Measuring Your Horse For A Nose Bag


Fitting your equine for a feed bag is not a terribly exact science. So long as the nose opening is big enough for your horse's nose to fit all the way down into the bag, it should be quite useable. You can order some generously-sized feed bags and have them work just fine on all your horses if their nose measurements and jaw lengths are within 4" or so of one another. However, the more "slack" there is around the nose of the bag, the more likely it is that your horse might get it snagged on something. Having a well-fitted feed bag is really more of a safety consideration than a necessity of function.

If you would like to get a one-size-fits-many feed bag to use on any horse at your farm, measure your horses and send us the largest set of measurements that you encounter. If you would like to order different sizes of nose bags fitted to particular horses, we will attach a removeable tag to each bag with the size clearly marked (or the horse's name, if you prefer), to prevent mix-ups.


A dressmaker's flexible measuring tape is the ideal tool for measuring your horse's head. An equine "weight tape" works well also. If you have neither of those, you can simply measure your horse's head by using a piece of string or twine that has no "stretch" to it. A nice straight piece of baling twine would work fine. Using a piece of tape or a marker or just your thumb, mark your measurement on the string and then measure the string with a tape measure, yard stick, ruler, etc.


Because our nose bags are 9" deep...

... you will need to measure around your horse's face at a point approximately 9" from his lips.

The next most important measurement is around the entire head, lengthwise.

Run your string or measuring tape all the way around the head: behind the ears and across that wiggly top lip. Measuring a draft horse's head in this fashion will likely get you a number somewhere in the 50-65 inch range, if you can keep your measuring tape out of the horse's mouth. The standard-length poll strap will fit a head that is as much as 72" around. For an additional $1, you can request the extra-long poll strap which is 10" longer.


If your horse has an unusually thick or cresty neck, taking a neck measurement might be a good idea. In this photo, you can see where the neck strap should generally sit. The neck strap can sit higher than this, but ought not sit much lower. For a horse with a long head, you might even put the neck strap up behind the ears, right along with the poll strap.

The mare in that photo measures 46" around where her neck strap is sitting. The standard-length neck strap can be adjusted out to fit a neck as much as 66" around. If you think your horse might need a longer neck strap, you can order the extra-long neck strap (10" longer) for an additional $1

Additional measurements that are helpful but not necessary:

> Bit size

> Collar size

> Headstall size (from the bit on one side, up over the head and behind the ears, down to the bit on the other side)

> Lower jaw length (as described below)


Smaller sizes of BigNose Feed Bags are available by special request for smaller equine! Use the same measuring instructions as shown above to get the two most important measurments (around the face and around the head), then take this measurement as well:

Measure the length of your horse's lower jaw, from lip to throat. This will tell us how long the nose bag needs to be. It's possible that we might need to scale down our full-size nosebag model for horses with smaller heads so it doesn't look like your horse is wearing his daddy's nosebag. Ponies and donkeys, in particular, often need scaled-down BigNose Bags.