Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A perfect "6"

P was still in a sedative induced stupor when I found her last night.  She was hiding in the baby's stall while everyone was still turned out and simply bulldozed her head into my chest when I popped in to give her a hug.

While I appreciated the affection and her ever-adorable mood, I had to brace myself against her increasing tank-mare weight bearing down on me.  Once I convinced her that she could balance on her own, she got a few quick scratches before I popped out to gather up my things for grooming.

I snagged the BO, asked how's she's been in my absence (great- but cheeky), and we discussed our upcoming appointment with Dr. Finn along with what the farrier had to say about her feet (upon re-affixing her left hind shoe).  I was sorta bummed I missed this, because apparently, when he sloughed off the sole, there was some old bruising that was apparent.  That made me a little heart sick, but maybe that means we made the right decision in getting shoes put back on...

Anyway, the mare was a lover, and continued to shower hugs and kisses of sorts while I gussied her up.  I trimmed her tail (AGAIN) and got all the stall dust up and out of her newly revealed summer coat.  Her little mouth was still a little tender, but apparently she got great marks from our dentist and only had one big hook that was trying to form.  Otherwise P's teeth and gums are in great condition. (hoorray)

She did get a "6" on body condition which is almost an achievement at this point.  Since the mare has been threatening to lose weight all winter, anything remotely close to "fleshy" is perfectly fine by me.  I don't think its accurate, but I also don't have my medical degree... I was curious what factor might have tipped the vet to select a "6" on the Henneke Body Scale, and since my Pony Club brain has since replaced such details with inane facts on pipe and sprinklers... I turned to the Google.

Condition Neck Withers Shoulder Ribs Loin Tailhead
Moderate (Ideal Weight)
Neck blends smoothly into body Withers rounded over spinous processes Shoulder blends smoothly into body Ribs cannot be visually distinguished, but can be easily felt Back is level Fat around tailhead beginning to feel soft
Moderately Fleshy
Fat beginning to be deposited Fat beginning to be deposited Fat beginning to be deposited Fat over ribs feels spongy May have a slight positive crease (a groove) down back Fat around tailhead feels soft
Fat deposited along neck Fat deposited along withers Fat deposited behind shoulder Individual ribs can be felt with pressure, but noticeable fat filling between ribs May have a positive crease down the back Fat around tailhead is soft

Moderately Fleshy?  I guess that's ok.  I'm moderately fleshy too.

Just because I was curious how far off from a typical 6 Pia was, I poked around a little more and found some pictures:

Here's a "6"

This thing looks WAY softer than P...
that.... looks more reasonable.

and a "9"
It's unfortunate that I find obese ponies SO adorable.
Anyway, even if she is a true 6, its well within the boundaries of a happy, healthy mare doing moderate work.  Which I guess means we should get back to doing some moderate work..  Which is precisely what I plan on us doing today.  (YEEHAW)


  1. Tucker is a solid 4 right now and I'll really like to get him back to a 5. Ideally for a hunter he'd be a 6 but he just doesn't carry that much weight. Probably for the best since his legs are definitely from the 1/4 TB in his blood, not the WB. Anyway, glad to hear that Miss P is back to moderate work and you are home for a little bit!

  2. Yeah, I still am working at getting my mare back up to a 5. every time we get close... she just looses it again. She's not too thin, she just looks like she could go pop around a CCI1/2* right now. Not bad, but for a baby that doesn't really get more than 5 45 min sessions/week? Damn TB blood.

  3. My Quarter Horse must have a fair amount of TB blood, too. He was granted a "5" for the first time since I have owned him (4+years). This was after playing around with feed, beet pulp, supplements and hay. A "6" just seems unattainable for us, but I am glad that P is keeping a healthy form.

  4. 6 is very appropriate for horses who aren't in heavy work. The first '6' photo is definitely way more than a six. Pia looks like a high 5 in the photos I've seen of her.

  5. I think Chrome is between a five and a six. I'd like him to be a five, but it can be a delicate balance lol. He looks great, but I can feel fat deposits so I know he's too fat. I'm glad Pia got a perfect bill of health from the dentist and that her shoe is back on. :)

  6. Izzy was probably a five, but we're sliding into 6 territory pretty fast I think. Nothing like a reduced workload (thanks, life) and a big grassy pasture.


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