Several times a year, before we worm our horses, we weigh them. The vet comes twice a year – and weighs them. Even if we weigh our horses the day before, there is usually a discrepancy between our weight and the vet’s weight. Sometimes a few pounds, sometimes quite a few pounds.
I have never been comfortable with the “weight tape” because even if you think you are putting it around the heart girth, it can slip. It can be at a different angle every time it is used. It can be tighter or looser than the last time. And what about the thickness of the horse’s coat?
Problem solved. We purchased a livestock scale! Okay, we got it to weigh our cattle to make sure they were market ready, but, horses can stand on it too. And so they did.
In my scientific study of the horse’s weight, I used the weight tape on the horse to get the tape weight.
Buttercup taped out at 1001 pounds. A respectable weight for this mare.
We walked her onto the scale, and, oh my! She gained 113 pounds between the time we taped her and she walked onto the scale!
This held true for EVERY horse. Some of the horses varied by only 50 pounds, which is the acceptable range for the tape, but most weight in with a 100 pound or greater difference between the tape and the scale.
So, which do I believe? The horses claim the scale if off, but we checked it with our weight and it was only a few pounds more – but considering we had our boots and winter coats on, it was within two or three pounds of our scale in the house.
Looks like it will be exercise time in the arena for both the horses and me this spring!