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Equine Insights: The Big Picture

Equine Insights: The Big Picture

Posted by Dr. Hilary Clayton on 15th Jul 2023

Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

While appreciating the outer beauty of horses, I’ve always been fascinated by what’s on the inside, and, having studied athletic horses for almost 50 years as a veterinarian, researcher, and rider, I’ve learned that the inside of a horse is a marvel of structural and functional design that has produced an extraordinary athlete. In this blog, I’ll share some insights about the athletic prowess of the horse.

Reduced to the simplest terms, a horse’s body consists of the trunk supported by a leg at each corner with the neck and head attached in front. Each body part contributes to producing an efficient locomotor system.

The Thorax, Abdomen, and Organs! AKA The Equine Trunk.

The largest component is the trunk, comprising the thorax and abdomen and all the organs within, including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bladder, stomach, and intestines. The trunk accounts for a whopping two-thirds of the horse’s body weight. The spine runs along the topline connecting the hind quarters with the forehand and supporting the weight of the trunk and its contents.