Simple external anatomy of the horse
Horse Anatomy

External anatomy of the horse (with easy-to-read chart & PDF download)

It’s always a good time to brush up on your horse’s anatomy.

Though you don’t use a lot of the terms daily, it’s good to know which part is named what so that when you’re talking to other people caring for the horse, or the vet, you’ll know that you’re all talking about the same thing.

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  • Back: is where the saddle sits, beginning at the end of the withers and ending at the last thoracic vertebrae.
  • Barrel: refers to the body of the horse, including the ribcage and major internal organs.
  • Cannon: the cannon bone sits between the knee (front legs) or hock (back legs) and the fetlock joint.
  • Coronet: also known as the coronary band or corona, where the hoof grows from – can be compared to our cuticle.
  • Crest: the upper portion of the neck, the mane grows from the crest.
  • Croup: the top line of the hindquarters, from the hip to the dock of the tail.
  • Dock: is the living part of the tail consisting of bone, ligaments and muscle. The dock attaches to the root of the tail in the croup.
  • Ergot: is a callosity on the back of the fetlock.
  • Fetlock: sometimes referred to as the “ankle” of the horse, although this is incorrect. What is usually referred to as the “knee” on the horse is actually the ankle or wrist. The fetlock can be compared to the ball of the foot in humans.
  • Forearm: the area of the front leg between the elbow and knee. Equivalent to our own lower arm (between the wrist and elbow).
  • Gaskin: is a large muscle on the hind leg that sits just below the stifle and above the hock. It can be compared to the human calf muscle.
  • Loin: corresponds with the lumbar spine and runs from behind the saddle to the croup.
  • Muzzle: includes the nostrils, mouth and chin on the face.
  • Pastern: the connection between the coronet and fetlock.
  • Point of Hip: point of the hip bone.
  • Point of Shlouder: point of the shoulder blade.
  • Poll: the tip of the skull between the ears.
  • Stifle: corresponds to the knee of a human.

Free equine anatomy chart

You can download and print this PDF equine anatomy chart and put it up where everyone in the stable can see it easily.

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