Last Updated on March 18, 2022 by Allison Price

Can you estimate the size of a foal when they reach maturity? There is no single mathematical formula that can accurately predict a foal’s mature size. However, there are many methods for estimating the mature height of yearlings and foals.

Measure the length of either the front leg from the **coronary Band** to where it meets the knee joint. This is one method of measuring. The measurement can be used to calculate the mature size of the foal in hands. This is how it works.

Horse Talk – Coronary band: Also known as the coronet or leg hairline, the coronary band is where the leg meets the hoof. It is responsible for providing the bulk of nutrition to the hoof, and the location from which the hoof develops.

It is important to have a clear understanding of the horse’s height.

**1. What is the length of a hand?**

**2. What does the “3” represent if a horse is 15.3 hh?**

**3. A pony’s height is 14 1/2 inches. You are told that a pony is 14 1/2 inches tall.**

**4. What is a fraction of an inch?**

Now, back to estimating mature height. Multiply the lower leg measurement in inches by 4.

The foal to right measures 10 3/4 inches between the heart and the knee joint.

**5. This foal’s maturity height can be estimated using your hands.**

Let’s look at another example.

Measure the foal from the left, and measure it at 15 1/4 inches.

**6. The height of the foal at maturity should be estimated.**

Do you now see a pattern after you have used the method two times?

**7. What fraction of the mature height of a horse will you measure from a foal’s lower legs?**

Do you notice a correlation between the measured height and the mature height?

**8. Is it possible to use mental math to estimate this in your head?**

A foal’s leg length can be used to determine their mature height.

Horse Lover’s Math has previously posted two methods to estimate mature horse height: one for foals, and one for yearlings.

These estimation methods would be great fun to test on a group foals. What would be the accuracy of their estimates? How close could they come to estimating the foal’s actual height at maturity. Interesting questions. Maybe you will one day be an equine scientist, and find the answers to these and many other questions.

1. What is the length of a hand?

Answer: A hand is 4 inches long.

2. What does the “3” represent if a horse is 15.3 hh?

Answer: The “3” represents inches. A horse listed as 15.3 hh has 15 hands and is 3 inches tall.

3. A pony is approximately 14 1/2 inches tall. The pony is 14 1/2 inches tall.

Answer: 2 inches.

4. What is a fraction of an inch?

Answer: 1/4

5. This foal’s maturity height can be estimated using your hands.

Answer:

Step 1: To make this calculation, first convert the mixed number into an incorrect fraction.

10 3/4 inches = 43/4 Inches

Step 2: 43/4 inch x 4 = 172/4 inches

Step 3: Convert back into a whole number or mixed number: 72 / 4 = 43 in.

Step 4: Convert into hands: 43 inches / 4, (numbers of inches in a human hand) = 10, with a rest of 3 inches. This foal could reach a height of 10.3 inches.

6. The height of the foal at maturity should be estimated.

Answer: Let’s do the math in a different way.

Step 1: 15 1/4 inches by 4 = 61 inches

Step 2: We’ll now convert to hands: 61 inches/4 (numbers of inches in a hands) = 15 hands, and 1 inch at the highest point of the withers.

Step 3: This should be written as 15.1 hh.

7. What fraction of a horse’s mature height will you measure the lower leg of a foal?

Answer: It will equal one-quarter of the mature height of the horse.

8. Is it possible to use mental math to estimate this in your head?

Answer: Question 5 measured 10 3/4 inches. The mature height estimate was 10.3 inches.

10 inches 10 hands, 3/4 inches 3/4 inches of a hand or 3 inches make the estimate 10.3hh.

Question 6 measured 15 1/4 inches. The estimate of mature height was 15.1hh.

15 inches 15 hands, 1/4 inch 1/4 of a person’s hand, or 1 in, make the estimate at 15.1 hh. Easy!

Common Core

5.OA.B – Analyze patterns, relationships

5.NF.A.1 Convert between mixed numbers and improper fractions

5.NF.B.6: Add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions and mixed number

Photos:

Public Domain: White mare and foal

Public Domain: Chestnut foal

Foal scratching; Public Domain

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!