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What Does 18 Hands Mean for Horses?

The term “18 hands” is a measurement used to describe the height of a horse, and understanding it is important for anyone involved in horsemanship. Knowing the size of a horse can help you determine if it is suitable for a particular task or activity, such as racing or jumping, as well as for judging its overall health and wellbeing. In this article, we will explore what 18 hands means for horses and why it is important to be aware of this measurement.

What is a Hand?

A hand is a unit of measurement used to measure the height of a horse. It is equal to four inches (10.16 cm) and is the most commonly used unit for measuring horses. Most horses range between 14 and 18 hands high, with a few exceptions.

What Does 18 Hands Mean?

A horse that is 18 hands high is considered to be quite tall. This measurement translates to 72 inches (182.88 cm), which is significantly larger than the average size of a horse. Horses that are 18 hands high are usually referred to as “big horses” or “tall horses.”

What Does 18 Hands Mean for Horse Owners?

For horse owners, understanding 18 hands is important for a variety of reasons. First, it helps you determine if a horse is suitable for certain activities, such as horse racing or show jumping. The size of the horse can also affect its overall health and wellbeing, as larger horses may have difficulty with certain types of exercise or be more prone to injury.
Secondly, 18 hands is also important for judging a horse’s conformation. Conformation is the physical structure of a horse, and it is important to recognize how a horse’s conformation can affect its performance and suitability for a particular task. For example, a horse with a straight back and good balance is likely to be a better jumper than one with an excessively curved back.
Lastly, 18 hands is also important for breeding, as it is often used as a guideline for determining the size of offspring. Generally, offspring will be between the heights of their parents, although there is always some variation.

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Overall, 18 hands is an important measurement for horses and their owners. It helps determine if a horse is suitable for certain tasks and activities, as well as to judge its overall conformation and suitability for breeding. Knowing this measurement is key for anyone involved in horsemanship, as understanding it can help ensure the health and wellbeing of horses.