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EQUUS Article- Your Horse's Score?
An article in the August edition of EQUUS magazine was about the body condition score of your horse, written by Christine Barakat. My Jokester was a good 7 from my evaluation, so, I was wondering what everyone else thought their horse's body score may be. I'll put down the scores and how they are described.

Score: 1 (Poor)
-Extreme emaciation
-Spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, and hooks and pins are prominent
-Bone structure of withers, shoulder and neck is easily noticeable.
-No fatty tissue can be felt

Score: 2 (Very thin)
-Thin layer of fat over base of spinous prosesses
-Transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae feel rounded
-Spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, and hooks and pins are prominent
-Whithers, shoulders and neck structures are faintly discernable

Score: 3 (Thin)
-Fat about halfway up spinous processes; transerve processes canno be felt
-Thin fat layer over ribs
-Spinous processes and ribs are easily discernable
-Tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be visually identified
-Hook bones appear rounded but not easily discernable
-Pin bones not distinguishable
-Withers. shoulders and neck are accentuated

Score: 4 (Moderately thin)
-Ridge along back
-Faint outline of ribs discernable
-Tailhead prominence depends on conformation; fat can be felt around it
-Hook bones not discernable
-Withers, shoulders and neck are not obviously thin

Score: 5 (Moderate)
-Back level
-Ribs cannot be visually destinguished but can be easily felt
-Fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy
-Withers appear rounded over spinous processes
-Shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body

Score: 6 (Moderate to fleshy)
-May have slight crease down back
-Fat over ribs feels soft and spongy
-Fat around tailhead feels soft
-Fat beginning to be deposited along sides of the withers, behind the shoulders and along the sides of the neck

Score: 7 (Fleshy)
-May have crease down back
-Individual ribs can be felt with noticeable filling between ribs with fat
-Fat around tailhead is soft
-Fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders and along neck

Score: 8 (Fat)
-Crease down back
-Difficult to feel ribs
-Fat along tailhead very soft
-Area along withers filled with fat
-Noticeable thickening of neck
-Fat deposited along inner buttocks

Score: 9 (Extremely fat)
-Obvious crease down back
-Patchy fat appearing over ribs
-Bulging fat around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders and along neck
-Fat along inner buttocks may rub together
-Flank filled in flush

So, what's your horse's score? Have fun!
Sweetheart, my 2 1/2 year old is probally between a 6 and 7 as well, she is a very easy keeper. Chloe my older mare she is a 6.
I think Max is probably between a 5 and a 6. I've tried to bring his weight down just a little this summer and my trainer told me he is looking good. Now I have to figure out just how much to feed to keep him where he is going into winter.
Wish it was as easy to adjust my own score! I'm way to fleshy!
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

My young mares are probably right between a 6 and a 7....a little plump but right where I want them for the beginning of fall. As you probably know, summer in Florida is not the best time for any heavy work or trail-riding. Too hard on the horses and too hard on us old folks. Also, my pastures are lush with Tif-9, but that will all be gone soon.

So when we start working regularly , gradually getting back to form and function, they will tighten up those soft muscles and lose that bit of extra flesh.

My biggest problem is keeping weight ON my old mares ( 26 and 27) during the winter. They have free choice hay and I add alfalfa forage to their meal plan and even give them some Manna pellets when it gets very cold. They are very healthy with great feet and just a tinge of arthritis, treated with glucosamin/chondroitin/msm. I also give them B/L pellets for discomfort if it gets damp and cold.

My friend feeds her older horses beet pulp with their regular grain to keep weight on them, but I have not tried that.

To love a horse should fill us with awe, because we do not deserve it.

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