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The Henneke horse body condition scoring system is a numerical scale.

Scores range from 1 (poor) to 9 (extremely fat),  

The ideal range for  horses is from 4-6.  

The system is used by law enforcement agencies as an objective method of scoring a horse's body condition in horse cruelty cases.

Body condition


Best practice

The neck blends smoothly into the body, the withers are rounded, the back is level with no positive or negative crease. Ribs cannot be visually distinguished but can be easily felt and the shoulder blends smoothly into the body.

Needs intervention

Excess weight on a horse may be  a sign of metabolic or endocrine problem.  This should be monitored since it highly likely to result or be accompanied by severe lameness.

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Immediate jeopardy

Visible rib and hip bones usually indicate the horse is not getting enough calories.  If enough forage is available and the horse is still thin, it may be a medical or dental issue. 

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