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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a very general rule of thumb for BSC, I have heard that the horse's belly, when viewed directly from the front or back, should not extend past the shoulders or butt/hips, respectively (unless of a medical condition (pregnant, worms, etc.)). Has anyone found that to be true? For my horse, it seems true, but she is very narrow barreled... Does that include conformationally wide or "well-sprung" barreled horses?

(This is just for the belly/ribs, I know there are many points to BSC.)
 

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I have never heard that and in actuality and practical application not true that I am aware of phrased as you have it.
You refer to a horses ribcage, cause that is what the belly adheres to to not be wider than their shoulder or hip....would make it a mighty small body of a animal to fit all the vital organs, give enough room for heart and lungs to work and expand with effort/energies...

Slab-sided is one thing, but what you describe is truly not fitting any animal I know in my extensive career of professional horse-care in my mind.
I would not want to ride a horse that looks the way you described.
{Makes me think of a hourglass or what is thought a women's shapely curves.}


If you are talking about body scoring, you can have a skinner, literally a skin & bones horse whose "belly" is still wider than shoulder & hip..
馃惔...
 

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I am always reminded that just because you read it or heard it someplace does not make it true or accurate.
And...it makes a difference in the context it was being referred to...
To take a excerpt of a comment and say this is the way it is could also be misconstrued and wrong.
If you are referring to a obese horse...then it fits appropriately...
If you are referring to seeing this on a skin & bones horse with not a ounce of fat on its body...it also fits but is not appropriate.

My dad had a sign in his workshop...
Engage brain before mouth.
Think about it...does it apply? does it make sense?
Use that orb on top of your shoulders for more than a hat-rack..


Truth....one of my horses..
I have a OTTB who is 100 pounds underweight, under vets care and we can not get weight on to stay and stick...
But, if you look at him from front or behind his belly and ribcage is wider than shoulder and hip...
But he is considerably skinnier than he should be, yet he fits your description as he has well sprung ribcage.
Think about it...does it apply? does it make sense?


Lately there has been much posted in many places regarding horses, their care, riding and such that is not accurate.
Don't always agree without doing research from reputable sources for facts and to stamp out error ridden myths.
Be a informed equestrian. ;)
馃惔...
 

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On my horses bellies aren't sticking out beyond hindquarters. Not sticking out beyond there shoulders either.

Never have heard of that,but find it interesting. I have seen quite a few horse who's bellies stick out beyond hindquarters an shoulders. If there belly is that big I'd say probably over weight.
 

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When any of my geldings tummies are easily seen when standing directly behind them and those tummies waddle鈥, then they are too fat.

I have made that comment often in an anecdotal form, based on my own observations. It was and is meant purely as a quick eyeballing of the horse to determine if 鈥測eah maybe my horse is too fat and maybe I ought to look further into this diet thing鈥.

Granted I never gave this ^^^^ much of detailed explanation as to why I made that comment but I gave people some credit to have some decent measure of common sense & logic鈥斺 mehbee that was huge error on my part.

If I have to start giving my thoughts and personal observations in legal, detailed form (that people who need to read it won鈥檛 anyway) , I will simply stop giving them. People are going to do what they are going to do anyway, as often times all someone is looking for is to have 鈥渢heir ears tickled鈥 in their support, or they don鈥檛 want To spend time or money on an animal that needs time and money.

Thought process seems to be getting out of control in every venue these days鈥斺斺斺-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's why I was asking because I have never heard of that before either since before this forum... And I was wondering if that were true or not or just an anecdotal standpoint. I'll see if I can find the "from the font" article. I do remember seeing that on a BSC chart, but I can't remember which one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is a picture. A TB racehorse, beautiful and fit horse in it's prime, capable of top speed over a mile.
View attachment 1107993
"Fit" has different meanings, though. While "fit" horses are thinner that fat horses, a "racing fit" horse will look different than, say, a "cutting fit" horse or "endurance fit."

Besides, I was led to believe par of the reasons why racing fit TBs are so "thin" (besides being partly due to breed) is that due to all of the grain(s). I have heard that a lot of horses on a grain-based diet have thinner barrels than forage-based.
 

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If you鈥檙e referring to this as a rule to see if a horse is too fat, no, this is a bad rule. Looking at a horse鈥檚 belly to determine if they are too fat is not helpful at all, because the belly can drop for various other reasons: eating lower quality forage, having a parasite, having had babies, and often it is just the way they are built too鈥 a cow horse or a draft is going to have a bigger barrel naturally than a racing TB. That鈥檚 normal for them. The only true way to tell if your horse needs to gain or lose weight is by palpating. You should be able to locate the ribs by gently pressing your hand into their side. If you cannot find them or if it is very difficult, your horse is too fat. If the ribs are visible (more than just ever so slightly) the horse is too skinny.
Here is Dixie back when I first got her. She was very thin, but she had a huge belly due to parasites and being a mother. The picture is not the best quality but if you look hard enough you鈥檒l see that all of her ribs are visible and you can still very clearly see the lack of fat on her hips and back. But she had a big barrel.
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And as another example, this is Pistol. I have had him and the others on a diet recently because they have been fat. Looking at this picture, you might think it hasn鈥檛 done any good. But I have been having to feed very low-sugar hay to keep them from getting too fat, which has caused his belly to droop. He isn鈥檛 fat upon palpating, I can feel his ribs most easily out of them all. His stomach also pokes out to the side a lot, but his ribs are immediately under there, not hard to feel at all, so he also just has a very wide rib cage.
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And as proof that belly doesn鈥檛 mean zilch, here is Maverick. He is a little fleshy, though he is not badly fleshy and I can still palpate his ribs, he鈥檚 in a sustainable condition though. But, he is fatter than Pistol. But look at his belly! It鈥檚 the same or even less droopy than Pistol鈥檚.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do remember seeing that on a BSC chart, but I can't remember which one...
My mistake, y'all. It was not on a BSC chart.


"As a rule, when viewed from the front the abdomen of a nonpregnant horse should not protrude wider than their shoulders."
 

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<sigh>. please go back and read my #7 post, where I clearly made the comment about standing BEHIND my geldings. what part of that is not clear!?!?
 
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