The height of a steed is measured in hands, and also 1 hand is same to 4 inches. The measurement should be taken indigenous the soil vertically come the highest allude of a horse’s withers.

However, there may be times when you need to recognize the corresponding measurement in meters, feet, or inches.

The table listed below will transform the elevation of your steed into both metric and imperial measurements (feet, inches, and centimeters).

You are watching: How many inches are in a hand

One hand is indistinguishable to 4 inches which means it’s fairly simple to occupational out the variety of inches yourself. If you don’t have the switch table handy, you have the right to use this calculation:

4 x WH + FH = number of inches

WH is the variety of whole hands and also FH is any fraction of a hand. Here’s exactly how this would work in an example: 14.2 hand (4 x 14 = 56 + 2 = 58 inches)


Here is the height conversion chart for hands, feet, inches, and centimeters:


Why steeds Are measured in Hands?

Now friend know how to transform the classic hands measurement, you’ll be able to use metric or royal measures too. However what specifically are hands and why are they supplied for the measurement of horses?

The answer come this dates ago many century when world didn’t have actually rulers or tape measures. Instead, parts of the steed body were frequently used as a yardstick.

A foot – which this particular day is 12 inches – was originally quite literally a man’s foot. In the exact same way, a hand unit that measurement to be the width of a man’s hand. The was later standardised to four inches and also it still stays as the welcomed equine measurement.


This measure is taken indigenous the highest point of the withers, roughly in the middle, come the floor.

Quite aside from the original absence of measure tools, it’s been argued that among the factors that hands were supplied was since horses desired it.

While some equines may have gained skittish with a tape measure or various other implement held against them, soft hand would have actually presented much less of a problem. It’s no clear even if it is this is just an urban myth yet it’s a plausible theory!

Fun Fact: The tallest steed ever, a Shire referred to as Sampson, to be 21.25 hands!

Also watch our steed breed median height and weight chart.


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