Buy a tape measure, will you!

Why is it so hard to get accurate measurements from equestrians? Recently I wrote about buying a saddle on eBay that was not the size claimed in the listing.

The experience brought to mind a joke that I read a month or so ago, I believe it was on COTH but don’t hold me to it.

The joke was: Why can’t women parallel park? Because men have been telling them that 5″ is really 10″.

I feel that way about the saddle. But on reflection I realized that in the equestrian world, an inch or so one way or the other is often glossed over. Of course, it’s not just women who can’t measure. Everyone seems to have fallen into the super sizing trap.

The most accurate way to measure a horse is with a measuring stick. Stand your horse on level ground and place the top of the stick over the withers.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to see a horse for sale that was advertised as 16.2 only to find that it was maybe 15.3 if it was standing on a hill next to you. Or, maybe it was 16.2 at the withers, but it’s back was 15.2.

Is it wishful thinking? People know that taller horses often fetch higher prices. I suppose that some people inflate their horse’s height because they think it will attract prospective buyers; other have never measured their horse and just guess too big. But size is not something you can fake for long.

4 thoughts on “Buy a tape measure, will you!

  1. It starts young. I’m tall – reached my max height of 5’9″ in high school. I would always laugh looking at the HS basketball roster and see boys who I know were shorter than me shown as 6′! The horse world is funny. I sticked a horse for a person who said it was 16hh and it sticked at 15’2 and they thought perhaps the stick was wrong, so we had to take a tape measure to the stick! I’ve tried so hard to make my mare 15’1, but she just can’t get on her tippy toes for me. She is “just under” 15’1 and at 8 yrs old, I reckon she will stay there. And that’s okay with me… 🙂

  2. In some cases it can get you a good deal. My current endurance saddles usually goes used for 1200-1500. I found one adertized for for 850. It had been on the market for a month or so and I couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t sold….until I looked at the ad. She listed teh saddle as a 16″. I could tell by the picture she measured it wrong, AND I could tell by the saddle serial number that it was actually a 17″. Perfect!

  3. I like the joke – will have to remember that one! I’m also impressed with Melinda’s savvy! To be able to tell a wrong measurement from a photo AND a serial number! I know I wouldn’t have picked up on that!

Leave a Reply