Today, Tucker and I helped our neighbors move cows to the mountains. It is not too often that we are both able to get away and ride together… we had a friend from church come over to play with the kids while we were out cowboyin’ 🙂 We had so much fun.
I had Tucker take a few pictures of me and Smokey after we returned home.. Smokey is Don and Lisa’s tallest gelding.. He is about 16+ hands.
Why are horses measured in hands, instead of feet?
According to popular legend, ancient horse traders needed a method of measuring horses. Stacking one man’s fist upon another was the simplest system. Thus, a horse came to be measured by hand.
Since those early days, horses have been measured in hands. In time, even as the foot came to mean twelve inches, the hand was standardized to mean four inches (approximately 10 cm.).
In other words, if a horse stands 16 hands high (hh), then he is really 64 inches (or 5’4″) tall. A horse who is 16.3 hh is 67 inches (or 5’7″) tall. Following this rule, a 68″ tall horse would be called 17 hh. (There is no 16.4, because the fourth inch would make such a horse 17 hh.)
I thought there might be a person or two that reads this that did not know what 16 hands meant.. so I included some informational…well, information. Remember when Lacy and I did the blog ‘Many hats’? We often measure ourselves in the number of hats we wear.. same idea here….
So I say things like, “Smokey.. is …. many hands”. I mean really….16 hands??!!! that is many many hands.