Monday, June 29, 2009

Body Score Condition

I have a saddle for sale and it has caused me some frustration as several folks have passed on it because they claim the tree is too narrow for their horse.

The saddle is a western pleasure/show saddle made by Textan, it has a nearly 7 inch gullet and full QH bars..... yet the complaint it is too narrow is misunderstood, the saddle is generous and made to fit a modern horse.... their horses are too FAT!

OK I said it.... perhaps the PC police wont be too harsh on me. ;~)

I keep my horses on the athletic and lean side, enough fat to properly cushion their muscles but still able to see a hint of rib while in motion. A fat horse is not fit and likely to chafe under the girth, saddles are difficult to fit and fat withers are dangerously at risk for galling and allowing the saddle to roll. Putting a normal and generous size tree on a fat horse and trying to pad it correctly is like wearing 2 pairs of thick socks to cushion shoes that pinch.

I found this link on the internet with a body scoring and conditioning quiz to test yourself.

Body Score Quiz

After you take the quiz come back and guess the body score of my horses, I'll post the answers ( Or what I evaluate them at later) later.

Domino 3 years 14.3H
Missy 25 years 14.2 H
Dolly 20 months, 14H (she is a pest and impossible to stand for a pic)
Cricket 4 years 15.2H
Maurice 17 Years 11H


Anonymous said...

Nobody's too high or too low, so here goes:

Domino 4.5 - hard to tell for sure with the fur!
Missy - 4
Dolly - 5.5
Cricket - 5
Maurice - 6

Fun quiz!

Pony Girl said...

My horse would probably NOT come out well on this test, LOL! He is definitely an easy keeper. He just got a lost shoe back on so it's going to be back to riding and conditioning, starting tomorrow! ;) Your horses are lovely!

Cowgirl Rae said...

Domino 6
Missy - 5
Dolly - 5.5
Cricket - 5
Maurice - 6

gtyyup said...

This was hard...It's got to be easier when the horse is in front of you and you can feel.

In your opinion, at what body condition level should authorities be called in for horses that are emaciated?

Cowgirl Rae said...

It is hard to tell by a picture, its much easier in person and to see them move. I think calling the authorities has more to do with circumstance and environment than simple body score. I've seen some very skinny mares nursing foals and I don't believe they were compromised as well as some real thin endurance horses, but again they were extremely fit and high strung. I suppose body score probably around a 3 and if it has been a long standing issue, and lacking basic worming/vaccs/neglected hooves, lack of shelter and general care plays a role.

I find it interesting that people will get excited for skinny and neglected horses and expect changes but I can't tell you how many obese and visibly laminitic horses I see, along with real bad feet and obvious neglect but if they are fat it's somehow ignored. Either end of the spectrum the horses are bad off and in distress and unusable.

Its too bad.