From a welfare point of view it is just as dangerous for an equine to be too fat as it is too thin. Being able to condition score and knowing the weight of your equine is very important when it comes down to feeding, worming, rugging and working your equine.
Firstly you’ll need to know how to rate your equine’s bodyweight on a condition score of 0 to 5.
- 0 is Emaciated/very poor
- 1 is Poor
- 2 is Moderate
- 3 is Good
- 4 is Fat
- 5 is Very fat/obese
The ILPH have a very good web page here that you can print off as a guide. Weight tapes can easily be purchased now that give you an idea of how much your horse weighs…imperative for knowing how much wormer to administer!
Bear in mind breed types whilst reckoning your score. If your thoroughbred looks like a show cob, then he may be nearer a 5 than a 3! Alternatively, if your heavier breeds resemble a working thoroughbred type, your equine is probably closer to a 2 or a 1 than he or she should be.
There are lots of factors that can contribute to equines being under and over weight…some of these can be managed by us. In the case of equines being underweight attributing factors may be:
- Dental problems-Have your equine regularly seen by a dentist.
- Injury and pain related conditions.
- Old age
- Excessive work
- Parasite infestation
- Poor Nutrition
With the winter now approaching you may want to start considering if your equine needs a rug (especially older animals), shelter, the condition of your grazing and the hay/feed rations they are now receiving.