Determining Your Horse’s Body Type
Aside from providing water and shelter, determining the proper diet for your horse is one of the most important steps you must take as a horse owner. Before you can choose the proper diet, however, you must first determine whether or not the horse is healthy. A handy way to accomplish this goal is to use the Henneke Body Condition scoring system, which ranges from 1 to 9.
According to the Henneke Body Condition scoring system, a horse with a score of 1 is considered to be emaciated while a score of 9 is considered to be obese. Therefore, it stands to reason that the ideal range of scores would be from 4 to 6, with a score of 5 being the target goal. A horse with a score of 5 will have moderate fat cover over the crest of the neck as well as behind the shoulders. A horse with a score of 5 will also have moderate fat over the ribs, the loin and the tailhead. In this ideal condition, the ribs should be easy to feel, but should not be seen
Determining where your horse falls on the Henneke Body Condition scoring system will give you a good idea as to whether you need to work toward helping your horse lose weight, gain weight or maintain its current physique.