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Healthy Equine Body Condition

Healthiest Body Condition


The Horse Trust, in tandem with the British Equine Veterinary Association, considers equine obesity to be one of the highest ranking equine health risks today and we are working with a number of horse world bodies to come up with practical solutions to enable human behaviour around equine obesity to be changed for the better.

The University of Liverpool created and piloted The Weight To Win scheme in collaboration with The Horse Trust in order to spread the word on how best to go about maintaining the healthiest weight.

People get very upset by seeing photos of underweight horses in the media, but in reality, far more horses are obese than are underweight. This is very worrying for vets who are finding that they have to treat these horses with serious health conditions like Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Laminitis.

Peoples’ perceptions of what is a healthy weight have become skewed towards the higher body condition scores. We would like to help to reset this balance and this page offers advice, information and some success stories in our quest to see more healthy weight horses!

What is The Weigh To Win Initiative?

The Horse Trust is leading an important initiative to reward healthy equine body condition and raise awareness of healthy body condition in show horses.  Showing in particular is often seen to promote horses who are overweight and our aim is to challenge and educate on what is an ideal body condition. Selected show classes in participating shows across the country are now assessing for body condition by a vet. The horses who have the healthiest body condition score will be awarded one of our special green and gold rosettes as a reward. Read more about the initiative and see which shows are participating here.

In the Media

Obesity & Weight Management Guide

Monitoring and managing your horse’s weight is an important part of horse ownership, particularly if you own a “good doer”. Ensuring that your horse does not become overweight means that your horse is at less risk of developing Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), laminitis, arthritis, and other chronic health conditions. Click here for our Equine Weight Management Guide and all the latest research conducted by The University of Liverpool’s behavioural scientist Dr Tamzin Furtado and funded and led by The Horse Trust. Read Dr Tamzin’s guest blog on her learnings from condition scoring 300+ show horses and ponies at RIHS.

*Photos courtesy of Holdsworth PR

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