How to Measure the Driving Collars (and hames!)

I am often asked how to go about measuring an existing collar. Sometimes we buy these things second hand and are told one thing, only to find out later, the collar is actually a different size than stated. If you bought a collar and it’s not fitting your equine (and you measured correctly!) then you may need to measure the collar itself to see if it’s actually the size you were sold.

**Keep in mind that most collars are hand made. To have them be 1/4″  different in size than marked is not abnormal. If it’s an inch bigger than what you order, or than marked then you may want to let the collar maker know!

Measuring the Collar

To measure the collar, lay it flat on the ground, front facing up. Then use a tape measure and measure from the collar cap at the top of the collar, STRAIGHT down to the bottom of the collar:

The above collar is 15″ and is marked as an AP 5 which means AP 15.

Side note: The letters often found on the back of the collars from Brodhead usually have more to do with their way of organizing their shop than they do of the actual collar. Once in a while we will have someone order two of the same collar, but at different times. Then the letters will be different on the back of the collar. The two collars are exactly the same (as much as a HANDMADE item can be) just marked differently. I have been told that is so they can attach a collar to an invoice. This has nothing to do with the collar itself.

To measure a Comfy Collar or a SuperFlex you will do it exactly the same way:

This Comfy Collar has the standard shetland collar cap and is supposed to be 13″. As you can see it’s a little bigger than 13″. That’s the nature of a hand made item. It fits Zorro just fine!

I often get phone calls from people who have diligently measured every single part of their harness and found the parts aren’t exactly the measurements they sent us. Please, go try the harness on your horse, pony, donkey or mule before calling to tell me it doesn’t fit. Even if each piece isn’t exactly the measurement you sent us, the harness will fit your equine, nearly every time. This goes for the collar as well. There is really no better way to decide if something fits, than to try it on your animal.

Measuring the Hames

To measure the hames you will lay them flat and measure from the top rachet, STRAIGHT down to the bottom of the hame:

The work style hame is 2″ bigger than the collar it goes with. So the above hames fit the 14″ All Purpose Collar I use for Zorro.

The buggy style hame will be the exact same size as the collar it goes with:

So the above hames fit the 14″ buggy style collar I use on Zorro.

If you have any questions about the fit of your collar please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at mindy@chimacumtack.com



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