What is the height of a horse

What is the difference between a horse and a pony?

“A cowboy goes to the hairdresser's. If he comes out again: Pony gone! "
A real cowboy would of course never come ridden on a pony, but on a horse. But what exactly is the difference, because actually ponies and horses look pretty similar. Both have two ears and eyes, a mouth, a tail, and four legs. But what immediately catches the eye is the difference in size. And therein lies the explanation.

A horse is at least 1.48 meters tall. A pony is a horse that is shorter than 1.48 meters. That is how it was determined in Germany. But both are horses.

The height of a horse is measured on Withers. This is the transition from the neck to the back. You can usually see it well, because it is a bit raised - like a small bump. What you can see and feel there are the long spinous processes of the first thoracic vertebrae. When the horse lowers its head, that is its highest point.

That there is a division of the sizes is important in tournaments. Pitting a big horse against a small pony would be pretty unfair. If the horse trots off, the pony cannot keep up or falls into a gallop.

But this is not allowed in the tournament when the discipline “trotting” is the order of the day. But since the pony has much smaller legs, it wouldn't stand a chance against a large horse.

Horses come in a wide variety of sizes. The Shire horse, the largest horse breed in the world, is particularly large. 1.80 meters are not uncommon. In contrast, a Shetland pony only measures one meter.

Now a little more confusion: some ponies are called horses even though they are significantly smaller than 1.48 meters! The Icelandic horse, for example. This is probably due to the fact that there has only ever been one breed in Iceland. Icelanders never had to distinguish between horse and pony.

There is also the American Mini-Horse. This is also clearly a pony. Since this breed does not look small and stocky like a typical pony, but rather slim and noble, this should be expressed by the term "horse". Strictly speaking, these “horses” are of course also ponies.