s02e02: Parts of the Horse (Instructor’s Cut)

Parts of the Horse

Knowing the parts of the horse (anatomy) is important for anyone who rides, owns, or cares for a horse.  The ability to identify where an injury is located and tell the veterinarian over the phone can save time, fear, and money.  Riding lessons often include phrases such as “Reach forward and touch the poll, then back to touch the dock”.  Without knowing where the poll and dock are, the rider cannot perform the exercise.

As a more experienced horseman, the knowledge of the parts of the horse is involved in discussions about purchasing an animal or determining the reason a horse is lame.  At this level, the horseman is expected to be comfortable discussing horse anatomy and the soundness issues related to different ways that anatomy is put together.

Still  more experienced horsemen who breed horses, own or manage barns, assist veterinarians, or seek to become farriers need to know more about the anatomy of the horse.  These people need to understand how ligaments, tendons, and muscles connect to the bones and how those parts are affected by different conformation.  That knowledge depends on first knowing the names and locations of the parts.

USPC defines a set and standards for each level of achievement.  The specific sections related to parts of the horse for D1-C2 are included below.

USPC Standards Of Proficiency

  • D1:  Name any 10 parts of the mount (such as mane, tail, leg, eye, etc.)
  • D2:   Name and locate any 15 parts of the mount
  • D3:  Identify at least 20 parts of the mount, to include hock, gaskin, withers, croup, fetlock, pastern
  • C1:   Name three to four types of teeth found in a horses mouth
  • C2:  Identify and/or describe parts of the horse’s mouth to include bars, lips, incisors, molars, wolf teeth and canines
Parts of the Horse

Parts of the Horse


The parts of the mouth of the horse are a little more difficult to diagram.  The following diagram provides a very basic illustration but is not complete:

Parts of the equine mouth

Parts of the Equine Mouth

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