Horse Health

Body Condition Scores for Horses


1. Emaciated
Backbone, tailhead, ribs and hipbones prominent. Bone structure of neck, withers and shoulders easily visible. No fat palpable over the loins.


2. Very Thin

Ribs and hipbones prominent. Backbone and tailhead slightly less prominent. Bone structure of neck, withers and shoulders faintly discernible. Slight fat layer palpable over loins.



3. Thin

Backbone and tailhead prominent, but individual tailhead vertebrae aren’t      visible. Ribs and hipbones have slight fat covering, but are easily visible. Withers, neck and shoulders accentuated, but not obviously thin. Bones of loins are difficult to feel.


4. Lean (ideal)

Slight ridge over loins and faint outline of ribs visible. Fat palpable around tailhead (which might or might not be prominent). Hipbones not visible. Withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.


5. Moderate

Back is flat with no cease or ridge. Ribs aren’t visible, but easily felt. Spongy fat around tailhead; withers rounded; shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.



6. Moderate Fleshy

Might have a slight crease down the back. Ribs barely palpable with light pressure. Soft fat around tailhead. Some fat palpable on side of withers, neck and behind shoulders.



7. Fleshy

Might have crease down the back. Ribs are difficult to feel. Fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders and along neck.


8. Fat

 Crease down the back. Ribs very difficult to feel. Fat around tailhead very soft. Fat fills area over withers and behind shoulders with noticeable thickening of neck. Fat deposited over inner thighs.


9. Obese

Prominent crease down back. Patchy fat deposits over ribs. Fat bulging around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders and along neck. Fat along inner thighs might cause them to rub together. Flank filled with fat (no abdominal tuck).

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