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Measuring a horse's height

The highest point of a horse is the top of its head (called a poll). As a horse can move its head up and down it is hard to take an accurate measurement from the ground to the top of its head. The height of a horse is therefore measured in a vertical line from the ground to the withers (at the base of the neck).

Measuring a Horse

One hand = 4 inches or approximately 10 centimetres. If a horse is more than an exact number of hands high (hh), the extra inches are given after a decimal point e.g. 14 hands 2 inches is written as 14.2 hh.

Measure the height of the 2 horses in the Practical Gallery. How tall are they in hands and in metres/centimetres?

Horse 1 Hands :  ................................................   Metres/centimetres :  ................................................
 
Horse 2 Hands :  ................................................   Metres/centimetres :  ................................................
 
 
What is the difference between their heights?
 
Hands :  ................................................   Metres/centimetres :  ................................................
 
 
Now with a partner measure yourself from head to toe. How tall are you in hands and in metres/centimetres?
 
Hands :  ................................................   Metres/centimetres :  ................................................
 
 
What is the difference between your height and that of the large model horse?
 
Hands :  ................................................   Metres/centimetres :  ................................................

As a guide this during-visit activity can link well to the following National Curriculum programme of study: KS2 Maths.

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