Knowledge of the horse’s body is an indispensable aid to equine care-givers, owners and riders. Horses and human alike can do only what their bodies allow them to do. Owners and riders should use their horses to perform only work for which they are designed. That’s why knowledge of equine anatomy is the key to a happy, healthy, high-performing horse.
Following material is excerpted from Horse Anatomy: A Coloring Atlas by Robert A Kainer and Thomas O McCracken. This is the all-time best-selling book on horse anatomy. The authors encourage readers to color the plates as a fun way to absorb the knowledge they present.
Aging A Horse By Its Teeth
The condition of a horse’s teeth can be a reliable guide to it age. Understanding the horse’s teeth is useful knowledge for care-givers. Below are two plates that identify the horse’s deciduous and permanent teeth. Also identified are the Wolf Tooth.
There are 38 regions of the horse’s body can you identify. How many can you identify?
Why learn equine anatomy?
Your reasons will vary, depending on your particular involvement with horses. Basically, a knowledge of the functional anatomy of the horse will give you the satisfaction of knowing your horse better, providing: Understanding of the structural basis for the horse’s main function, locomotion, An appreciation of the horse’s gaits as it carries or pulls us (or something else) along, A background for communication with other horse owners, trainers, farriers and veterinarians, especially with regard to the function or malfunction of the organs of locomotion, digestion, respiration and reproduction, And the satisfaction of knowing your horse better.
Horses and their close relatives, donkeys and zebras, are in the mammalian order of odd-toed, hoofed animals (Perissodactyla) as are its distant relatives, rhinoceroses and tapirs. The horse, Equus caballus, is an equid, a member of the horse family, Equidae. The adjective, equine, is frequently used improperly as a noun.
Characteristics of equids include: 1. Highly specialized limbs, each with one digit the third) and with the main muscle mass of the limb situated close to the body’s trunk, 2. Large paranasal sinuses within the skull, 3. Guttural pouches, large outpocketings of the auditory tubes that extend from the nasopharynx to the middle ears, 4. High-crowned permanent teeth which grow for a long time, a feature used to determine the age of horses, 5. A simple stomach followed by a long small intestine and a large, complicated large intestine where fermentation of feed occurs, 6. Well-developed skin glands, 7. Large heart and lungs, 8. A uterus with short horns and a relatively large body, a prominent depression in each ovary where the egg cells are released, 9. A large, vascular penis and a complete set of male accessory sex glands.
Excerpt from "Horse Anatomy: A Coloring Atlas 2nd by R. Kainer & T McCracken" Reprinted with permission from Alpine Publications Copyright © 1998 by Robert A Kainer and Thomas O McCracken