As researchers hone in on what makes a dominant horse, one group has discovered a strong link with body condition. According to researchers at the University of Bristol and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, the well-fed horse is more likely to be at the top of his herd in an outdoor, domestic setting. In fact, dominant horses are even at a greater risk of being obese. The scientists ranked dominance and evaluated body condition in 194 horses in 42 English herds. They found that as dominance rank increased, so did body score. And dominance rank was nearly 12 times higher in obese individuals compared to non-obese ones! Their results were not influenced by age or sex of the horses. “Special attention should be directed towards correctly managing the intake of more dominant animals within a domestic herd, to prevent obesity in these higher risk animals,” the research team stated. Giles, Sarah L. et al. “Dominance Rank Is Associated with Body Condition in Outdoor-Living Domestic Horses (Equus Caballus).” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 166 (2015): 71–79. PMC. Web. 9 July 2015.