tacoma equine
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3112 156th Street East, Tacoma, Washington 98446   ◊   Phone: 253-535-6999   ◊   Fax: 253-536-2650   ◊   E-Mail: info@tacomaequine.com


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Body Condition Scoring System

The Henneke Body Condition Score (BCS) was developed in the early 1980s as part of a graduate research project at Texas A&M by Don Henneke, PhD.  The scale evaluated the amount of fat deposited in different areas of the body to classify them for research purposes.  The study was published in 1983 and has been used as the gold standard for evaluating horses' body conditions. 

The system uses sight and touch to assess the amount of fat over the loin, ribs, tailhead, withers, neck and shoulders.  The horse is then scored overall on a scale of 1 to 9, with 5 being "ideal", 1 being emaciated, and 9 being obese.  When determining a horse's ideal condition, it is important to take their activity level, breeding status, and health into account.  While 5 is considered "ideal" for some horses, others may need to have additional weight in order to properly perform their tasks, such as breeding, competing, endurance rides, etc.

For a PDF copy of the following chart and it's associated article, click HERE


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