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HOW TO WEIGHT TAPE & BODY CONDITION SCORE YOUR HORSE

Regularly monitoring your horse or pony’s weight and condition is crucial to managing weight and maintaining a healthy body condition.

Weight taping and condition scoring go hand in hand and will enable you to pick up on any small changes as they occur throughout the year meaning you can very quickly adapt the feeding regime if needed.

WEIGHT TAPING

Lizzie Drury Weight Tape 1270

A weight tape is a useful investment and if used on a regular basis, i.e. every 2 weeks, will enable you to notice the slight changes in weight that might not yet be visible to the eye.

Although weigh tapes are not 100% accurate if you can weigh your horse in the same place, with the same tape, each time it will give you a rough estimate of weight and therefore the changes that are occurring. Ultimately a weighbridge is the only way to take an accurate reading of your horse’s weight however this needs to be taken regularly to bring benefit.

The best way to weight tape is to put the tape at the base of the withers and pull it around the horse’s girth so that it is behind the elbows. Then take the reading. Remember to take into consideration your horse’s shape and breed when weight taping as this will have a bearing on how accurate the reading is.

BODY CONDITION SCORING

When looking at your horse on a daily basis it is hard to see a change in their weight and condition, we would recommend weight taping and body condition scoring on a bi monthly basis at a similar time of day. Taking photos of your horse standing square without any tack or rugs on is also a great way to track your horse’s weight management journey.

SARACEN EV BURSARY 2015 SPENCER WILTON 375
STEP ONE - Feel along the top of your horse's neck and down to where the withers join the shoulders
SARACEN EV BURSARY 2015 SPENCER WILTON 407
STEP TWO - Run your hands down both sides of the withers and continue along the back, feeling for the spinous processes or fat on either side of the backbone
SARACEN EV BURSARY 2015 SPENCER WILTON 409
STEP THREE - Feel the quarters and trailhead for projecting bones or fat deposits
SARACEN EV BURSARY 2015 SPENCER WILTON 389
STEP FOUR - Run your hand down the neck and over the shoulder feeling for any fatty deposits, particularly behind the shoulder blade
SARACEN EV BURSARY 2015 SPENCER WILTON 397
STEP FIVE- Press firmly around the ribcage to assess the fat coverage over the ribs
HH SARACEN BURSARY2016 NUT CONS 2422
We would recommended weight taping in conjunction.

Location Of Adipose Deposits

When conditioning Scoring it is important to feel for adipose deposits which are commonly known as fat pads

Cresty Neck Scoring

Not to be confused with topline muscle a cresty neck is an indication of weight gain which may result in obesity.

Rib Scoring

Learning to assess the rib area correctly when Body Condition Scoring can be helped by following these simple tips

NEED GUIDANCE?

If you would like any further information on a weight management programme for your horse or pony please feel free to contact our nutritional team on 01622 718487, email info@saracenhorsefeeds.co.uk or fill out our Feed Advice Form.