How Much Does a Racehorse Weigh?

Jessica McDaniel
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Average Weight of a Racehorse

Thoroughbreds are the most popular racehorses and are a very athletically built breed. These race horses usually weigh around 1,000lbs. It's a delicate balance between having less weight to carry during a race and the powerful muscles needed for speed and endurance. They typically come in around 15 to 16 hands which equals 60 to 64 inches.

  • Thoroughbreds – 1,100 lbs
  • Quarter Horses – 1,000 lbs
  • Standardbreds – 1,000 lbs
  • Arabians – 900 lbs

The weight of the thoroughbred racehorse also varies depending on its sex.

Average Weight of a Racehorse: Thoroughbreds

The average weight of a Thoroughbred thoroughbred racehorse ranges from approximately 1,000 pounds to 1,100 pounds. Their weight can be affected by outside factors, including feed consumption, exercise, breeding, and age.

Thoroughbred racehorses at the beginning of their racing careers are smaller because they are still in the weight-development phase of their life. But the average weight of a Thoroughbred racehorse can change as the horse gets older due to a number of factors, including the horse's age, diet, hours spent exercising and racing, and the horse’s training status.

While the age of the horse and how much weight the horse has lost can affect how the horse weighs, the Thoroughbred is still one of the smaller racehorse breeds at racing maturity. Nevertheless, they are the most popular breed for racing. Their long legs, strong muscles, and broad chests are their signature features and make them ideal for racing.

Average Weight of a Racehorse: Quarter Horses

Horses are typically measured by their height and their weight in pounds. The average height for a quarter racehorse ranges from 12 to 15 hands. A hand is equal to four inches.

A horse’s age, gender, hoof size, and type of feed will affect its weight while other factors like sexual maturity, breed type and fat cover also affect it.

The average weight of a quarter horse can weigh anywhere from 900 lbs. to 1,100 lbs.

A mid-sized horse for general riding and many western style sports will weigh 800-1000 lbs. Thoroughbreds, which race at a mile or longer, weigh less than 1,200 lbs. Some Standardbreds, which race at two miles or more, weigh more than 1,200 lbs.

Average Weight of a Racehorse: Standardbreds

With their long bodies and strong shoulders, they are very popular for racing in the Western world. Their height varies a little more from 14 to 17 hands and their weight subsequently also has a bigger range of 900 – 1,100 pounds.

Arabians

The average weight of an adult Arabian horse is 800 to 1,000 pounds. Racing Arabians is not very common in the US, but rather common in the Arabina countries. These races are typically very long races, so Arabians are more geared towards endurance than speed.

Other Horse Racing

There's different kinds of horse racing all over the world and many cultures have different traditions. One of the more famous, but obscure traditions is the Mongolian Derby. It's the longest annual horse race and is performed on horses traditional to the area.

What Makes a Racehorse

Performance and speed in any horse is determined by good breeding, skilled riding and excellent training. It is also possible to improve your horse's speed with a good diet, exercise training and regular exercise.

Generally speaking, the ideal height of a horse is between 15 and 16 hands. Horses that are over 16 hands are considered to be tall and long legged horses are generally considered to be too slow for racing.

Generally, the weight and the size of a horse doesn't change in the racehorse industry due to strict rules regarding weight limits and the use of performance enhancers in training.

However, racing horses do vary in weight dependent on the type of race and the season. The heavier horses are usually the over distance races. The lighter and faster horses are in the sprints as they need the quick acceleration.