Body Condition Scoring Chart for Horses

A. Along the neck

B. Along the withers

C. Crease down back

D. Tailhead

E. Ribs

F. Behind the shoulder

 

The Ideal Body Condition Score is between 5 and 6-1/2

1. Poor
Animal extremely emaciated; spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, tuber coxae (hip joints), and ischia (lower pelvic bones) projecting prominently; bone structure of withers, shoulders, and neck easily noticeable; no fatty tissue can be felt.

2. Very Thin
Animal emaciated; slight fat covering over base of spinous processes, transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae feel rounded; spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, tuber coxae (hip joints) and ischia (lower pelvic bones) prominent; withers, shoulders, and neck structure faintly discernable.

3. Thin
Fat buildup about halfway on spinous processes; transverse processes cannot be felt; slight fat cover over ribs; spinous processes and ribs easily discernable; tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be identified visually; tuber coxae (hip joints), appear rounded but easily discernable;
tuber ischia (lower pelvic bones) not distinguishable; withers, shoulders and neck accentuated.

4. Moderately Thin
Slight ridge along back; faint outline of ribs discernible; tailhead prominence depends on conformation, fat can be felt around it; tuber coxae (hip joints) not discernable; withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.
5. Moderate
Back is flat (no crease or ridge); ribs not visually distinguishable but easily felt; fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy; withers appear rounded over spinous processes; shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.

6. Moderately Fleshy
May have slight crease down back; fat over ribs spongy; fat around tailhead soft; fat beginning to be deposited along the side of withers, behind shoulders, and along sides of neck.

7. Fleshy
May have slight crease down back; individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat; fat around tailhead soft; fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders,and along neck.

8. Fat
Crease down back; difficult to feel ribs, fat around tailhead very soft; fat area along withers filled with fat, area behind shoulder filled with fat, noticeable thickening of neck; fat deposited along inner thighs.

9. Extremely Fat
Obvious crease down back; patchy fat appearing over ribs, bulging fat around tailhead; along withers, behind shoulders and along neck, fat along inner thighs may rub together; flank filled with fat.