What Is the Ideal Body Condition Score for Your Horse?
As the winter season approaches, it is time to evaluate your horse’s body condition score. It is important to make sure your horse begins winter in the best condition possible. If your horse has special needs it may be necessary to alter your feeding program during the winter months.
What is the ideal body condition score?
In general, a body condition score of 5 is considered good, but there are some cases where a leaner or fatter condition may be desirable. Studies have shown that broodmares with a higher score had higher conception rates than mares with a lower score. With older horses it may be more beneficial if the horse has a higher score to create a buffer for times of stress and illness. However, if your older horse suffers from arthritis or laminitis he or she may do better without extra weight. Performance horses can vary in range depending on the discipline. Polo, eventing, race, and endurance horses might be fit with a lower body condition score of 4, while a dressage, hunter, or jumper may be fit with a score of 6.
It is important to work with your veterinarian and trainer to determine the best body condition score for your individual horse.
Click here to download a reference chart.