Download Current Weight Body Condition Scoring (BCS) Topline Evaluation

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Evaluating Your Horse
Managing your horse’s weight, body condition and muscle development is critical to ensuring
your horse’s overall health and well-being.
Current Weight
When a scale is not available the following calculation is the most accurate way to determine your
horse’s current weight. This is important to know when balancing the diet, determining minimum
feeding recommendations and when dosing certain types of medications and/or supplements:
(Heart Girth x Heart Girth x Length) / 330 = Weight (Adult Horse)
(Heart Girth x Heart Girth x Length) / 301 = Weight (Yearling)
(Heart Girth x Heart Girth x Length) / 280 = Weight (Weanling)
Heart Girth
Measuring Length:
distance from the
point of the shoulder
to the buttock or
crease in hindquarter.
Body Condition Scoring (BCS)
The Henneke body condition scoring system* is a numerical scale used to evaluate the amount of fat
on a horse’s body. Scores range from 1 (poor) to 9 (obese); the ideal BCS is a 5 (Texas A&M, 1983).
It is important to manage your horses BCS as there are several health concerns linked to extreme
BCS (emaciated or obese):
1 – Emaciated Body Condition
5 – Ideal Body Condition
9 – Obese Condition
Topline Evaluation Scoring (TES)
Progressive Nutrition’s TES system is used to evaluate your horse’s overall muscle disposition. The
muscles over the back, loin and croup are the best indicators and easiest to evaluate. Those muscles
influence the horses’ ability to elevate, lengthen, stop, turn and drive forward.
TES is both a visual and hands-on appraisal of the horse:
Grade A - Considered ‘ideal muscle development’. The back, loin and croup are full and well rounded.
Grade B - The ‘back area is concave’ or sunken, between the vertebrae and the top of the ribs.
Grade C - The ‘back and loin areas are concave or sunken, between the vertebrae and the ribs.
Grade D -The entire topline is concave or sunken, including the back, loin and croup areas.
Talk to your Veterinarian to learn more!