The Horse Skeleton

					The Horse’s Skeleton
   For a picture of a skeleton go to
The Skeleton Comprises of

       210 bones
 37 in the skull, includes 3 small
  bones in each ear (auditory ossicles)
 2 branches of mandible (lower jaw)

 54 vertebrae (7 cervical, 18 thoracic,
  6 lumbar, 5 sacral, 15 - 20 coccygeal)
 36 ribs (some breeds e.g. Arab, can
  have 37 or 38),
 1 sternum,

 40 forelimb

 40 hindlimb (including pelvis)
                  Front Legs

   The horse has no collarbone
   Front legs are not attached by joints
   A sling of muscles and ligaments supports the
    weight of the horse and rider.
   Horse's can sleep in the upright position
    without falling over
   Due to a 'locking' mechanism in the fore and
   The main joints can be locked into position by
    a system of muscles and ligaments mostly
    based around the suspensory ligament at the
    back of the cannon bone.
   Very little energy is needed to hold the 'lock'