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Understanding Equine Anatomy: Take your learning to another level with Horses Inside Out

For horse owners, having a comprehensive knowledge of equine anatomy is not just beneficial—it's essential. This understanding goes beyond just a mere interest, and in our opinion it's a practical necessity that impacts the well-being of the horse. You will probably know as you are reading this article that at Horses Inside Out our mission is to give riders, coaches, and therapists, in fact, anyone interested in discovering more about horses, a fascinating insight into equine locomotion, training, management and welfare from an anatomical perspective.

Did you know....The equine skeleton consists of approximately 205 bones

Here are just a few reasons why Horses Inside Out passionately believe anyone interested in horses should learn and understand more about equine anatomy.

1. Improved Horse Care

A solid grasp of horse anatomy allows you to monitor your horse’s health effectively. Recognising the normal conformation and the function of the horse's body parts enables you to detect early signs of illness or injury, often before it become a serious issue. This proactive approach to health care is an invaluable skill to have.


2. Better Communication with Para-Professionals

Knowing the names and functions of a horse’s anatomy can help when chatting with other members of your horse’s para-professional team such as vets, farriers and trainers. This knowledge ensures that conversations you have are clear, which leads to better care and treatment outcomes.


3. Targeted Riding and Training Techniques

Understanding how the horse's body works can be the key to improve riding and training techniques. This knowledge allows you to take a more empathetic approach to your training, with consideration for each horse’s physical capabilities and limitations. This outside of the box thinking can enhance the horse's performance and reduce the risk of injuries caused by inappropriate training methods.


4. Correctly Fitting Tack

Poorly fitting tack can cause discomfort and even injury to a horse. Knowledge of equine anatomy is key to selecting and fitting correctly, and when it is necessary to call in a professionally qualified saddle or bridle fitter to come and check it for you.

5. Making Informed Decisions

Whether it's deciding on a training plan or discussing a rehab program, having knowledge of equine anatomy gives you a sound foundation for making informed decisions that will have a positive effect on the horse's health and performance.


Did you know....the knee on the horse is equivalent to our wrist. It consists of a series of hinged synovial joints linking eight carpal bones arranged in two rows, which allow for effective absorption of concussion.

Never Stop Learning

Equine anatomy is a complex yet fascinating subject and one that Gillian is passionate about making accessible to all. Her quest is to make learning about equine anatomy fun, interesting and above all easy to understand.

To help you on your journey there’s a whole host of different resources available, whether that’s from one of her books or by delving into the library of online content and courses. In fact, did you know there’s over 200 hours of online content available in the Horses Inside Out Academy?  

These will provide a valuable and insight into the anatomical systems of the horse and how they relate to the everyday care and management of the horse. But what if Horses Inside Out went one step further and offered you a unique interactive experience where you can immerse yourself in this topic even more? The Horses Inside Out Equine Anatomical Art Exhibition 2024 is a not to be missed opportunity to explore and learn more about the anatomy of the horse. This exhibition showcases equine anatomy as you have never seen it before.

Did you know.....The femur is the strongest, heaviest long bone in the horse's body

The Equine Anatomical Art Exhibition will be open from 22 – 25 August 2024, 10am-4pm at Horses Inside Out, Wavendon Grange, Old Dalby, LE14 3LW.

Come and Explore

This amazing exhibition is an invaluable resource for veterinarians, equine therapists, riders, and anyone interested in horse health and performance. Whether you pop in for an hour or the whole day, you will find this exhibition fascinating and educational. You will leave with a new insight and ability to visualise structures under your horse's skin and how they function. Appreciate growth and development of horses from birth to adulthood and see common problems, pathologies and abnormalities that affect modern day horses.

Equine cervical vertebrae, ventral laminae, transverse process, ECVM, cervical malformation
Did you know....The seven neck vertebrae make up the most flexible section of the spine. These vertebrae sit a lot lower in the neck than you might realise and are arranged in an 'S' shape

Here's a snapshot of what you can expect to see at the Horses Inside Out Anatomical Art Exhibition

  • Interactive zone where you can get hands on to learn more about equine anatomy. Can you align an equine spine, arrange the bones of the hock joint or build a horse skeleton?

  • Study a number of full equine skeletons. From immature yearlings and 4-year-olds to mature horses from 10 to 24 years old. Take this opportunity to see and understand the growth and development of the horse first hand.

  • Hoof and lower limb zone.

  • A head zone. Study 3D printed models illustrating the muscles tendons, vessels and nerves of the horse's head.

  • Understand some of the genetic anomalies, abnormalities and pathological changes that can affect the horse.

  • Detailed equine models illustrating the tendons and ligaments of the sacroiliac, stifle and lower limbs joints.

  • Preserved lower limbs of horses of various ages which illustrate some of the most common developmental issues and problems.

  • A fascinating collection of equine anatomical art and posters.

Take advantage of the fabulous resource and visit the Equine Anatomical Art Exhibition, as well as the newfound knowledge you will gain you will also appreciate fully the incredible design of their anatomy. The study of equine anatomy is a continuous learning process, and there's always something new to discover.

Further Learning Opportunities

If you are unable to visit, there are plenty of ways you can further your knowledge of equine anatomy with our on-demand online content available from the Horses Inside Out Academy.

Here are our four must watch on-demand webinars


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