The Henneke Body Condition Scoring System is used by most rescue operations rates horses from 1 to 9 based on the amount of fat and muscle visible in several places on their body, with 1 being horrible shape, the “bag of bones,” and 9 being grossly overweight, which is also abuse. Horses that come to us due to a seizure are usually rated in the 1 through 3 group and are in serious need of immediate medical attention.
In Texas, these horses are held for ten days prior to a court judgment. The court then makes the decision to either (1) return the horses to their owner, (2) sell the horses at auction or (3) give the horses to a nonprofit rescue. During this period, we work closely with the DA to document the exact condition of each horse through photographs, drawings and medical examinations. We then provide equine expert testimony in court to help the judge make his decision.