Horse Anatomy and Physiology Series


Muscles, Tendons, & Ligaments

The horse’s body is both exceedingly powerful and capable of bending, turning around tight corners, and stopping on a dime, all thanks to his intricate combination of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

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Equine Skeletal System

As you admire a horse, you take in his physique, his muscle tone, and the sheen of his coat. But underlying these essential outer parts is the structure that forms the scaffold to which all soft tissues attach: the equine skeleton.

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The Equine Foot

Learn how the complex equine foot is built, and how it works to allow work at speed. Sponsored by the American Association of Equine Veterinary

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The Airways and the Lungs

The harder a horse works, the more oxygen it needs and the more air it must move into and out of the lungs. Understanding how the horse’s respiratory system works can help horse owners recognize problems and/or manage horses to prevent them.

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Anatomy and Physiology

This first article of a 12-part series on equine anatomy and physiology discusses basic terminology, the horse’s largest organ (his skin), and how horses and humans are alike (and different).

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Joints: It All Hinges on This

There are 205 bones in the horse’s skeleton, and the spot where one or more bones join is the joint. This installment of the anatomy and physiology series focuses on these critical areas of movement.

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The Horse’s Hind Legs: The Perfect Engine

No matter the breed or discipline, good conformation of the hind legs will contribute to more successful performance and a better ride. We want a horse to have excellent rear leg conformation so that it can tolerate the demands placed on it.

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Body Builders: Muscles

A horse’s conformation and muscle types can determine how well he can perform certain tasks, but all horses are subject to muscle injury and disease. In this article, we’ll take a look at how equine muscles function and are nourished.

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The Equine Digestive System: Food Factory

Understanding the equine digestive system can make your horse healthier and give you fewer worries about gastric upset. In this article, we’ll take a look at just how this “factory” is designed and how it functions.

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Reproductive Anatomy: Basics of Life

In this article on reproductive anatomy, we’ll take a look at the reproductive organs of both the mare and the stallion and discuss just how they function in their effort to produce another “miracle.”

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Anatomy and Physiology: Complete Series

Learn how your horse’s anatomy works with our complete anatomy and physiology guide, including basic terminology, skin, forelimbs, hindlimbs, feet/hooves, head and neck, tendons/ligaments, muscles, digestive, cardiovascular and reproductive systems.

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Tendons and Ligaments

It should come as no surprise that horses suffer from tendon and ligament injuries. When one considers these vital parts of the equine anatomy and the stresses placed upon them, it’s a tribute to the horse’s physical make-up that there aren’t

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