Our first visit to Dancer and Nina was on the 13 January 2022, where we took a record of some key baseline measurements. The first job was to record Dancer’s weight using the weigh tape and as you can see from the images below, she was quite literally off the scale! To show a comparative weight for our next visit we have marked Dancer’s weight on our tape and will use this as her initial weight record.
A weigh tape is an essential tool to help record your horse’s weight and is a great substitute when a weighbridge is not accessible. Although the accuracy of weigh tapes varies, when used regularly (every 2 weeks), it will help you to monitor any weight loss and gain in your horse. Make sure you keep an up-to-date record of all weight measurements you take, so you can clearly see any changes to your horse’s weight.
Directions for use:
Before starting it is a good idea to first show your horse the weigh tape, so they are not startled when you begin to pass it over their back.
Once you are happy your horse is settled, make sure they are standing square and pass the tape over their back.
Bring the tape underneath your horse so it passes just behind their elbow and foreleg. It should sit at the base of the withers.
Hold the tape snuggly around your horse’s body and use the marker to take the reading.
If more than one person is using the tape, make sure you are using it in the same way and in the same place each time.
Top tip! All weigh tapes will provide slightly different readings, so make sure you are using the same weigh tape each time you record your horse’s weight!
Step right up…
The next job was to weigh Dancer on our weighbridge. This provides us with an accurate record of her weight and a baseline for us to work from for future weigh-ins.
Knowing your horse’s accurate weight is useful for:
- Calculating your horse’s daily ration. Most horses can maintain their weight by eating 2-2.5% of their bodyweight in forage per day. If weight loss is your aim this can be reduced to 1.5% (never below this figure, unless under veterinary supervision).
- Medication or worming - dosage is calculated on your horse’s weight
- Trailer/ lorry loads - do you know the legal maximum weight limit for your trailer or horsebox? Do you know how much your horse and all your equipment weighs?
Our Horse Care and Welfare team is available to visit any livery yard or riding school (BHS Approved or non-approved) colleges or equestrian centres with our healthcare vehicle and weighbridge.