I've had Blue about four years now (how time flies when you're having fun). I had never measured him at the withers, but I've always assumed the local horse trader was right when he estimated him to be 16 to 16.2 hands. A hand is four inches, so that would be sixty-six inches tall at the withers. Because he seems like such a huge horse, it sounded right to me. After all, I have to get up on something to mount him. Of course, I do have bad knees.
Yesterday I had Cliff get out the tape measure to see how tall Libby is; I had guessed her to be fourteen hands, and that's exactly what she is. I'd really like her to grow to two more inches taller, but at 2 1/2 years of age, this may be her full adult height.
"Let's measure Blue while we're at it," I said.
Cliff made sure Blue was standing squarely, and measured twice. He's only fifteen-two. All this time I've been wrong about his size; he's four inches shorter than I thought.
I'm not going to tell Blue, though. I'd hate for him to get a complex.
Back to Libby: she seems not to have quite enough withers to hold the saddle in place when I'm mounting. Once I'm on her, the saddle stays put just fine; but it's hard to mount her without the saddle slipping sideways in the process. It's nothing I can't deal with, it's just a thing for me to puzzle over.