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12 Days of Christmas - Day 2: Anatomical Prints

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

We have something quite unique for the second day of our 12 Days of Christmas. Anyone with a love of horses whether they are interested in anatomy or not is sure to love these stunning prints and images.


Word Art


These prints are a clever twist on skeletal anatomy, using the names of the bones to illustrate their shape and position. The bones are in different positions depending on what movement the horse is doing - like the one below that shows piaffe. This makes each print a little quirky and unique, and a fabulous gift for any horse lover.



gillian higgins horses inside out word art horse jumping


"One of the really nice things about these Word Art Prints is that it helps you learn the names of the bones, but also gain an appreciation of where everything is as there are many misconceptions about the skeletal of the horse.



Positioning of the Neck Vertebrae

One common misconception is the position of the neck vertebrae or the cervical vertebrae. You can see clearly in this Word Art print of a horse trotting where the neck vertebrae are.


gillian higgins horses inside out word art horse trot

"A lot of people think that these are positioned much higher up than they are," says Gillian. "This is mainly because we can feel our own neck vertebrae along the back of our neck, so automatically assume that the horse's neck vertebrae run along the top too. When it’s actually closer to the bottom or the ventral side of the neck. The reason why the neck vertebrae are positioned here comes back to anatomy and function, the orientation of the horse's spine and the weight of the head and neck."


The Importance of Top Line

Your horse’s head is 4% of his total body weight and his neck is 6% - that's 10% of his total body weight. The very heavy structure of the head is on the end of a long a lever (his neck) that needs to be supported. All the muscles on top of the cervical vertebrae which attach into the withers effectively when shortened help to lift the head up.


The muscles on the underside of the neck vertebrae help to flex the neck and pull the head in towards the chest but also lower it towards the ground. So, if we now go back to thinking about the position of the neck vertebrae for a minute, if these were along the top of the neck, what would be the point of all that muscle underneath? Yes, they would flex the neck, but gravity does the job of lowering the head. So, the reason the neck vertebrae are positioned where they are is because all the space above is filled with very strong muscles and strong ligaments that helps support the weight of the head against gravity and help the horse to lift his head up. This is why developing top-line is so important.


The true position of the hip joint

Another misconception is the position of the hip joint, many people when asked will point to the widest part of the pelvis (false hip), when in fact, the hip joint is much further back - two thirds of the way from the false hip and the point of buttock.


gillian higgins horses inside out word art black horse piafe

Knowing the correction position of the hip joint will help you when it comes to training your horse. For example, when you think about the collection needed for movement such as piaffe, shown in the picture left or when you ask your horse to sit behind and carry more weight on the hindquarters. Also, understanding the angles and the bones of the hind legs will help your training too when it’s dressage or jumping.


There are 10 different Word Art prints available - prices start from £24 All available in our SHOP



 

Muscle Drawing Prints


Pick from three beautiful, colourful hand drawn prints by Gillian Higgins. Each one show the musculature of the horse in motion - a great learning tool but equally stunning in a frame and mounted on a wall as decoration.


gillian higgins horses inside out hand drawn prints framed musculature motion

There’s also a bit of a story behind these drawings, Gillian drew them in the evenings while she was on a skiing holiday. It was doing these initial drawings that inspired her to go on and create the colouring book (more on that in another blog).


“I love drawing and it’s something I’ve always done in the evenings when I’m on holiday or at home in the winter curled up on the sofa next to the fire,” says Gillian. “I enjoy doing this sort of drawing as I like to challenge myself a little bit. When you look at most anatomy books, the pictures are all taken on the left hand side of a standing horse. Using my knowledge both from studying anatomy books, painting, working with lots of horses and also from my study of dissection, I then draw these structures from different positions and show what happens to them in different movements such as jumping."





Name of Print: Muscles Jumping










Name of print: Muscles in Trot









Name of print: Muscles Rearing




Each print is available in two sizes - Large (420 x 594 mm including the mount) and

Small (280 x 355 mm including the mount).


Price £30 each






 

Anatomical photographic prints


The internal skeletal structures depicted on these unique, unusual and original anatomical photographic prints are all hand painted on live horses. I think you'll agree they look stunning and what a great gift idea.


A lot of people don't realise how it takes paint these structures onto a horse. For a painting on a dark horse it can take up to five hours to complete. Part of that time is letting the paint dry.

"I always say put the first layer of paint on quite a thin layer and let it dry before we add another layer," explains Gillian. "On a dark horse like this one there will be at least two coats of white paint, followed by outlining in black paint. I find the use of black really makes the skeleton pop."



gillian higgins horses inside out skeleton horse photograph jumping print black background

The paint Gillian uses is water based hypoallergenic, non toxic paint so it's perfectly safe to use on horses and it washes off easily afterwards.


"It's really important for me that the whole painting process is as relaxing as possible for the horses," stresses Gillian. "They are given frequent breaks and go out for a bite of grass and a leg stretch. I often paint horses while they are eating hay from a net, I'm quite good at painting a moving target."


All prints come mounted - prices start from £30






































Name of Print: Topper Jumps

Artist: Anatomical Artwork by Gillian Higgins. Photograph by Bruce Adams

Size: 420 x 594 mm (including the mount).

£45


The internal skeletal structures depicted on this unique, unusual and original anatomical photographic print is hand painted.

All prints come mounted, backed and protected in cellophane. All the designs are signed by the artist on the mount.

Name of Print: Black Canter

Artist: Anatomical Artwork by Gillian Higgins. Photograph by Bruce Adams

Size:

Large = 420 x 594 mm (including the mount)

Small = 280 x 355 mm (including the mount)

£30


The internal skeletal structures depicted on this unique, unusual and original anatomical photographic print is hand painted.

All prints come mounted, backed and protected in cellophane. All the designs are signed by the artist on the mount.

Name of Print: Bay jump

Artist: Anatomical Artwork by Gillian Higgins. Photograph by Bruce Adams

Size: 420 x 594 mm (including the mount)

£45


Name of Print: Black Jump 2

Artist: Anatomical Artwork by Gillian Higgins. Photograph by Bruce Adams

Size: 420 x 594 mm (including the mount)

£45

https://www.horsesinsideout.com/product-page/photographic-print-black-jump-2


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