In order to be a true horse lover you must fully understand all of their working parts. Anatomy is closely linked to horse health and understanding the basic lingo is a must. Understanding these definitions will make speaking with your vet easier than ever before.
Horse Anatomy Defined
You see the picture, now learn what they all mean.
Poll - The point where the head meets the neck, just behind the ears.
Crest - The top portion of the neck, generally more pronounced in studs.
Mane - Long hair which grows from the withers to the forelock and lies on either side of the neck.
Neck - Connects at the ears and runs down to the shoulder.
Withers - The highest point of the back, just above the shoulder blades. Horse height is measured at the withers.
Back - Begins at the withers and extends to the last thoracic vertebrae.
Loin - The area just behind where a saddle sits, the space from the last vertebrae to the croup.
Croup - Begins at the top of the hip and extends down to the dock where the tail begins.
Dock - The point where the rump and the tail connect.
Hindquarters - The large & muscular area of the upper hind legs, behind the barrel and above the stifle.
Point of Buttock - The rounded edge of the rump.
Tail - Not just long, flowing hair. The tail includes the coccygeal vertebrae & the surrounding muscle and skin from which it grows.
Hock - The bending joint (corresponds to the knee on the front legs) on the hind leg.
Chestnut - A fleshy callous found on the inside of each leg.
Gaskin - The large muscle just above the hock on the inside of hind legs.
Stifle - The joint where the hind legs connect to the body.
Flank - Area where hind legs meet the barrel just past the stifle and just before the ribcage.
Barrel - Body of horse, essentially the area enclosed in the ribcage.
Elbow - The joint where the front leg meets the body of the horse.
Chestnut - A horny growth on the inside of each front leg.
Ergot - A horny growth on the back side of the fetlock joint.
Fetlock - The “ankle” joint (although really closer to the ball of the foot in anatomy) connecting the hoof to the leg.
Hoof - The foot, Hard on the outside and softer on the inside. The hoof is a harder version of our fingernails.
Coronet Band - Ring of soft tissue around the top of the hoof where it meets the skin.
Pastern - The space between the coronet band and the fetlock.
Cannon - The long, slender space between the knee and fetlock joints.
Knee - The bending joint of the front legs.
Forearm - The area between the knee and the elbow of the front legs
Heart Girth - Or girth The area just behind the elbow, where the saddle girth sits. Should be the largest diameter of the horses barrel.
Breast - The muscle mass between the forearms that covers the front of the chest.
Point of Shoulder - The frontmost part of the horses chest.
Shoulder - The space between the withers and the point of shoulder
Throatlatch - Where the windpipe meets the jaw. Often where the strap of a bridle lays.
Cheek - The bottom circular portion of the horses face.
Nostril - The outside of a horses nose.
Muzzle - Chin, mouth and nose are all parts of the muzzle.
Forehead - The flat space between a horses eyes.
Forelock - A section of the mane which grows at the top of the forehead.
Now you know it, share it. Make sure everyone you know understands their horses anatomy too.
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