How tall is my horse? We've all thought that question at some point or hypothesized about the answer. Most of us just rely on what the prior owner told us or an eyeball approximation because most people don't have enough horses to feel justified spending $40 on a fancy aluminum horse measuring stick.
Well for only $10 you can make your own dual-purpose horse measuring and jump height measuring stick with simple supplies you can purchase at your local hardware store. Here's how.
Steps for preparing the jump height side:
On one side of the long piece of wood, make a mark with pen/pencil at 18 inches and then another at 2 feet and every 3 inches after that up to as high as you'd like. In my opinion, you should definitely at least have marks at 18", 2', 2'3", 2'6", 2'9", 3', 3'3" and 3'6"
Now go back over the pen/pencil marks with a permanent marker to create a line and write the jump height next to each mark.
Steps for preparing the horse measuring side
On the other side of the long piece of wood, make a mark with pen/pencil at 48 inches (12 hands) and then a mark every inch until you get to the end of the stick. Mine goes to 72 inches (18 hands).
Now go back over the pen/pencil marks with a permanent marker to create a line and write the horse hand height next to each mark. 48 inches equals 12 hands so if you start there, then you would write 12, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 13, 13.1............16.2, 16.3, 17, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 18
Prepare the horse measuring "arm":
Insert the wooden dowel into the threaded side of the PVC saddle tee. This might take some "encouraging," but the goal is to get it in as securely and level as possible. Then mark a line on each side of the PVC fitting that acts as an extension of the bottom of the wooden dowel - the side you will place on the horse's withers. This will allow you to more easily find the appropriate height mark on the stick.
Lastly, use zip ties to loosely secure the measuring "arm" to the measuring stick. This is optional as you can just hold each independently as well. Be sure not to over tighten the zip ties because you still want to be able to slide the measuring "arm" up and down the stick, but the zip ties will help keep the "arm" more level and allow you a free hand if necessary.
To measure your jump heights, simply use the backside of the measuring stick without the "arm."
By Kyle Rothfus
This blog is dedicated to providing insight about OTTB re-training, Thoroughbred pedigrees and general equine care. You can also track the progress of horses I have for sale through posts here.