We thought it would be really useful to give you a quick guide to using a horse weight tape. They are a cheap and cheerful piece of kit that everyone should have in their tack room or grooming kit.

A horse and pony weight tape

It is really important to keep an eye on your horse or pony’s weight. We don’t want them to get too fat. This probably has more health complications for horses and ponies than being on the lean side. Another good reason to know how much your horse weighs is for administering supplements, wormers and medication.

How to use a horse weight tape

  • Have your horse weight tape to hand.
  • Ensure your horse is calm and standing squarely on a flat surface. You may require an extra pair of hands to assist you.
  • Stand on the near side of your horse and position the tape around the horse’s barrel keeping hold of the end. You should be just behind the horse’s foreleg and the tape hanging down vertically.
  • Gently wrap the weight tape, keeping it smooth and flat, around the horse’s girth at the bottom of the withers. Make sure the tape is snug against your horse’s body but not too tight.
  • Take the measurement displayed on the horse weight tape at the point where the zero meets the rest of the tape.
  • Note down the measurement with the date beside it for your records.
  • Compare the weight you recorded with your horse’s ideal weight or previous measurements and discuss these with your yard owner, vet or feed company if you are concerned.
  • For the most accurate results, we recommend you repeat ideally for 4-5 consecutive days at the same time, for you to get an average. We would then suggest you measure your horse’s weight fortnightly or at least monthly.

It is worth remembering that whilst a horse weight tape provides a convenient way to estimate your horse’s weight it isn’t precise. We would recommend also using a Body Condition Score along with the weigh tape. We do not recommend using a weight tape for broodmares, foals and youngstock.

If you require a precise weight for your horse or pony, contact your local tack shop, vet, feed company or feed merchant and they will be able to advise further. There are portable weight bridges which give a much more accurate reading of your horse or pony’s weight.