the boat for the race, of course.

    Sorry, Joe. We just don't have a competitive edge with both you AND the beer. Maybe next time!
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2006
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    2,445

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    Weight tape and guesses were WAY off with my old gelding! Tango was irish draught but an upper level eventer and very refined, most thought he was a TBx. Weight tape put him at 1050 we estimated a bit more at around 1100, took him to UC Davis because he wasn't feeling well and he was 1360. Oops!

    Other horse it went the other way. Friends 15.3 TB gelding big build, weight tape and our guess was just over 1000# which made sense. Weighed him at a show and he was only 915#. We were amazed and quit calling him fatty from then on. Now that he's a pasture puff though I am sure he is over 1000# again.



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