Body condition scoring is a helpful way to assess a horse’s condition. Body condition scoring is a hands-on, subjective method for evaluating a horse’s condition or fat cover. It may vary slightly depending on the season, how much the horse is eating and how much energy he is exerting.
1. Extremely thin.
The horse is extremely emaciated. The backbone, ribs, hipbones and tailhead are all prominent. The neck is hollow, and the bones of the shoulders, withers and neck are easily discerned. Individual vertebrae are clearly seen and easily palpated. No fat can be
2. Very thin.
The back bone is prominent, ribs, tailhead, and pelvic bone stand out. Bone
structures of the neck, withers, and shoulder are evident. Individual vertebrae can be seen and easily palpated. The horse is emaciated.
The backbone is prominent. A slight fat layer can be felt over the ribs, the tailhead is
evident but individual vertebrae cannot be seen. The hip bones cannot be seen but withers, shoulder and neck are emphasised.
4. Moderately thin.
A negative crease along the back. An outline of the ribs can be seen. Fat is palpable around the tailhead. Hip bones bones cannot be seen. Withers, neck and shoulders are not obviously thin.
Back is level. Ribs can be felt but not easily seen. Fat around tailhead feels spongy. Withers are rounded and shoulders and neck blend smoothly into the body.
6. Moderately Fleshy.
A slight crease is along the back. Fat on the tailhead feels soft. Fat over the ribs is spongy. Small deposits of fat along the withers, behind the shoulders and along the neck.
A crease is seen down the back. Ribs may be felt but fat between ribs is obvious. Fat on tailhead is soft. Noticeable fat along neck, behind shoulders and withers.
Crease down back is prominent. Ribs difficult to feel due to fat in between. Wither area is filled with fat, and very soft fat over tailhead. The space behind shoulders is filled in and flush, and there is fat along the inner buttocks.
9. Extremely fat.
The crease down the back is very prominent. Fat is in patches over rib area, with bulging fat over tailhead, withers, neck and shoulders. Fat along inner buttocks may rub together and flank is filled in flush.