Learn how to Body Condition Score your horse
Article re-posted with kind permission by Equine Guelph: http://equineguelph.ca/index.php
Equine Guelph has made a New Year’s Resolution to empower horse owners to learn more about their horse’s nutrition and needs. January, dubbed by Equine Guelph as Nutrition Education Month, will be dedicated to increasing awareness of what caregivers can do to take control of their horse’s nutrition and health now and through years to come.
“We are delighted to be fulfilling our resolution by delivering Nutrition Education Month over the next four weeks,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph. “Remember, good health depends on ideal body weight. So, make your resolution on behalf of your horse and let’s get started!”
Optimizing your horse’s nutrition starts with evaluating the horse’s current condition. This includes the horse’s Body Condition Score (BCS) which evaluates the amount of fat on a horse’s body. The Henneke body condition scoring system is commonly used in horses. It is a nine-point system where 1 represents an emaciated horse, and 9 represents an obese horse. You visually assess AND palpate the horse to determine the amount of fat present at six areas of the body. BCS can be used to determine whether your feeding plan is providing enough energy for the horse, or whether you are under- or over-feeding.
Equine Guelph has developed a new Body Condition Scoring Tool to help caregivers learn how to body condition score. The online tool, is available for free to the public. It can be found at www.TheHorsePortal.ca/BCSTool.