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Parts of the Horse

Learn to identify the parts horse, learn about conformation, & the parts of the hoof

What Is Conformation?

A horse’s conformation is the way a horse is built.

Good conformation improves movement and performance, allows for smoother gaits and makes horses and ponies less likely to go lame.

Parts of the Horse

The diagram below shows many of the names of the parts of horses.

Parts of the Horse

 

Horse & Skeleton Overlay

Drag the slider below to see an illustration of the skeletal structure of a horse.

Horse With Bad Conformation

Conformation Faults

  • Large course head
  • Small “pig eyes”
  • Narrow jaw
  • Small nostrils
  • Short neck
  • Dips on the top & bulges on the bottom (ewe neck)
  • Short, upright shoulders
  • High withers
  • Sway back
  • Goose rump
  • Tail set too low
  • Short, upright pasterns
  • Camped under hindlegs
  • Pasterns with too much slope

Good Conformation

  • Large kind eyes
  • Wide Jaw
  • Large nostrils
  • Medium-length neck that is slightly arched
  • Long, sloping shoulder
  • Well-muscled back
  • Pasterns a medium length and slope

Play the Parts of the Horse Game

See if you can name the parts of the horse.

Click on the plus symbol to see if you are correct.

Parts of the Hoof

Parts of the hoof

Play the Parts of the Hoof Game

Drag the name of the part of a horse’s hoof to the correct location. Check your results below to see how you did!

Horse Hind Leg Conformation

When viewing a horse from behind, there should be a straight line from the point of the buttocks down to the center of the hoof.

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Correct

Correct

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Narrow

Narrow

Conformation Fault
Horse Hind Leg Conformation Wid

Wide

Conformation Fault

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Bow Legged

Bow Legged

Conformation Fault

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Cow Hocked

Cow Hocked

Conformation Fault

When viewing a horse from the side, there should be a straight line from the point of the buttocks down the back of the leg.

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Correct

Correct

horse Hind Leg Conformation skeleton Camped Out

Camped Out

Conformation Fault
Horse hind leg conformation sickle hocked

Sickle Hocked

Conformation Fault
Horse Hind Leg Conformation Skeleton Post Legged

Post-Legged

Conformation Fault

Horse Hind Leg Conformation Matching Game

Drag the name that describes the conformation illustrated in each image.

Horse Front Leg Conformation

When viewing a horse from the front, there should be a straight line down the forearm to the center of the hoof.

Horse front leg conformation correct

Correct

Horse front leg conformation base narrow

Base Narrow

Conformation Fault
Horse front leg conformation knock knee

Knock Kneed

Conformation Fault

Horse front leg conformation bow legged

Bow Legged

Conformation Fault

Horse front leg conformation pigeon toed

Pigeon Toed

Conformation Fault

Horse front leg conformation Splay footed

Splay Footed

Conformation Fault

Horse front leg side view correct conformation

Correct

Horse front leg side view calf-kneed conformation

Calf Kneed

(Back at the knee)
Conformation Fault

Horse front leg side view over at the knee conformation

Buck Kneed

(Over at the knee)
Conformation Fault