Weight Management in Horses
Managing weight and body condition properly is critical to ensuring the overall health and well-being of horses. Given the range of body types, exercise levels, and metabolism levels found in the general horse population, this can be a challenge for horse owners. With a few simple tools, however, it can be a very manageable process.
Knowing the correct weight of a horse is key not only for feeding the proper amount daily, but also for providing medications and supplements at the appropriate level.
Few horse owners have access to a large scale, so weight taping is often the standard measurement. Traditional weight tapes are a great starting point, however utilizing the Equine Weight Formulas that incorporate both heart girth and body length measurements can provide increased accuracy.
- Click here to find the Equine Weight Formula and measurement instructions.
Body Condition Scoring
Beyond knowing the weight of a horse, regularly estimating the Body Condition Score can help horse owners track the progress of their animal over time to evaluate feeding program needs, as well as provide a consistent measurement through situations such a long winter hair coats or growth spurts, or across breeds with conformational differences.
- Click here to find the Body Condition Scoring system for horses.
Managing the Extremes
While the ideal body condition score for typical horses is around a 5, horses are often found at both ends of the scoring system. For details specific to those extremes, please visit the pages in our "Common Conditions" section of this website.