Equine Body Condition Score Chart

Is your horse overweight, underweight, or just about right?

Weight loss is a common cause of worry for horse owners. However, significant weight gain should be of similar concern and we are finding all too many horses carrying far too much weight. An over weight horse will have extra stress and strain placed on its joints, tendons and ligaments, not to mention its heart, lungs and other internal organs. Remember, a horse’s healthy state is to be fit, not fat.

If you are worried about your horse’s condition, ask a vet to do a clinical exam and body condition score (BCS). It is advisable to either have veterinary guidance when carrying out a BCS or to use a BCS chart when examining your horse, as it’s all to easy to misinterpret the BCS score of your horse, leading to under or over nutrition of the animal.

Below is an excellent BCS chart, courtesy of National Equine Welfare Council, to use as a guide when examining your horse.Horse-Body-Condition-Score---Very-PoorHorse-Body-Condition-Score-PoorHorse-Body-Condition-Score-Moderate Horse-Body-Condition-Score-Good Horse-Body-Condition-Score-Fat

 

How does your horse compare? Let us know in the comments below. And share this with fellow horse lovers by using the share buttons below.

Nikki Walshe MVB is a resident vet at Greenmount Equine Hospital, Limerick

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