Do you know about the Body Score Rule?

Did you know that your horse may not be allowed to start an endurance ride if found to be too thin or too fat?
Under the general rules click here to go to the source.
Excerpt from the rule book:
*Rule 3.4 “Equines shall have a body condition score of no less than 3.0 and no greater than 8.0 …” quoted from AERC’s general rules. ( For full rule click the link above)

At a ride a control judge will examine your horse at the pre-ride vet check.  There they will determine if your horse has the body condition to start.    The guideline used being the Henneke Body Condition Scoring Guide.
Examples linked below:
#1.  Henneke Body Condition Scoring Guide is linked here.
#2.  Photo’s of horses with their relative scores based on body condition.
The purpose of Body Condition Scoring is to prevent a horse that does not have the body reserves  or condition from competing long distances.  It is a horse welfare issue.  
If someone happens to mention your horse looks “thin” it may be time for the horse to have one or more of the following:

  • A reduction in conditioning miles
  • Longer spans between competitions
  • Some rest / downtime
  • An increase or change in quality of  feed
  • A welfare visit from your vet (rule out parasites, ulcers, etc could be causing the horse to lose weight).
Should your horse begin to fatten up excessively one of the following may be in order:

  • A welfare visit from your vet (rule out insulin resistance, metablic issues, thyroid issues, etc. )
  • An increase in conditioning miles.
  • A decrease in feed.
What you are hoping to achieve is the middle ground of fitness/ good weight.  What you are avoiding are the extremes of too thin/ too fat.

Source information:
AERC General Rule Book, Smart Pak’s Using the Henneke Body Scoring System.
*Note: informational data is linked and does not reside on this website.  For full information visit the actual source documents.

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