Continuing our look at equine obesity, once you’ve estimated a body condition score for your horse, the next step is to estimate their weight. This is important information when making a tailored feeding plan.
Weigh tapes are a very easy way to get an approximate weight for your horse. They become even more helpful when used to monitor trends over a period of time.
When using a weigh tape, place one end of the tape at the lowest point of the withers, run the tape around the chest of the horse, tuck the tape right behind the elbow and bring it back up to meet the first end.
Alternatively, if you want a completely accurate weight, why not bring your horse to our Mullacott clinic and use our digital scales? It’s completely free of charge, just ring us to discuss with one of our vets or nurses.
Once you’ve got a weight and a condition score – it’s time to set goals!
What weight should your horse be? There is no right answer to this question as there is too much variation between types and breeds of horses to set a gold standard. Bellow is a rough guideline of what to aim for, but it is healthier to guide weight loss based on your horse’s body score rather than on his weight.
For example, sports horses and those suffering from laminitis should aim for a condition score of 2.5/5.
3/5 is more realistic for native ponies and horses that do not suffer from laminitis.
Obese horses will need to lose up to 20% of their current weight. But this has to be done carefully and gradually. The aim is to lose 1% body weight every 2 weeks. However if your horse is young, old, pregnant or suffers from any medical conditions, please speak to a vet before embarking on a weight loss diet.