3. Give your horse a Body Condition Score
Condition Scoring helps to introduce some measure of objectivity into the assessment of a horse or pony’s condition. The pictures above help illustrate states of condition and should act as a guide in assessing the condition of your own horse or pony. Remember, a horse’s type or conformation as well as how he “does” will all have a bearing on how he looks - a flighty Thoroughbred, for example, is unlikely to ever carry excessive condition. The art is to achieve the correct level of fitness and condition for the type and level of work required, and to the benefit of the horse’s overall health. Just because a pony is retired does not mean he should be allowed to get excessively fat!
In the UK a scoring system of 1-5 is traditionally used whilst in the USA a 1-9 system is more common. The 1-9 system is more detailed and is the system that we have chosen to describe here.
The descriptions for the American condition scoring system are as follows: