Base of withers measuring technique

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
Reaction score
Oklahoma City, OK
I want to make it clear this is NOT, NOT, NOT anything official!

I have had this procedure described to me so I gave it a try. It seems to work for me so some other breeders have tried it out too.

Measuring device in left hand.

Stand facing left side of horse.

Place your right index finger and second finger accross the middle of the horse's back. You know, hold those 2 fingers out straight as if you were going to give a salute.

Slide those fingers toward the front of the horse until the index finger begins to lift (rise). The second finger has not begun to rise yet. This point is the base of the withers. Measure at this point.

I would be interested in hearing other ideas for a technique to identify the base of withers. It would be fun to try out different procedures and see if one is easier to accomplish.

Charlotte...I appreciate you posting a way to help measure from the base of the whethers. I will be honest ....maybe I am just tired...but, that seems complicated. I will try it though...because I have been trying to figure out HOW to do this. Thanks for trying to help. If this rule does pass..which I am hoping it doesn't. I will need all the help I can get..LOL.

I still don't like the measurement rule change.
Hi Charlotte,

So, maybe I'm just tired too, but it's not overly clear to me. So, when my index finger starts to rise, do I lift it off the horse and place the measuring stick where my index finger was? Or is it the spot where my second finger is that is technically the "base" of the withers? Whew, it's late.
I need sleep!

BTW, thanks for posting this! I don't like the rule change, but I appreciate someone trying to help me better understand it.
I got what you're saying, Charlotte, and it sounds like a good method to me. I've just had my coffee (which I need to kick the addiction to -- again!).

What she's saying is just put your index and middle fingers on the horse's back along the backbone and slide those fingers up forward towards the horse's front slowly. You should be able to feel the point where your index finger has begun to rise but your middle finger is still at the lower point. This would be the base of the withers.

I'll try it when I get home today, but it makes sense to me!!!

Thanks Jill. I think you made the explanation easier to understand than I did.

Lisa, the bylaw change has already passed and will go into effect in '09. To change THAT bylaw will require another bylaw change proposal to be submitted and voted in.

Personally, I would just as soon have had the measuring stay the way it was. Personally, I don't think changing the measuring method is going to eliminate the cheating that goes on at shows. Those who chose to cheat in order to gain an advantage in the show ring will find a way no matter what method we use to measure.
Sad isn't it?

Last edited by a moderator:
I don't have a horse around where I'm currently living, so can't give this a try yet, but I can visualize what you are saying. However, isn't this method of determinining the location being done by feeling of the musculature that shapes the back? I thought we were supposed to be easily finding a notch in the bone?

Charlotte, the rule was passed at the Annual Meeting, but it has NOT been implemented yet. The Board, of which Frank, your husband, is a member, has the power to block the implementation. This happened last year with a 'protest' rule. That rule had been passed, but the Board stopped it from being put into effect. They stopped it from being put in the rulebook. So, it isn't a 'done deal' yet

Latest posts