The average height of a horse depends on the type and breed. The average height of Quarter Horses is 15 hands high, or 15 hh. The average height of Hanoverians is 18 hh. Horses are measured in "hands," which equal the width of a man’s palm, or approximately 4 inches.
Horses are measured from the shoulders, where the back and neck meet, down to the ground. The average Draft Horse is about 18 hands high or 18 hh. This is multiplied by 4 inches to equal 72 inches, or 6 feet tall from hoof to withers. The average height of a Clydesdale ranges from 16 to 18 hh, while Belgian horses are around 16 hh. Most riding-horse breeds, including thoroughbreds, have an average height of 16 hh.