Anatomy of a horse

Anatomy of a horse

The equine skeleton is the framework around the horse’s body, of which there are approximately 205 bones.

Horse anatomy diagrams by speirr

The equine skeleton has three major functions in the body.

It protects vital organs like, the lungs and heart.

It also supports soft parts of the body and provides a framework.

The bones of a horse act as levers, store minerals and are the site if red blood cell formation.

The equine bones are divided into five categories.

Long bones Found mainly in the limbs, which have two joint surfaces at either end, which give support to the body.

They also act as an aid in locomotion.

Flat bones – These have a broad flat surface to enable muscles to attach.

Short bone– These can be found in joints such as the knee and hock.

Sesamoids– These are bones embedded with a tendon.

Irregular bones – These protect the central nervous system.

Distinguished by size, shape and angles of irregular size.

Ligaments and tendons hold the bones together.

Ligaments have limited blood supply, so an injury damaging a ligament will take a lot longer to heal.

The joints are where two bones meet and are protected by cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the joint bones and will also help lubricate and keep the joints healthy.

They also act as a shock absorber.

Joint stress is inevitable due to the ever-increasing demands placed upon our horses to compete in disciplines such as show jumping and eventing.

You must seek to minimise wear and tear.

Joint supplements are popular with horses that are in hard work and jumping every week.

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Aging horse teeth

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Conformation of horse

Horse History      

Equus - 1

Mesohippus - early equid - 2

Miohippus - early equid - 3

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