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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2007
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    MA
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    Default Where should you feel ribcage?

    I know that one way to evaluate a horse' weight is to see if you can feel/see ribs. Does this mean anywhere or a certain section of the ribcage? Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2012
    Posts
    490

    Default

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...wx_zk1_US40TuQ


    This is an excellent article on body scoring


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    695

    Default

    That is actually a good question! I don't know if I'm 'scientifically accurate' but I check behind the girth and right where the close contact saddle ends. If I can feel the ribs we are good... if I can see them then I consider the horse is a little skinny (understanding that all the other BCS points suggest the same thing).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    7,434

    Default

    I run my fingers along the ribcage area, where horse is widest "sprung" on their barrel. That area seems to have the least fat cover, so I can find ribs quicker, if they are findable.

    If I can't find them even there, then I probably won't find any ribs elsewhere on the equine. Too fleshy or just plain fat! Guess then he would be getting rations reduced a bit, or shorter grazing times, with longer dry-lot time. He doesn't need extra calories, has been using them too well!

    I am not saying this is scientific, just a practical, easy way to check rib coverage for being too fat.

    Of course you do need to look at the whole animal, see if neck is cresty, fat pads above the tail head or down along the belly in front of the mare's udder, which are obvious signs of carrying too much weight or a body problem that needs attention.

    Since none of my equines have body problems, the rib test is working pretty well for me at this time. We want fit athletes, not hog-fat horses who are carrying weight they don't need. They can't turn, run well, and it is harder on the legs, to carry excess weight. I want a flash of ribs in big bending turn, like a good racehorse has. With hairy coats, you have to do a hands-on to the animal, so you don't miss seeing or even FINDING the ribs with your fingers or discovering fat pads, covered by long hair. Blanketed animals need to have blankets removed every couple days, get groomed, have your hands on them, to access TRUE body conditon by feel.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2007
    Location
    MA
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    1,309

    Default

    Thanks, guys! I think my question has been answered. I can feel my guys' back toward his hip, which sounds typical based on what I am reading.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,948

    Default

    If you can only really feel the last couple of ribs, that's usually just about perfect
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