A horse has many different parts, and each part is important in how the horse functions and moves. The different parts of a horse include bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that enable the horse to move and support its weight. Horses have forelimbs and hind limbs. The forelimbs are the equivalent to humans’ arms, while the hind limbs are the equivalent to our legs. The limbs are also made up of bone, muscle, and soft tissue. Horses’ limbs are shaped differently across breeds and disciplines, enabling them to perform many different types of work and sports.
A horses’ neck goes from the bottom of the shoulder to the point of the withers. The neck contains seven cervical vertebrae. The neck is often the most noticeable part of a horse, and its shape can tell you something about a horse’s breed or discipline. The neck is also where the horse’s mane grows.
The chest is the area that runs from the bottom of a horse’s neck to the top of its front legs. The chest is shaped differently in each horse, depending on its rib structure. The chest can be wide or narrow and affects a horse’s movement.
The hind legs of a horse are connected by the hocks, which are very similar to human ankles. Horses’ hocks are shaped differently from one another, and they have different functions. The fetlock joint is located between the cannon bone and the pastern. It is very similar to the human knee, but it has a different structure.
Horses have hooves that are made up of hard and soft materials. Inside the hoof, a horse has lateral cartilages that extend back and up from the inner and outer sides of the third phalanx (Figure 2a). The frog is a “V”-shaped area on the bottom of the hoof that’s split into two or more parts by crevices on either side. The frog is one of the primary shock absorbers in the hoof, and it’s important for the horse to be able to walk on it comfortably.
A horse’s tail is an extension of the spine that helps it steer and balance, but it also serves as a means of communication and deflecting insects. The tail can be long or short and can be treated or styled based on the horse’s breed or discipline. The end of the tail is called the dock and sits at the back of the horse, where it meets the croup.