USEF Pony measuring guidelines

My pony has a temporary pony card and needs to be measured for the 2021 show season.
I understand according to the USEF rules that they can’t measure above 149 cm with shoes or 148 without shoes.

What are some tips and tricks to make sure he measures at or below the requirements?

I would assure routine trim/reset is done within a few days of measure.

Start measuring pony daily, and at random times and varied situations. Grab anyone standing around and have them go through the motions. Teach to lower head for measure. Goal is that being measured is as routine, and no reason to inflate posture. Do not treat afterwards, as you do not want pony treat searching at time of measure. Exercise well (this does not mean ride the pony to death) immediately prior to measure. Again goal is relaxed pony that will lower head and have little interest in the event.

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before the measurement show him a color photo of a champion pony that has a just been awarded a championship… this might deflate his ego

We had one that always measured 14.1 + but never 14.2 even though every one thought she was “at least 15h” sorry, she was always under 14.2. Several people had protested her entry in open pony classes paying the fee to have her measured

If he is close to being over the line, hire a pony trainer to show him. They have tricks in the way they stand, work them prior, etc. it makes a difference and worth it.

Pratice, practice, practice standing him up often, have others approach him and touch him around the shoulders. Get ahold off an actual measuring stick with the base and level and practice placing it and swinging the arm over and lowering it teaching Pony to hold still and relax. A tense, fresh Pony is a bigger Pony then a warmed up, relaxed one and when 1/4” is a make or break measurement? You need to properly prepare. Pick a venue for the appointment Pony is familiar with and try for a warmer month. Doesn’t matter when their feet are worked on and shoes can be pulled but theres a vet there and it must jog sound, it is subject to drug testing as any show entry is.

You know, i got a measuring app that just showed up in my phone with an update, the tile is just called “measure” not official of course. But just opening it and scanning gives you a pretty good measurement and the more you understand about things that can make a Pony “ grow” or “shrink” 1/4”, the better.

It removes any excuse for not knowing your horses approximate height too, which is a great help in estimating weight and tack sizing as well. I can sure tell you it has been a huge help when looking at sale horses and we aren’t talking 1/4” off the sale ad either. Pretty useful.

Where do I begin to look specifically for a pony trainer?

Do you have any in your area or know of any that have a bunch of ponies that get measured?

I only know hackney pony trainers so I am of no use.

But like they suggested above… practice. You have some great advice above.

Assuming she was a Morgan! My Morgan mare sticks at exactly 15 hands when shod, but if she gets full of herself people think she’s at least a hand taller.

just for those who are not familiar with what we are referring to the photo below the Bay is 14.1+ the Buckskin is 15.1 plus… we own both so I know what their heights are (the Bay was at this opening of a event as she would carry a flag as well as the Buckskin whereas the other horses entered in the 3 day would not go near a flag… the organizers wanted a flag presentation so daughter knew Foxie would not mind a flag so this was Foxie’s only 3 Day Event entry)


Great picture of your Morgans! Love your horse stories about them and your kids.