I have a 5yo OTTB mare. She came to me a 2.5/3 on the BCS and I think I have finally gotten her looking pretty good. Somedays I look at her, though, and think she could still use some more weight. I rode a warmblood before I bought her and we always had the opposite problem with him: he ballooned on air and always looked nice and plump, so maybe my view of "ideal" is skewed because of that? I realise she's a TB and will never look like a huge WB, but she is fairly large-framed and I want to make sure she's at a good weight for her.
Here she is yesterday, where I think she looks pretty good:
I know I am analyzing this way too much and it's driving me nuts. So tell me, could she use a few more pounds or does she look good for a TB (and a young, still growing one at that)? Do you think that when she's done growing, she will naturally fill out a bit more?
I'd put her at a 5.5/9 right now.
gut load and hydration levels can affect visual perception, which is why getting your hands on them for evaluation is crucial.
I thought this article explains it well.
While it's not THE determining factor, one of the easiest tests is the rib test. If you can fairly easily feel, but not see, ribs, the weight is good. On those horses you'll see ribs when they turn, but not standing straight.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET