Horse Foot Anatomy
Thursday 08 April 2010
It is essential to know about horse foot anatomy to keep a happy and healthy horse. Knowing the basics in the anatomy of a horse’s hoof will enable you to practice preventative maintenance, stop problems and communicate well will your farrier. This article will teach you some basic information on horse hoof anatomy.
Horse Hoof Anatomy – The Basics
Cannon Bone – this is the bone which connects the pastern to the leg.
Coffin Bone – you will find that this bone is also called the third phalanx. The coffin bone joins to the leg muscles through tendons and is the lowest in the horse’s foot. There is cartilage which extends upwards and backwards from this bone.
Coronary Band - the coronary band is where the hair and skin meets the horse’s hoof. Just beneath the coronary band new layers of hoof grow.
Deep Flexor Tendon – this tendon comes down from the muscles in the forearm and into the foot. The deep flexor tendon provides weight bearing support which stops over-extension in the fetlock joint.
Insensitive Frog – the insensitive frog is the underside of the frog which is padded and makes contact with the ground.
Sensitive Frog – this is where the white line defines the areas of the horse’s hoof which are sensitive.
White Line – this is the line which distinguishes the sensitive from the insensitive sections of the hoof. The inner area of the hoof contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels. If you think about it like the quick of a fingernail then it is a similar thing.
Plantar Cushion – this is a rubbery structure which is situated above the frog and within the horse’s hoof.
Laminae – this is a membrane lining joined to the coffin bone and suspends it within the hoof.
Navicular Bone – located behind the joint of the coffin bone and short pastern is the little navicular bone.
Long Pastern – it is situated below the cannon bone and above the short pastern.
Short Pastern – sits below the long pastern and above the coronary band.
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