Horse Racing: Terminology - How to Pick Winners - Home

Body Parts and Appendages of the Horse

back - Upper portion of the trunk opposite the belly between the withers and the loin.

belly - Lower portion of the trunk opposite the back.

cannon - Portion of the hind limb between the hock and the fetlock joint supporting the horse’s weight.

cheek - Protruding side of the head behind the upper jaw.

chest - Front portion of the body located between the neck and the limbs.

coronet - Part of the limbs covering the upper edge of the hoof and corresponding to the second phalange of the finger.

croup - Rear portion of the body between the loin and the base of the tail; it provides propulsion.

elbow - Articulation of the forelimb between the upper arm and the forearm above the knee.

fetlock - Tuft of hair located behind the fetlock joint.

fetlock joint - Articulation of the limbs between the cannon and the pastern forming a protuberance and acting as a shock absorber.

flank - Lateral portion of the body that ripples with the action of the muscles, which allows the horse to chase away insects and warm itself.

forearm - Part of the forelimb located between the shoulder and the elbow corresponding to the humerus.

forelock - Tuft of long stiff hairs (horsehair) on the upper terminal end of the mane and falling onto the forehead between the ears.

gaskin - Portion of the hind limb between the stifle and hock.

hock - Articulation of the hind limb; it contributes to movement and absorbs shocks.

hoof - Thick corneous casing covering and protecting the terminal end of the limb; it rests on the ground while the horse is walking and absorbs shocks.

knee - Articulation of the forelimb located below the elbow between the forearm and the cannon; it contributes to movement and acts as a shock absorber.

lip - Each of two movable muscular folds forming the contour of the mouth and having a tactile function.

loin - Upper portion of the body between the back and the croup; it transmits forward the propulsion from the hind limbs.

mane - Long stiff hairs (horsehair) covering the neck used mainly to chase away insects.

muzzle - Terminal end of the upper lip having a tactile and prehensile function.

neck - Portion of the body supporting the head and attached to the withers, the shoulders and the chest.

nose - Front portion of the head extending from the base of the eyes to the nostrils.

nostril - Each of the orifices of the nose having a respiratory and olfactory function.

pastern - Portion of the limbs between the fetlock joint and the coronet, corresponding to the first phalange of the finger.

shoulder - Upper portion of the forelimb attached to the trunk.

stifle - Articulation of the hind limb between the thigh and the leg formed of the patella and the skin that covers it.

tail - Terminal appendage of the body with long hairs; the horse whips its tail to chase away insects.

thigh - Upper portion of the hind limb having large powerful muscles.

withers  - Portion of the body extending the neck and forming a protuberance above the shoulder.