07: Learning Leg Anatomy in Real Life!

Action Point: Spend time feeling and identifying the structures of the leg and learn how it feels to palpate these structures on each horse to know what is normal for them. Refer to the Journey through the Joints Healthcare Tool and Functional Equine Anatomy course materials for reference.

Identify the structures of the legs, bones, major tendons. Palpate the shoulder blades, withers, and muscles. Watch the horse walk, trot, and canter, and take a video for reference.

Rationale: Regular palpation of a horse’s body and legs may aid in the detection of any changes or soreness at an early stage, allowing for conversations with the vet and/or changes in exercise before serious lameness issues arise. Having a video record of normal gaits of each horse will serve as a handy point of reference if/when a gait abnormality is observed.

05: Preventative Care for Hoof Health

Action Point:  Arrange a regular schedule with a trusted farrier and take time to become familiar with the shape and condition of the hooves of each horse to be able to actively monitor for changes or signs of trouble.

Rationale: As the saying goes “no hoof, no horse”! Discussing any and all background knowledge and previous hoof maladies a horse has experienced with your farrier, along with any current concerns, is key to the development of a sound and effective preventative care plan for the horse. Knowledge of hoof anatomy and signs of hoof stress are invaluable tools in the early detection of problems, facilitating prompt and effective treatment.