Last updated on March 8th, 2023 at 10:23 pm
Do you own a quarter horse? Are you looking into getting a quarter horse? And are you wondering how much they typically weigh?
How much does a quarter horse weigh? The average American Quarter Horse Weighs between 900 pounds (410 KG) to 1250 pounds (567 KG). Quarter horses can have significant variances in size and weight, even within the breed itself. Typically quarter horse are bred to be small, quick powerful and able to work all day. This keeps them in the 1000-pound range and around 14-15 hands high.
- What is a healthy weight range for my horse based on height?
- What other Horse Breeds are in the American Quarter Horse?
- The weight of different types of American Quarter Horses
- How to determine the weight of an American Quarter horse?
- How to regulate the weight of an American Quarter horse?
Knowing the weight of your horse is very important for all kinds of reasons. Things like blanket size, trailer requirements, feed requirements and how much supplements or wormer you will need.
Variations in Weight of the Quarter Horse
As mentioned above a horse’s weight can vary quite significantly even within the same breed. It is good to know though what the average and healthy weight is for your horse, and to make sure that you are keeping it within that target weight.
What is a healthy weight range for my horse based on height?
As mentioned above you can definitely find quarter horses that are on the lighter side. 900 pounds is light horse for sure. If your horse is 13 hands high or in that range (13, 13-1, 13-2 or 13-3) you can expect your horse to weigh in the 900-1050 pounds range (400-500 KG).
Quarter horses, generally speaking, are fuller, thicker heavier horses. They are bred for quick speed and power, and usually, have bigger bone structure and size than other horse breeds of similar height.
If your quarter horse is in the 14 hands high range (14, 14-1, 14-2, and 14-3) you can generally expect your horse to weigh in the 1000-1100 pound range. If your horse is taller than that in the 15 hands range or 16 hands range you can expect your horse to weigh over 1200 pounds. In this case, it is best to get a weight for your horse and keep track of it so you know if it is over or underweight.
What other Horse Breeds are in the American Quarter Horse?
What breeds are in a quarter horse? Quarter Horses are a mixture of Arabian, Spanish, and English-bred horses. Because their lineage includes a bit of draft horse, they are known as warmbloods (like Morgans and Canadians)
If your horse has more “draft horse” in it it will typically weigh a little more per inch than a horse that has more Thoroughbred or Arabian in it.
The weight of different types of American Quarter Horses
Further on this topic, there are four different types of quarterhorses, all bred for different characteristics and uses.
The “Bulldog” Quarter Horse
This type of quarterhorse is generally in the 13-14-2 hands range and is built stockier and heavier. Usually, these horses weigh 1150 to 1350 pounds. They are on the heavier side and may require more feed than horses of similar size to gain the muscle mass they need to do the jobs they are bred for.
The “Semi-Bulldog” Quarter Horse
The semi-bulldog variety is bred to be more athletic and less stocky, but they still have some size for power. They are 14.1 to 15 hands tall and weigh between 1050 to 1250 pounds.
The “Progressive” Quarter Horse
The progressive Quarter Horse has a body type between the semi-bulldog and the running American Quarter horse types. It is usually 15 to 15.3 hands and weighs up to 1150 pounds or more.
The “Running ” Quarter Horse
The last type is generally bred for a smaller size and speed. They generally have more thoroughbred in them and are typically taller as well. Even though they are taller, because of their breeding they don’t have the same weight per inch as the stockier types.
They are 15 to 16 hands tall, and their weight could be 1200 pounds or more.
How to determine the weight of an American Quarter horse?
Ok, so now you know the averages and what to expect, but it is a really good idea to get a more exact weight of your horse. It is important for the health of the horse, and as an owner to know if your horse is gaining or losing weight.
The following are some of the most common methods used to weigh a horse.
If you have a vet that has a large animal scale you can take your horse there and they will get a measurement. This is the most accurate way to measure the weight of your horse, but it can also be the most expensive.
As a barn owner and horse owner I also own a truck and trailer. We do a lot of hauling or hay and horses. We are aware of the roads in our area and the weights we are allowed. One of the reasons it is good to know the weight of your horse is so you know if your truck and trailer are adequate to pull that weight.
It’s pretty simple to do, all you do is hitch up your trailer and go down to the weigh scale located at your nearest truck stop or highway weigh scale and get the measurement. Then load your horse and nothing else and weigh again on the same scale and you will know the weight of your horse.
Most people can guess once they have been around horses for a long time. This method isn’t very accurate but it will certainly get you close. You will also get used to knowing if a horse is over or underweight by looking at it and its bone structure.
Using a horse weight tape
Horse weight tapes were invented to help people that couldn’t get to a scale. They are not as accurate as a scale but they will definitely give you an approximation and usually its pretty close. Amazon is definitely the best place to get one at a reasonable price.
How to regulate the weight of an American Quarter horse?
This will not be an exhaustive study on the subject because that is a much longer article, but I thought I would give you a few pointers when it comes to regulating the weight of your horse. One of the biggest things to remember is that horses need a lot of water, you need to make sure that it is staying hydrated as that will keep it from colicing and also allow it to process the food correctly.
Get Some Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates make up the bulk of a horse’s feed, but it will depend greatly on the type of grass that you are feeding your horse. Each type of grass is a little different in quantity. Alfalfa, for example, has more protein and sugar in it than timothy which is generally more fibrous.
- Fibrous carbohydrates: they come from stems and grain coatings. Hay and dry fodder are rich in fibrous carbohydrates.
- Non-fibrous carbohydrates: they are mainly starch and sugars that come from grains and seeds.
There should be a balance between fibrous and non-fibrous carbohydrates in a Quarter Horse’s diet. You can always get your hay analyzed to see exactly how much of each nutrient is in the hay that you are feeding your horse.
Fats contain twice as much energy as proteins and carbohydrates do. Fats are a great option to add to a diet because you’re not having to add a lot of additional grains. Seeds are a great source of fat for horses.
Proteins are a significant part of the horse’s diet and help with muscle development. Proteins are also used to regulate enzymes and hormones in the horse’s body. Protein is found naturally in hay and again it depends on the type of grass you get. Generally, if there is more alfalfa in the hay there is more protein.
You can also supplement protein with grains, soy and seeds.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium, vitamins A, B, C and D etc.
Horses, just like humans, also need microminerals like zinc, selenium, iron and copper. They use these for bone development and for healthy growth. Grasses, pastures, and grains naturally contain vitamin content, but sometimes horses need additional supplements as we do. It is best to also consult a vet for more information. It is better to add mineral blocks to the fodder instead of relying on fortified grain mixes.