A horse’s hindquarters are designed to produce horizontal forces that result in forward movement. However, they are also used to help control the balance of the horse in relation to gravity. In order to do this they must be able to hollow out the back and shift the horse’s weight into their hindquarters. This is a complicated task and involves many muscles. This horse hind muscle diagram illustrates the main muscles involved in this process.
As a general rule deep muscles are responsible for supporting the bones of the horse and those closest to the joints are postural muscles. Muscles that are in charge of large gymnastic movements are located further away from the joints. The large superficial paravertebral musculature is made up of powerful muscles and is in charge of these larger gymnastic movements.
In the front limbs of the horse there are two main muscles, the humerus and the fibula. The humerus is the upper part of the front leg and it extends from the shoulder to the knee. It is responsible for flexion and tension of the front leg and absorbs shock. The fibula is the lower part of the leg and is similar to the shin bone in humans. The fibula is responsible for lateral bending and is not as strong as the humerus.
The horse’s thoracic sling is very important for balance control in relation to gravity. The thoracic sling is formed by two muscles, the Serratus Ventralis Thoracis (SVT) and the Subcostal Pectoralis Major (SPM). These muscles form an elastic support that lifts the scapula and the ribcage. When they contract they allow the horse to shift weight into its hindquarters and hollow out the back. When the SVT and SPM muscles contract they also raise the scapula in an upward direction and can be used for forced inspiration.
Another crucial muscle is the equine gluteus maximus (GM). GM is the largest muscle in the horse and creates the visible contour of the horse’s croup. It is also a highly sensitive muscle for surface electromyography (sEMG) and its electrical activity has been linked to the capacity of the GM to generate force.
In addition to these muscles there is also a lot of tendons and ligaments that are important for the correct function of the horse’s back and hindquarters. The flexor digitorum superficialis and flexor lumborum are important for the ability of the horse to create a good posture and to keep its pelvis in its optimal position.
The hoof is a complex structure that contains over a dozen different structures, including bones, cartilage, tendons and tissues. The hoof is important for supporting the weight of the horse and absorbing the shock of its movement. The frog is an important part of the hoof because it helps to absorb shock and is a very responsive and flexible tissue. This helps to give the hoof its characteristic V-shape that allows it to expand and bounce when pressure is applied. The frog also plays an important role in maintaining the balance of the horse.