Equine Skeleton
Vet, Horse First Aid

From: Horse Anatomy | Care

See also: Tack | Clipping | Rugs | Worming

Horse Picture

The Equine Skeleton

The horse has  205 bones making up their skeleton. The skeleton can be put into two main categories the Axial Skeleton and the Appendicular Skeleton.

Function Of Bones

Types of Bones
The equine skeleton is made up of  a combination of Flat bones, Long bones, Short bones, Irregular bones and Sesamoid bones.

Flat Bones
These have a broad flat surface onto which muscles can attach for example the bones in the head .

Long Bones
These are quite literally bones which are long, contain marrow and that have  two joint surfaces at either end, these joint surfaces are called epiphyses.  An example of a long bone would be the cannon bone in the lower limb.

Short Bones
These are bones which are short in length for example the Carpal Bones.

Irregular Bones
These are irregular in size and shape and an example would be the bones that make up the vertebrae.

Sesamoid Bones
These act in conjunction with the tendons and prevent the tendon from making contact with the bone for example the Navicular bone works with the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon.

The Bones
There are approximately 205 bones making up the equine skeleton.

There are approximately 51 to 56  in total.

1 Sternum Bone.

Forelimb contains  20 bones in each limb.

Hindlimb contains 20 bones in each limb.

The skull contains 37 bones.

36 in total ( Arab horses often have 37 ribs).