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anyone know? anyone ever measure?
Donna, have been pondering your query. My thoughts are that there is no ideal, therefore good, measurement. Though there are the idealisms which are sought after. If there was such a beast as an ideal horse, maybe there would be an ideal measurement. Idealism is the mythical part of the Arabian Horse and for the most part, a fair few other breeds. The Arabians are, after all, the original from which many others are derived via varying percentages.

It could be suggested that the measurement needs to be relative to the individual. Having suggested that, individual attitude and tenacity plays a huge component in the ability of any individual regardless of their physical size.

Horses for courses.

Yes, I've taken measurements but then I've measured many attributes and I can suggest the measurements are relative to type of horse... all of which are Arabian. All of which were slightly different in the physical type. So... to compare one individual to another doesn't achieve much. Very similar body type / phenotype comparisons may be indicative but then, as mentioned, individual tenactiy and disposition would be the governing factors.

blink.gif smile.gif
The "heartgirth" is a measure around the horse from just behind the withers, down under where the girth of the saddle would go and up the other side, meeting again at the point you began at the withers. Or you can measure by beginning at the point just behind the withers, going straight down the side of the horse, under its belly to the middle - and then double that measurement.

This is some way of determining if the horse has a large area in which to hold a large heart, which may contribute to good endurance.

THAAAAAAAAAAANKS A LOT wub.gif wub.gif wub.gif SO WHAT IS KNOWN SIMPLY AS GIRTH laugh.gif laugh.gif HOW CLEVER OF ME laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

lol Usamah.. yes girth works for me as well laugh.gif biggrin.gif

I agree Diane, I guess what I was looking for was a formula to determine balance... not a hard and fast rule as personal body shape would play in, and you learn of course to "see" a horses balance, short cannons, deep hips etc. Something like the ratio of cannon to forearm... or the 3 circled horse etc. Hmm... still pretty ambigious dry.gif

One that was suggested to me was that the girth should be 114.2% of the height of the horse in a stallion, and 111.2% in a mare. This would make a "good girth" of a horse 14.2 hands tall approximately 66" (rounded down)

ie (14.2 hands) 58" x 114.2% = 66.23" girth

(16 hands ) 64" x 114.2% = 73.08" girth

Still bout clear as mud huh? biggrin.gif blink.gif
clear as mud - just about biggrin.gif As mentioned - this theory or math doesn't take into about the physical build of the individual... two individuals of the same height can be totally different body types. Though... having said that... it would be interesting to actually measure a range of individual body types that are the exactly same height and age (within months if young) to determine if there is any validity to the math. The narrowest area of a squarer built solid individual is in this region! blink.gif biggrin.gif

Though, also as mentioned, attitude and tenacity could play a big role as well.

uhmmm... dertermine balance? Balance of what exactly huh.gif

The following is self-explanatory (hopefully, if not, let me know). I wrote this in November 2004 during an interesting discussion on a thread (names omitted to protect the innocent wink.gif laugh.gif ) and the formulas are based on idealism wink.gif ...

Certainly <>, ... though to keep the deal honest: I can and do recommend obtaining a copy of the pdf newsletter in which this is discussed Vol 6 No 1 and contained on one CD for 2002 (thereby incorpating Vol 6 parts 1 & 2) from the Equine website. You don't have to be a member but as a member the newsletters are part of the membership. 2003 and 2004 are also tremendous, offering terrific value! I'm still reading them - part two of 2002 has Deb Bennett's translation/transliteration of the German Warmblood founder, Gustav Rau's, 1935 book "Judging the Warmblood". As she says - much is written by Rau which relates to the principles of her own thesis (the basis of her Conformation books and video) well before she knew of his works - Rau's works are only available in Prussian and German. Deb Bennett's works are not expensive USD25 (if they've not gone up!) especially when you read the content wink.gif and they do enhance or consolidate her 'published' works. The principles of conformation analysis apply to any breed irrespective of their denomination. Its a Breed's type which will show their denomination. 2003 has her "Orthopedics" essay (just shy of a 1000 pages and well illustrated) - another enhancement on her conformation series. smile.gif

How to measure the width of a horse's loins.
You measure from the 'falloff' on the leftside to the same on the right.
The line should be perpendicular to Bones and deep muscle layers which compose the horse's back. The edge of the ilio-lumbar ligament approximately corresponds to the edge of the longissimus dorsi muscle, which is at a more superficial level; this is where the 'falloff' lies.
What you are measuring when you measure the width of a horse's 'loins' is the side to side breadth of the lumbar transverse processes plus these overlying layers of ligament and muscle.

The above accompanies the illustrations of the horse as viewed from the top, both as a living and skeletal structure. And followed by forum conversation:
(From <> in UK) Hi.... Just curious about how exactly you measure the width of the loins. I can sort of see how one could get a rough estimate by taking the width between two vertical lines either side of the horse. ta!
(From Dr. Deb): Dear <>  I just knew somebody was going to ask this...good. You have two options. One, you can 'tape' the animal around the loins. Make sure he's OK on having a rope around himself there first, or else he may buck a little or cowkick.
Tape his loin-groin circumference, and then tape the circumference where the saddle girth would go. Compare the two...the larger the loin girth is compared to the heartgirth, the better; and of course, at the same time, the larger the heartgirth is in absolute number of inches, also the better.
Option two is to 'caliper' the horse across the top of the back. This is the method I was describing previously. The loin (= lumbar) vertebrae are characterized by having integral projections which stick out like wings to either side. The muscle layers upon which the saddle rests lie on top of these 'wings'. Going outward from the midline, where the wings and overlying muscle thickness ends, there is a 'falloff' or change in contour which is like the edge of a shelf wrapped in thick cotton.
You measure from this edge on the left side of the animal to the corresponding edge on the right side.

basically look to the loins - where they actually hollow out (the falloff) and measure this distance. ie it tends to be the narrowest point of an equine - its also the weakest point of an equine's structure aside of physical ailments!

For the fun of it wink.gif its rainy today after a terrific pour last night - tanks over flow-eth so here comes information overload... measuring consistently and standing behind the horses (thank goodness for great temperaments) from the very top of the flank-whorl line - here's a comparison of a few of my mature pb Arabians...
my stallion 8yo Talika Farad (sE) who's measured at 14.3+hh for 18";
12yo Agecroft Kashan (Er), measured at 14.2+hh for 16"
8yo Agecroft Vienna (Er), measured at 15+hh for 15½".

Vienna I would term as "race-ier" build, Kashan could be termed slighter build (perhaps showing a cross-blending of the two distinct ancestral types) rather than race-ier and Farad a "ride-ier" build and all have posterior angled pelvises.

Kashan's daughter, Agecroft Sahara [Qld Champion Endurance horse 2004] is much built like Kashan and apparently has taken his height as well, her dam being almost a hand taller than her sire. Agecroft Persia, winner of the HW 160km state champs ride is a half maternal sister to Vienna but is built like a smaller version of her dam with a dash of her sire. The sire's of Sahara and Persia are closely related - both being by the same stallion out of mares who share the same tail female within a few generations. One horse I feel, who would have a huge potential, is Agecroft Morocco - he's by Kashan from Annala (Persia's and Vienna's dam) - however, his life at the moment is as family horse and a paddock companion with another individual with huge potential, Agecroft Jask (a 5/8 brother to Kashan)! When I think about it, Vienna is the most "unlike" her parents than her half siblings!

When the other mares come down - I'll have to measure them for interest... Nia would be another with huge potenial - she's built like Farad. Then there are the progeny of Farad and these mares, as yet they are immature ie growing still!

Per the circumference measurements relative to girth and flank:
Farad is 72" girth and 78" flank
Kashan is 70" girth and 75" flank
Vienna is 70" girth and 70" flank

nb: + means just taller than the measurement. Kashan's is an official measurement - they were prepared to state he was 14.2½hh

interesting when thought about... cheers diane

Nov 2004

UPDATE: A hand tape measure was used on Farad and Vienna in this measurement. Using an aluminium measure with a level (akin to the measure used on Kashan), Farad measures the same as Kashan and Vienna was a whisker under 15hh! So the math presented here doesn't work in this instance... 14.2+hh with a 72" heart girth. Wonder what heart size this indicates blink.gif biggrin.gif Even Kashan is 4" bigger! If my math figuring is rumbling along in the right direction (unsure.gif), the math equates to 1.142" per hand. And as can be compared to the 16hh example - all three of my Arabians have a better match to the 16hh figure huh.gif According to these examples - knowing these horses, build is more influential in the hindquarter/loin than in the girth/heartgirth area huh.gif

Have I managed to muddy the water further? biggrin.gif
for interest... Linda is riding her own young wb stallion who she says is 17hh

and Farad who is measured at 14.2+hh

Physically, there is 10" difference between the two horses. Note how Linda is positioned from her seat down through her legs and the level at where her feet rest on both horses. My thoughts - given half a chance (against breed prejudice), the Arabian could give any taller breed a run for their ribbon in general and some specific ridden events smile.gif There would be exceptions, of course... and generally, they set the level of the bar, so to speak.
Pete Hiatt
The different strains are built quite differently. It is easiest to see when you see a horse with great heart girth. Some simply stand out like Imperial Imdal and his son, Imtaarif. I always took this measurement from the withers down and around just rear of the front legs. This way, I missed over measuring fat stallions or pregnant mares. A couple of my horses are 76-78" and are both tail female Romanaa 2 granddaughter and her son. Imdal was also grandson tail female Romanaa 2. Nazeer was known for great depth at this point and passed it along but some get were the more feminine strains. Most Arabians are no where near these measurements. It would be interesting to know Imtaarif's measurement as he is also a large horse at 15.2 at least. Hansi's horses are the masculine types and I bet she knows their measurements.
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