September – Senior Awareness Month
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BODY-CONDITION SCORING SYSTEM FOR HORSES
1. POOR: Emaciated. Prominent vertebrae, ribs, tailhead and hooks (the bony structures on each side below the tail) and pins (the point of the hip).
2. VERY THIN: Emaciated. Slight fat covering over the base of the vertebrae. Prominent vertebrae, ribs, tailhead and hooks and pins. Withers, shoulders and neck structures faintly noticeable.
3. THIN: Fat build up about halfway on vertebrae. Slight fat cover over ribs. Vertebrae and ribs easily noticeable. Tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be visually identified. Hook bones appear rounded, but easily noticeable. Pin bones not distinguishable. Withers, shoulders and neck accentuated.
4. MODERATELY THIN: Negative crease along back. Faint outline of ribs noticeable. Tailhead prominence depends on conformation; fat can be felt around it. Hook bones not noticeable. Withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.
5. MODERATE: Back is level. Ribs cannot be visually distinguished but can be easily palpated. Fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy. Withers appear rounded, shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.
6. MODERATE TO FLESHY: May have slight crease down back. Fat over ribs feels spongy. Fat around tailhead feels soft. Fat beginning to deposit along the sides of the withers, behind the shoulders and along the sides of the neck.
7. FLESHY: May have crease down back. Individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat. Fat around tailhead is soft. Fat deposits along withers, behind shoulders and along sides of the neck.
8. FAT: Crease down back. Difficult to palpate ribs. Fat around tailhead very soft. Area around withers filled with fat. Area behind shoulder filled in flush. Noticeable thickening of neck. Fat deposits along inner buttocks.
9. EXTREMELY FAT: Obvious crease down back. Patchy fat appearing over ribs. Bulging fat around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders and along neck. Flank filled in flush.