Horse measuring is an important part of the horse industry. Depending on the breed, the size and weight of a horse can determine its suitability for certain disciplines or tasks. One of the most common measurements used is the height of the horse, or its “hands.” The term “18 hands” is often used to describe a horse that is of a certain size, but what does it really mean?
A horse’s height is measured in “hands” and is based on a system developed by the British. One hand is equal to 4 inches, so a horse that is 18 hands high is 72 inches tall. This measurement is taken from the ground to the highest point of the horse’s withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades). This is the standard measurement used to determine a horse’s height, though there are other methods that can be used to measure a horse’s size, such as the “stick” system.
18 Hands in the Horse World
In the horse world, 18 hands is considered to be a large horse. This size is most commonly seen in draft breeds, such as the Clydesdale or Shire. These breeds are often used for draft work, like pulling carts or plows, and are usually strong and muscular.
18 hands is also a common size for show horses, particularly those competing in the hunter/jumper division. This size is ideal for jumping because the horse is tall enough to clear the fences, but not too tall for the rider to handle.
Advantages and Disadvantages of 18 Hands
Like any size horse, there are both advantages and disadvantages to having an 18 hand horse. One of the major advantages is the horse’s strength and power. This size is ideal for draft work and for jumping because of the amount of strength and power it provides.
However, there are also some disadvantages to owning an 18 hand horse. One of the major drawbacks is the cost. Because of their size, these horses are often more expensive to purchase and maintain than smaller horses. They also require more space and more food, which can be costly. Additionally, they may be more difficult to handle due to their size and strength.
Care and Training of 18 Hand Horses
Caring for an 18 hand horse can be a challenge, but with proper care and training, it can be done. The horse should be provided with a large, safe space to roam and plenty of food, water, and hay. Additionally, the horse should be exercised regularly and provided with regular veterinary care.
Training an 18 hand horse can also be a challenge. It is important to start training early and be firm but fair. The horse should be taught to respect boundaries and to respond to commands. Additionally, ground work can be beneficial for teaching the horse how to move and how to handle its large size.
18 Hands for Different Disciplines
18 hands is a popular size for a variety of disciplines, from draft work to dressage. In draft work, the strength and power of an 18 hand horse is beneficial for pulling carts or plows. In dressage, the horse’s size and power can help it to perform the movements required.
In jumping, the height of an 18 hand horse is beneficial because the horse can easily clear the fences. The horse should also be trained to be responsive to the rider’s commands, so that it can be steered around the course with precision.
Breeds That Reach 18 Hands
There are a variety of breeds that can reach 18 hands or more. The most common are draft breeds, like the Clydesdale or Shire. However, some warmblood breeds can also reach this size, such as the Dutch Warmblood or Hanoverian.
18 Hands and the Racing Industry
In the racing industry, 18 hands is not a common size. Most Thoroughbreds are between 15 and 17 hands, and it is rare to see a horse over 17 hands competing in races. Additionally, most racing tracks have height restrictions, so an 18 hand horse would not be able to compete.
The term “18 hands” is often used to describe a horse that is of a certain size, but what does it really mean? A horse’s height is measured in “hands” and is based on a system developed by the British. One hand is equal to 4 inches, so a horse that is 18 hands high is 72 inches tall. In the horse world, 18 hands is considered to be a large horse. This size is most commonly seen in draft breeds, such as the Clydesdale or Shire, and is also common for show horses competing in the hunter/jumper division. There are both advantages and disadvantages to owning an 18 hand horse, and it is important to provide the horse with proper care and training. Additionally, 18 hands is not a common size for the racing industry, as most Thoroughbreds are between 15 and 17 hands, and most racing tracks have height restrictions.
In conclusion, 18 hands is a large size for a horse and can be beneficial for certain disciplines, such as draft work and show jumping. However, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of owning an 18 hand horse, and to provide the horse with proper care and training.