Friday, 6 February 2015

A Horses Skeleton.

Time for the next step in knowing your horse's anatomy.  I posted a vlog on my You Tube channel about the points of a horse - to see that click here.  The next step is to know about the basic skeleton of a horse (which you will need for a BHS Stage 2 exam).

Obviously a horses skeleton has a key influence over how they move and what they are capable of, some understanding of this will really improve your understanding of the horse and its movement!

Horses have approximately 205 bones in their skeleton, we will cover some now and then more detail in a future blog.  The skeleton is split into 2 sections; the AXIAL and the APPENDICULAR.

  • The AXIAL skeleton comprises the skull, spine, sternum and ribs.
  • The APPENDICULAR skeleton comprises the fore and hind limbs.
 Compare this photo of Basil with the image below as you learn the bones!

Appendicular Skeleton

I hope you can read the numbers, Blogger makes the pictures small.

Using the handwritten numbers: -

  1. Cranium 
  2. Orbit 
  3. Maxilla 
  4. Nasal Bone 
  5. Mandible 
  6. Atlas (the 1st cervical vertebra) 
  7. Axis (the 2nd cervical vertebra) 
  8. Cervical Vertebrae (7) 
  9. Thoracic Vertebrae (18) 
  10. Lumbar Vertebrae (6) 
  11. Sacral Vertebrae (5) 
  12. Coccygeal Vertebrae (15 - 21) 
  13. Sternum 
  14. True Ribs (8) 
  15. False Ribs (10)

Each of the 18 Ribs are attached to a Thoracic vertebra at the top.  The 8 True Ribs are attached to the Sternum, the False Ribs are attached to cartilage.

Axial Skeleton

Using the handwritten numbers:-

  1. Scapula 
  2. Humerus 
  3. Ulna 
  4. Radius 
  5. Carpal Bones (7or8) 
  6. Cannon Bone (3rd Metatarsal) 
  7. Fetlock Joint 
  8. Pastern Joint 
  9. Coffin Joint 
  10. Coffin (Pedal) Bone 
  11. Short Pastern (2nd Phalanx) 
  12. Long Pastern (1st Phalanx) 
  13. Sesamoid Bones 
  14. Splint Bone 
  15. Pisiform Bone 
  16. Pelvis 
  17. Ischium 
  18. Hip Joint 
  19. Femur 
  20. Stifle Joint 
  21. Fibula 
  22. Tibia 
  23. Os Calcis 
  24. Hock Joint (Tarsus) 
  25. Long Pastern 
  26. Short Pastern 
  27. Patella

The horse's foot is made up of the Pedal bone, the Navicular Bone (a small bone in the centre) and half of the Short Pastern bone.  I talked about the foot in more detail in my 'Shoes and Shoeing' blog in January. 

To really appreciate how the skeleton influences movement try and get to one of Gillian Higgins' lectures or demonstrations 'Horses Inside Out'  - they are amazing. See her website here

NB: I've used an old book for the pictures 'Horse Anatomy' by Peter C. Goody which goes into a lot more detail. 

Have you seen Day 2 of my 'One Weekend in January' vlog.
Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook for updates on Chesney, Basil, Fidget and Daisy.

Until next time!

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