Horse Body Condition Chart

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Areas of Emphasis for Body Condition Scoring

Body Condition Scoring Horse

  1. Thickening of the neck
  2. Fat covering the withers
  3. Fat deposits along backbone
  4. Fat deposits around tailhead
  5. Fat deposits on flanks
  6. Fat covering ribs
  7. Fat deposit behind shoulder
  8. Shoulder blends into neck


Rump & Hips

Horse Descriptions



Equine Body Conditioning Description

1. Poor

Animal extremely emaciated: spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, tuber coxae, and tuber ischii 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, and tuber ischii 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 appear rounded but easily discernable; tuber ischii not distinguishable; withers, shoulders and neck accentuated.

4. Moderately Thin

Slight ridged along back; faint outline of ribs discernable; tailhead prominence depends on conformation, fat can be felt around it; tuber coxae not discernable; withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.

5. Moderate

Back is flat (no crease or ridge); ribs not usually 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 fleshy/spongy; fat around tailhead soft; fat beginning to be deposited along sides of withers, behind shoulders and along sides of neck.

7. Fleshy

May have 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; 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.