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Anatomy of the Horse

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Anatomy Facts

Outer Anatomy

1. Ear     2. Forelock     3. Eye     4. Nostril     5. Chin Groove    
6. Cheek     7. Throat Latch     8. Point of Chest     9. Forearm     10. Knee    
11. Hooves     12. Fetlock Joint     13. Front Cannon     14. Point of Elbow     15. Stifle    
16. Gaskin     17. Hind Cannon     18. Coronet Band     19. Pastern     20. Hock    
21. Point of Buttock     22. Tail     23. Dock     24. Loins     25. Withers    
26. Crest     27. Shoulder     28. Barrel     29. Flank     30. Hindquarters     31. Croup    

The Hoof

1. Bulbs of Heels     2. Frog     3.Sole of Hoof   4.Bars
5. Apex of Frog     6. Central Sulcus of Frog, or Lateral Furrow of Frog
7. White Line     8. Hoof Wall

Inner Anatomy

1. The Skull     2. Mandible     3. Scalpula     4. Atlas
5. Axis     6. Scalpula Cartiliage     7.Vertabrae     8.Ilium
9. Femur     10. Hock Joint     11.Cannon Bone     12.Tibia     13. Stifle Joint
14. Ribs     15.Elbow     16.Pastern
17.Pedal, or Coffin bone, or Third Phalanx     18.Short Pastern, or Second Phalanx     19. Long Pastern, or First Phalanx
20. Knee Joint     21. Radius     22. Elbow Joint     23. Humerous

The Legs

The Front Leg

1. Coffin Bone, or Third Phalanx   2. Second Phalanx, or Small Pastern  
3. Large Pastern, or First Phalanx 4. Humerus  
5. Radius   6. Pisiform  
7. Large Metacarpal   8. Trapizoid,or Ulna  
9.Splint Bone   10. Sesamoid Bone

The Hind Leg

1. The Femur or Tarsus     2. The Stifle Joint     3. The Tibia     4.Hock Joint    
5. Long Pastern, or Third Phalanx     6. The short pastern, or Second Phalanx     7. Pedal bone, Coffin Bone, or Third Phalanx
8. Cannon Bone     9. Splint Bone     10. Sesamoid

The Hock Joint

1. the tibia
2. fibular tarsal bone, or calcaneus
3. talus, or tibial tarsal bone.
4. splint bone
5. cannon bone
6. second tarsal (T2)
7. third tarsal (T3)
8. centeral tarsal (TC)

Fetlock Joint

1. Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon
2. Cannon Bone
3. Sesamoid Bone
4. Deep Digital Flexor Tendon
5. Navicular Bone
6. Coffin Bone
7. Short Pastern, or 2nd Phalanx
8. Long Pastern, or 1st Phalanx
9. Digital Extensor Tendon
10. Fetlock Joint
11. Pastern Joint
12. Coffin Joint

This is a horse's skull. The teeth near the front of the mouth are incisors.They are used to chop grass and other food. The smooth place with no teeth is called the bars. That is where the bit rest's in the horse's mouth. The two small, sharp teeth are called canines, or tushes. All sexes can grow them, but it seems that they are more common geldings and stallions than in mares. As long as they do not grow to large or interfere with the bit, they are usualy fine. If they do, then you can have your vet file them off. The teeth in the very back are the molars. They are used to crush and grind the horse's food.

The Horse's Body

Horses today may vary greatly depending on breed, but they all resemble each other. Here are some things that all horses have in common:
Stiff backs. A horse cannot move or bend its back, like we can. There backs stay straight, making it easier to run and buck. But, it also makes it harder for them to rise. That is partialy the reason why horse's don't lay down alot. When they do, they must be careful of how they get up. First, the horse must be laying down with all four legs beneath itself. Then it will quickly swing its head and neck up, transfering the weight to its hind end. While it does this, it must pull its front legs forward, moving into a sitting position. Then, the horse will push its head and neck down, and pull itself up far enough to get its hind legs straight. It will bring its hind legs up, and will be standing. All of this happens relativly quickly, but it is still a bit difficult for the horse.

Unique Legs and Feet. The horse's legs and feet are actually quite hardy. Since horses are almost always standing, thier feet must be built to absorb shock and handle weight. The frog of the hoof is a flexible but strong triangular part of the hoof. When the horse's hoof lands, it absorbs the shock, cushioning the leg. That is why horses can run, jump, and buck without hurting themselves. The legs also have tendons and ligaments throughout them that are elastic enough for the horse to flex, but tight enough to keep the leg from getting sprained. But horses that are ridden on hard surfaces or horses that are worked hard still need shoes.

Manes and Tails. Okay, that is sort of dumb to metion, but all horses do have manes and tails! Why? . Tails are important for swishing off flies and bugs. They are also used to commuticate with other horses. I think that the reason horses have manes is sort of the same for tails. They blow in the wind, and help to shoo the flies away. The forelock on the horse's forehead helps keep bugs away from the horse's eyes.

Chestnuts. You know, those weird little scaly sort of thingies on the inside of each horse's leg. As they grow they peel and fall off. Some people think that these may be remains of more toes from when the horse was that little dog-sized creature alot of years ago. If you smell these, you will find that they smell strongly of horse. They are probably just scent glands that help horses to remember other horses when they meet.