Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is Thin In?

Does my horse look skinny to you? He's the one on the right, in case you're just joining us.  The other one is the Mustang who thinks Junior belongs to her. Photos courtesy of Max's Chloe.

I look forward to quizzing TJ on her BCS skills on Saturday morning before we spend the day at QH Congress. 

Knowing the BCS needs to consider the whole horse, I cannot see the ribs, can you? I can certainly feel them, but not see them and if the second photo with the awesome sunset lighting didn't pick them up more than a hint then they're not too bad. I think the topline is obviously bony with the hip points and the sacrum being most evident.  He still has a fatty spot behind the shoulder, though. 

Poor guy is built funny.  He's got a big strong chest but such a wussy hip.  He's missing balance between those bone structures.  It was pretty well masked when he was Fatty Boombatty, but not so much anymore.  

I'm also a terrible muther for the lack of real muscle building exercise he's been receiving.  

Anyway, plans are underway to fix it, I'm just looking for opinions on the visual.

I showed my mom the same pictures and her immediate response was "He's so skinny!!!"  Now, keep in mind that my Dear Mother had QH's in the 60's when horses like Wimpy were king.  BULK! So she can't be my only source of outside opinion.  She thought Junior looked good when he was an 8.5 on the BCS.  Eeew. Sorry, Mom, done picking on you now. :)


  1. He does look thin, not hugely on the nutritional side however although I do think extra forage will be a necessary. I see a conditioning issue here - lack of a strong topline, hip, or chest. All can be due, in part, to conformation, but I see the problem lying in the conditioning. Get him working over his back, lots of trotting, pole work. He needs to build strength up there! :) But it sounds like you are on track for that anyways.

  2. He doesn't look thin to me it just looks like he needs a little more muscling and topline on him which will help him fill out a bit more.
    btw - he's a pretty boy!

  3. He looks on the thin side of just right to me - I like my horses a bit lean. When my vet, chiropractor and dentist come to visit, they often comment that about 80% of the horses they see these days are fat or obese. I like to see just a hint of rib when the horse moves, and to be able to feel the last rib pretty easily when I run my hand down the barrel. But pointy hips and sacrum mean more groceries needed, but lack of muscling or a horse's age can affect this too.

  4. Lack of conditioning is what I see. But to build that muscling up, he need some eats. Please don't pour the grain to him, just good clean hay.

  5. I'm kinda like your mom...big ol'QH at home...

    But I do see pretty pointy hips with what looks like concavity in the flanks. Add that to the weak topline, the thin neck and the sloping hindquarters to the tailhead, I'm saying he needs to muscle up AND needs some added calories to focus on that muscle development. Which surprises me since I know how much you ride him and how focused on his diet you are.

    I do think he needs some concentrated, targetted feeding and muscle building though. : ) Have fun on the nutrition calculations!

  6. I wouldn't say he is too thin, he looks "rangy" ... a healthy lean-thin sort of weight. I agree with others tho - more muscle on the topline will help him fill out. He's cute!

  7. I think he's a wee bit thin, but what I see more is a weak topline with almost no muscling on the back and top of butt. I don't mind seeing some rib when the horse moves. He will need protein to build that muscle, those topline bits are the hardest part to build and take focus.

  8. Thank you for your comments, everyone! I agree totally that his top line is suffering. I tried to address this with the protein supplement which he wouldn't eat. I SHOULD be addressing the conditioning and muscle building through exercise more than through feeding, because feed can add bulk but muscles won't build without flexing, regardless of the nutrients that are there to use.

    I wish just knowing that would make it happen. :( I'm too lazy for my horse. I need to get back into my book on conditioning.

  9. He looks thin to me, but I'm old-school.

  10. I'm a bit late to comment on this, but I think he is a bit on the thin side as well... Although, he looks much better in the second picture than in the first.

    PS - I got my package in the mail on Friday! Thanks again - the stuff looks great. I'm going to do a post about it this week!