BODY CONDITION SCORING

Based on Carroll and Huntington Method – To obtain the condition score for any horse, first score the pelvis, then adjust the pelvis score up or down by 0.5 if it differs by 1 or more points from the back or neck score.

It is recommended that horses competing at the Dublin Horse Show rate between 2 and 4 on the scale outlined below. Horses scoring outside of the recommended indicator are considered unhealthy on veterinary grounds and may be penalised.

0 Very Poor
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Angular, skin tight
Very sunken rump
Deep cavity under tail
very poor
Back and Ribs Skin tight over ribs
Very prominent and sharp backbone
Neck Marked ewe neck
Narrow and slack at base
1 Poor
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Prominent pelvis & croup
Sunken rump but skin supple
Deep cavity under tail
poor
Back and Ribs Ribs easily visible
Prominent backbone with skin sunken on either side
Neck Ewe neck, narrow & slack at base
2 Moderate
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Rump flat either side of backbone
Croup well-defined, some fat
Slight cavity under tail
moderate
Back and Ribs Ribs just visible
Backbone covered but spines can be felt
Neck Narrow but firm
3 Good
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Covered by fat and rounded
No gutter
Pelvis easily felt
good
Back and Ribs Ribs just covered & easily felt
No gutter along back
Backbone well covered but spines can be felt
Neck No crest (except for stallions), firm neck
4 Fat
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Gutter to root of tail
Pelvis covered by soft fat
Need firm pressure to feel
fat
Back and Ribs Ribs well covered - need pressure to feel
Neck Slight crest
Wide & firm
5 Very Fat
PartSymptomsImage
Pelvis Deep gutter to root of tail
Skin distended
Pelvis buried, cannot be felt
very fat
Back and Ribs Ribs buried, cannot be felt
Deep gutter along back
Back broad & flat
Neck Marked crest
Very wide & firm
Folds of fat