Henneke horse body condition scoring system

The Henneke horse body condition scoring system is a numerical scale used to evaluate the amount of fat on a horse's body. It was developed in the early 1980s by Don Henneke at Texas A&M University with the goal of creating a universal scale to assess horses' bodyweight, and was first published in 1983. It is a standardized system that can be used across all breeds without specialized equipment; condition is assessed visually and by palpation. Scores range from 1 to 9 with one being poor and nine being extremely fat; the ideal range for most horses is from 4 to 6. The system is based on both visual appraisal and palpable fat cover of the six major points of the horse. The system is used by law enforcement agencies as an objective method of scoring a horse's body condition in horse cruelty cases.


The Henneke horse body condition scoring system is a numerical scale used to evaluate the amount of fat on a horse's body. It was developed in the early 1980s by Don Henneke at Texas A&M University with the goal of creating a universal scale to assess horses' bodyweight, and was first published in 1983. It is a standardized system that can be used across all breeds without specialized equipment; condition is assessed visually and by palpation. Scores range from 1 to 9 with one being poor and nine being extremely fat; the ideal range for most horses is from 4 to 6. The system is based on both visual appraisal and palpable fat cover of the six major points of the horse. The system is used by law enforcement agencies as an objective method of scoring a horse's body condition in horse cruelty cases.
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