Along with the feathering at its hooves, one of the most notable characteristics of Clydesdales is their massive size. They were, of course, bred as draft horses in Scotland, where farm work required strong helpers. Horses are measured in hands, a measurement based on the breadth of the human hand and eventually standardized at four inches per hand. Height in hands is measured from the ground to the shoulders, called withers. Clydesdale mares are 16 to 18 hands tall, meaning they can measure 64 to 72 inches at the shoulder. Males are even taller, averaging 17 to 19 hands.