Estimation of Actual and Ideal Bodyweight Using Morphometric Measurements of Miniature, Saddle-Type, and Thoroughbred Horses

Devan N. Catalano, Robert J. Coleman, Marcia R. Hathaway, Abby E. Neu, Elizabeth L. Wagner, Patty J. Tyler, Molly E. McCue, Krishona L. Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Adding breed type, height, and neck circumference to body length and girth circumference improves bodyweight (BW) estimation in different breeds of horses; however, equations have not been developed for all breed types. The objectives were to develop BW estimation equations for Miniature, saddle-type, and Thoroughbred horses using morphometric measurements. Measurements were collected on adult (≥3 years, nonpregnant) saddle-type (n = 209), adult (n = 249) and juvenile (<3 years, n = 61) Miniatures, and adult Thoroughbreds (n = 100). Personnel determined body condition score (BCS), measured withers height and girth circumference at the third thoracic vertebra, body length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock and to a line perpendicular to the point of the buttock, and neck circumference at the midway point between the poll and withers. Each horse was weighed using a livestock scale. Bodyweight estimations equations were developed using linear regression modeling and log transformation. Mean (±standard deviation) BCS was 6.1 (±0.8), 5.4 (±0.6), 6.0 (±1.0), and 5.0 (±0.6) for adult and juvenile Miniatures, saddle-type, and Thoroughbreds, respectively. Bodyweight estimation equations developed through the current research were within 4% of the scale BW and offered improvements over previous BW estimation equations and weight tapes, which were off by 5%–25%. Owner-estimated BW was within 8%–15% of scale BW. Morphometric measurements were successfully used to develop BW equations for Miniature, saddle-type, and Thoroughbred horses. The equations will assist owners and professionals with managing horse BW and will be added to the Healthy Horse application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Body condition score
  • Body length
  • Girth and neck circumference
  • Management
  • Withers height


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of Actual and Ideal Bodyweight Using Morphometric Measurements of Miniature, Saddle-Type, and Thoroughbred Horses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this