Body Condition Scoring in Orange County

Controlling Your Horse's Weight
Body condition scoring is a system which has been devised to monitor and record the extent to which a particular animal is under weight, or in many conditions over weight. The body condition score is a numerical value from 1-9 which is determined by assessing fat deposition in six areas of the horses body. Fat assessment is determined both visually and by palpation of the loin, ribs, tail head, withers, neck and behind the shoulders.
A score of 1 is given to an extremely emaciated horse and a score of 9 would denote a severely obese animal. A score of 5 is considered to be the "correct" weight for the horse. Clearly, the amount of weight that an animal carries is determined to a large extent by its breed and its occupation. A Quarter Horse World Champion halter horse may seem obese to many, much as an Olympic class weight lifter might appear "over conditioned" when compared to a "normal" person.
A low body condition score can be indicative of parasitism, poor teeth, sand in the intestinal tract, or other illnesses, or perhaps poor feeding practices. A high body score can suggest hormonal dysfunctions such as under active thyroid, insulin resistance, or Cushing’s syndrome.
It is also possible to monitor the horse's weight with a weight tape which measures the distance around the horse's girth and converts the distance to an estimated weight. A weight tape is inexpensive and a fairly good measure of a horse's actual weight, and a very good way to monitor a horse for weight gain or loss once a baseline is established.
Contact Us
Be sure to speak with one of our EVA veterinarians to learn more about controlling your horse's weight with body condition scoring in Orange County. Clients can use our online contact form or call our EVA office to order weight tapes which can be easily mailed to the client's residence or to make an appointment with one of our vets.