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Many things you do to take care of your horse will depend on knowing its weight (how much food or medicine it gets, how much grain or space it needs).

Since asking your horse to stand on your bathroom scale would be tricky, here is a math formula to estimate a horses’ weight:

Measure the girth (the measurement from the withers) -remember your horse parts?- down behind the front leg, under the chest, and back up to the withers) in inches.  Multiply that number times itself.  Then measure the body length (from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks).  Multiply the two numbers together, and divide by 330.

Here is an example (Look at your 4-H manual for more information on this if you need help):

Girth: 74.8 inches

Body length: 63 inches

74.8 X 74.8 X 63/330 =

You’ve heard that there is a farmer out at Hay Meadows with some good hay for sale at 65 lbs per bale.  You know your horse needs about 20 lbs of hay per day. How much hay should you buy to feed your horse for a year? 

# of days to feed hay X 20 lbs per day divided by pounds of weight per bale = the number of bales needed.

Each bale costs $6.00.  How much will it cost you to buy hay for the year?

# of bales X 6.00 =

Your horse will be doing all kinds of work: trail rides, search and rescue, rounding up cattle.  Since he’s going to need some grain (a mix of oats and corn), let’s find out how much to feed him at different times. Use the formulas for feeding grain in your pamphlet.

Light work – 1˝ lbs of grain per hour of work

Medium work – 2 lbs of grain per hour of work

Hard work – 2˝ lbs of grain per hour of work

You went for a two-hour trail ride today (light work).  How many pounds of grain should you feed?


You went on a search and rescue mission for 10 hours today (pretty hard work).  How many pounds should you feed?


You took a group of hunters on a guided hunt for the weekend.  Your horse worked twice a day for 4 hours at a time.  How many pounds of grain should you feed?


Congratulations! Your horse has great hooves!  To keep them that way, a farrier should trim your horses’ hooves at least every two months.  How much will that cost you per year?


Farrier cost X visits per year =