You measure from the ground, to the highest point of their shoulders, or, withers. Their heads are higher, but not included in the measurement.
|The withers are at the base of the mane, where they are grooming one another. Markus (left) is 17.2hh and Skip (right) is 15.2hh|
Average horses are between 15 and 16 hands, or a little above. Ponies are under 14.2hh. My Cosmo was 18 hh. So, let me test my terrible math skills...
18 hands x 4 inches = 72 inches
72 inches / 12 inches (in a foot) = 6
|Cosmo, 18hh at shoulder|
So he was six feet at the shoulder. He was a big dude. Markus wears the same size blanket and saddle - which is great because I didn't have to buy new stuff for him - but he's only 17.2 hh. Only. Ha! He's still giant compared to me.