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Horse Anatomy Basics

Horse anatomy basics might well begin by discussing the size of a horse's skeleton. An average horse's skeleton contains 205 bones. Interestingly, horses do not have collarbones, as humans do. Their frontal limbs are attached to their spine by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Those powerful muscles attach the horse's shoulder blade to its torso. Another interesting fact is that horses do not have muscles in their legs below the knee and hock, which is equivalent to the human heel and ankle.

A horse's feet and legs are critically important parts of horse anatomy basics. On average, horses weigh approximately 1,000 pounds, so all of that weight is continually placed on material that is basically made up of the same material as a human fingernail! What that means is that a horses massive weight is essentially supported in the same way that a human is supported when walking around on tiptoe! To protect this delicate material, horses wear horseshoes, which need to be reset every six to eight weeks.