Horses are large, powerful animals, and with that in mind, they are pretty heavy, which can make them dangerous, but how much does a male horse weigh? Do male horses always weigh more than females? Not necessarily, so let’s take a look.
Full Grown Horse Weight
The general rule is that an average size horse weighs 1,000 pounds. However, when it comes to medication, such as wormers it is not safe to assume all horses that stand 15.2 hands weigh 1,000 pounds. Many factors can affect the weight of a horse, even it is the same height.
A stocky Quarter Horse is going to weigh more than a more fine-boned Arabian, for example. A 16 hand Thoroughbred will weigh less than Warmblood of the same height. This is because every horse has its own muscle mass and bone differences.
Mass Of A Horse
In general, the taller the horse, the more it will weigh. The horse’s mass will also influence the weight. For example, a Clydesdale is a horse with a large body mass. If you weigh a 17 hand Clydesdale and a 17 hand Thoroughbred, you will see a significant difference of 100s of pounds.
On average, a Clydesdale weighs anywhere from 1,800 to just over 2,000 pounds. This weight range applies to any of the large draft horse breeds. Even some pony breeds are deceiving.
The Haflinger, which is actually a small horse, is easy to confuse with a pony due to its size. However, they are bulky and can weigh up to 1,400 pounds. Which is more than a taller Thoroughbred that can weigh a couple of hundred pounds less.
Adult Horse Weight
As you can already see, the weight of adult horses is highly variable. Most breeds will fall into a range, but it is very hard to know a horse’s specific weight without weighing it. On average, a light breed of horse, such as the Thoroughbred, Arabian, Warmblood, and Quarter Horse, will fall into the 900 to 1,500-pound weight range.
That range in itself shows a significant difference of 600 pounds. This is why it is not a good idea to guess.
How Much Does A Male Horse Weigh
Male horses do not necessarily always weigh more than females. It is not like comparing human males and females where men almost always weigh more, even at the same height. Horses with similar body mass and height will weigh about the same, regardless if they are male or not.
You can see that a stallion of 16.2 hands will probably weigh more than a mare, as it will have more muscle. However, a gelding will usually not develop more muscle and weigh the same as a mare. Hopefully, this helps you see, that how much does a male horse weigh, is not really the way to ask about horse weight.
How Much Does A Foal Weigh
In the first year of life, foals do a lot of growing. The birth weight of a foal will depend on how much its mother weighs. A newborn horse will weigh 10 percent of its mother’s weight. So, for example, you have a mare that weighs 1,000 pounds, and she has a foal.
At birth, this foal will weigh around 100 pounds. There is a general belief that a mare’s first foal will be smaller, and thus weigh less than her following babies. This isn’t always the case, however, as genetics have an effect on the foal’s birth size. Male foals and filly foals do not differ in weight. The difference you will see all come from the weight of the mother, not gender.
Why You Need To Know An Accurate Weight
It is necessary to know the weight of your horse as accurately as possible. Let’s look at wormers as this is something many owners administer themselves. Worming tubes or powders have indications for an administration that go by weight.
While many of today’s wormers are safe if you give too much, some are not. The bigger problem here is if you don’t give a large enough dose. Underdosing means the dose is not as effective.
It is easy to underdose a wormer because many people do not know the true weight of their horse. They only guess by using the average rule and observation of how bulky the horse is. It is the regular underdosing of wormers that many experts believe is part of the reason why resistance is becoming a worrying problem.
How Do You Weigh A Horse
It is not an easy task to weigh a horse. Many veterinary clinics will have scales made specifically for weighing a horse. The horse can walk up onto the scale, and the vet can read the exact weight.
However, most people don’t have easy access to these scales. One way to weigh a horse is to first weigh your rig. Then return with your horse on the trailer to get its weight. Make sure to keep everything about the rig the same, such as gas and equipment onboard.
If at all possible, avoid guessing the horse’s weight by just looking at it. A study, asking professionals to guess the weight of several horses, found that they got it wrong 60 percent of the time. Additionally, this was usually an underestimate.
One item many people use is weight tape. These are easy to use and find. However, they are notoriously inaccurate. They will provide a rough estimate for an average horse, but still, show differences of up to 100 pounds.
A weight tape will not come even close to the correct weight of a pregnant mare or a very fit horse such as an eventer or racehorse.
The answer to the question of how much does a male horse weigh is not really possible directly. There are no specific facts that say male horses weigh more. What you really need to take a look at is the breed, height, and body mass.
Each horse is individual, but most will have close weight ranges if they have similar builds and heights. If you own a horse, it is a good idea to try and get an accurate weight measurement for it. Easier said than done.
However, when it comes to worming or other medical treatments, you can more safely administer it with a correct weight reading.