What to Measure
Do you wonder what measurements are needed
to order a harness or harness parts?
Every harness shop seems to have a slightly different chart but the measurements are really the same. I’ve found over 26 years that not everyone understands things just the same way, and I’ve included description’s I’ve used for years on the phone. I hope these help.
~ Nana Janie
This is a page dedicated to measuring!! The top of this page is all about measuring for a harness. You will find information on measuring for other products including Halters, Blankets, and Equine Fusion Boots by scrolling down.
Measuring For A Harness
The letters on the illustration indicate the measurement as described below. As always, if you’re having trouble, just call and we’ll be glad to walk you through it.
Below is a video that explains how to measure for a harness. We ask that you take the time to watch this video before you head out to measure your equine. Our new policy requires measurements for EVERY harness order. Once you place your harness order, Mindy Schroder will be calling or emailing you to discuss your measurements. Accurate measurements help us keep our 100% fit guarantee!
Also, please download the sizing chart (the colored words, size chart, are the link. Please click it to open the PDF) to record your measurements as you measure. This chart also has written instructions on it, just to help remind you of what you just watched in the video.
- A – Poll
Measure from the corner of the mouth on one side, over the top of the head (behind the ears) to the corner of the mouth on the other side. When doing this measurement make sure the tape is right behind the animal’s ears. Start at the corner of the mouth on one side and end at the exact corner of the mouth on the other side. If you are between two measurements, choose the smaller of the two.
- B – Nose Band (sometimes called the cavesson)
Measure all the way around the muzzle about 2 fingers width below the cheek (Tear) bone. Find the facial bone that runs down both sides of the horse’s face. Measure two finger widths below the end of that bone. (I show this in the video above) Make sure the measuring tape is level and straight all the way around the nose. If you are between two measurements, choose the larger of the two.
- C – Brow band
Measure from hour horse’s temple on one side to the temple on the other side. Remember the brow-band measurement comes around his forehead past his ears. The brow band has to include room for the conchos. Mini’s usually measure 13-14.5; Ponies 14-15; Horses 16-17; Drafts 18-21. Make sure you have the halter on when doing this measurement, preferably a flat nylon halter. Include the width of the halter in your brow band measurement. Also make sure the halter is right behind the horse’s ears.
- D – Length of Horse
This measurement is different from a blanket measurement (from the center of the chest, along the side to the center of the tail) the length measurement is from the point of the shoulder to the end of the rump. Imagine if you placing him against a wall and only measuring the part that touches the wall. If you did just measure the blanket measurement, we’d figure it out. The length of the horse is from the point of shoulder to the point of hip, measuring along the horse’s side in as straight a line as you can. It helps to have two people to do this measurement. Use a flat edge, a ruler or a piece of cardboard, to find the edge of the horse’s hip.
- E – Height of Horse
Measure using a straight ruler or level or something else flat and straight across the horse’s back extending out to the side so that a straight line can me measured to the ground from that point. Then measure from that point straight down to the ground. You can use a measuring tape to measure the height of the horse. Hold a flat edge, a ruler or a piece of cardboard, on the top of the withers to help you make an accurate measurement.
- F – Girth
When measuring the girth make sure you have the tape laying where the saddle will sit, on the flattest part of the back, NOT forward on the withers, or following the girth groove. This is shown in the video above. If you are between measurements, choose the larger of the two.
- G – Back Length
This is the distance from where the harness saddle sits to the dock (top) of the tail. It is the length used for the turn back strap. Measure from where the BACK of the saddle will sit, along the back, to the top of the tail. Just allow the tape to lay on the horse’s back, don’t pull it super tight. If you are between two measurements, choose the smaller of the two.
- H- Breast Collar Length
If you are getting a Deluxe Style breast collar then measure just in front of the back of the shoulder, about half way between the front and the back of the shoulder, as this breast collar needs to be a bit shorter. If you are getting the Standard Curve or Straight style breast collar then measure from the point where the top of the front leg stops on one side around the the same place on the other side. I used to say from the point of the shoulder but that is a bit short. the breast collar (standard) ends about 2″ before the girth. The deluxe girth is shorter and stops about 3-4″ before the girth.
- I – Breeching Length
Measure from the middle of the flank swirl around the widest part of the rump to the middle of the flank swirl on the other side. This will ensure the breeching is long enough.
Here are a few more tips for particular measurements:
Every harness saddle is different so if you are wanting to order just a replacement girth measure the current girth, end to end on the back – both the length and width. If you need a larger or girth band, decide on the length based on the girth you have measured. You want the buckles on the girth to buckle in the center of 5 holes if it fits perfectly. You will also need to indicate the width of the strap to which the new girth will buckle so that the buckle size is correct.
If you don’t know the length of traces needed here is a way to estimate. Have someone help you. Hold a tape measure at the point of your horse’s shoulder and the measure back to 15″ behind the horse’s rump. the typical distance between the back of the horse and the single tree is 12-15″ depending on the size of the horse. Comfy fit trace standard sizes are 48″, 54″, 62″, 72″, 82″.
Names of the Harness Parts
To learn more about harness parts, their functions, and their names take a look at this blog post: Harness Parts Names
Harness Size Chart
We sell harnesses by size categories, which include:
- VSE: Mini A, B and C, Mini Donkey/Mule, Shetland, Small Pony, and Standard Donkey
- Horse: Large Pony, Cob, Halflinger, Horse, Large Horse and Mammoth Donkey
- Draft: Mammoth Mule and Draft
To choose your size, please refer to these guidelines. If you don’t see exactly what you need, remember we’re always glad to make custom items – or swap out one piece that isn’t just right – to be sure you and your equine and comfy and happy.
We think Mini Donkey and Mules are special, and we spent nearly two years perfecting a harness just for them. Mini Donkey/Mule has it’s own size, which has fit every mini donkey or mule since 1994!
Our harness is unconditionally guaranteed to fit and perform, as long as you measure. Again, please watch the video above and print out the measuring chart!
Measuring for a Halter
Here is a video showing exactly how to measure for proper halter fit:
When choosing your size; if your poll measurement is pretty close or a little smaller than the one shown on the chart then choose your halter based on that measurement. If the nose band is going to be a little on the small side, choose the adjustable chin option and that will give you a little more room around the nose!
Each halter product will show which sizes are available for that particular halter in the long description (scroll down to view). Here is a chart of ALL of the sizes we carry with measurements. Every halter we have available will be sized according to this chart.
Measuring for a Blanket
When measuring for a blanket be sure to:
- Measure from the center of the chest to the center of the tail. This means take your tape around the side of the shoulder to the center of the chest and around the side of the rump to the center of the tail.
- Make sure to measure along the widest part of the horse’s tummy.
Measuring For Equine Fusion Jogging Boots
Measuring your horse’s foot correctly will ensure you get a boot that fits and will work for many miles. So please do take the time to measure your horse’s foot, then re-measure, then check your measurements and measure again! This will help us, help you, ensure the proper fit.
The boots are measured in cm. This chart will help you make the conversion from inches to cm.
Measure the length of your horse’s foot, from the toe to the heel buttress. This should be back by the widest part of the frog, but if your horse’s heels are under run then measure at the widest part of the frog.
Then, you will need to measure the width of your horse’s foot. This is measured at the widest part of the foot.
Here is a video showing how to measure for a pair of boots: