Measuring A Young Equine For A Harness

Sometimes we need to buy a harness for a young horse, pony, donkey or mule. They are heading off for training and need a harness to get the work done.

So how does it work when you are ordering for an equine that is going to grow some?

You will measure your young pony the same way you would measure an older, full grown one. BUT when you share your measurements with us, in the notes section of your invoice, you will also let us know this harness is for a young pony, or horse, or donkey, or mule.

We will let the harness maker know this harness is being used on a young equine, that has some growing to do, and needs to fit more on the smaller holes.

When this information doesn’t get passed on, the harness maker will look at the measurements, and send you a harness that closest fits them. This can result in a harness that is too small once the equine matures.

Below, are photos of a Welsh pony named Pip. She was a two year old in the photo on the left. As you can see she has changed a lot in one year! I will say that the breast collar is too small for her in both photos but the breeching isn’t too small and the saddle fits her fine in the photo on the left. NOTHING is fitting her in the photo on the right. The harness shown in the photos below is a small pony harness. This mare is 47″ tall.

Her measurements are quite a bit different as well:

Here is Pip in her new harness, made mostly from Cob size parts. It’s amazing how different things look when the harness is sized correctly for the animal!

Will I have to get other parts when the equine matures?

Yes, you may have to size up a few parts and pieces as your equine matures. Especially if they are going to get very broad as they age. The parts I see most often needing to size up are:

  • the nose band
  • the girth
  • the breeching
  • the collar if you are ordering a collar and hames, a Comfy Collar or a SuperFlex Collar

Typically everything else will fit just fine as they grow!

I’ll share Zorro’s measurements for comparison. I first measured him as a 2 year old:

Then again as a 4 year old:

The measurements that changed are:

  • the COM to COM
  • the nose band
  • the brow band
  • his height and length (the length because he lost his pot belly!)
  • his breeching
  • and his collar measurement.

His neck collar measurement went down because he lost so much weight. Here are a few photos to show his weight loss. Not only did his neck get a little smaller but his length did as well! It turns out, when they have a bit of a belly, it takes up space on the measuring tape. LOL! Their measurements don’t always change because they got bigger.

The neck measurement can change with the seasons, as they put on some winter weight or grow winter hair. It can also change as they are worked and develop muscling in their neck. Evaluating collar fit is very important as you work your horse, pony, donkey or mule to see how their muscling is effecting collar fit.

The only parts of Zorro’s harness that needed to be changed were the breeching, the nose band, the girth and his collar. Everything else had enough adjustment in it that I didn’t need to change it! For his SuperFlex collar all I had to change was the collar cap. I ordered the smallest mini sized one to shorten up the collar.

A few more examples-

This is Jasper. He was first measured as a 3 year old.

Jasper as a 5 year old:

The measurements that changed are:

  • COM to COM
  • Brow Band
  • Height
  • Girth
  • Breeching

The rest of the measurements may have changed a little bit but that is because Kirsty measured a little differently the second time, following the video I made showing how to measure. We know, from experience, that Jasper’s head, height, girth and breeching truly changed because he grew up and filled out!

This is Wallace. He was 2 years old when he was first measured.

Wallace was remeasured as a four year old:

The measurements that changed are:

  • COM to COM
  • Brow Band
  • Height
  • Girth
  • Breeching

These are the measurements that most commonly change as they grow. If you know that when you purchase your baby equine a harness, then you can be prepared to have to get a longer brow band, girth and possibly breeching body. Our harness makers will do their best to make the harness grow with the horse, pony, donkey or mule, but sometimes they will have a BIG growth spurt which can dramatically change their shape. Driving will also get them in shape and can change their muscling, which also changes their overall shape.

Sometimes, knowing what we will have to purchase later, really helps us decide what to purchase now!

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