Talk:Equine anatomy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Equine (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Equine, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of articles relating to horses, asses, zebras, hybrids, equine health, equine sports, etc. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at the barn.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Veterinary medicine (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Veterinary medicine, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Veterinary medicine on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Animal anatomy (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Animal anatomy, an attempt to organise a detailed guide to all topics related to animal anatomy apart from human anatomy. To participate, you can edit the attached article, or contribute further at WikiProject Animal anatomy. This project is an offshoot of WikiProject Animals
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Reproductive System of the Mare[edit]

The fact in dispute is with the quote "[The vulva] lies dorsal to the rectum." According to a University of Minnesota webpage describing anatomical locations and planes (, the correct anatomical location term would be "ventral." So, to rephrase the quote in the article, "[The vulva] lies ventral to the rectum." Any dispute as to whether this change should be made? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Just fix it and remove the tag, please. On a horse that is standing up, the vagina is underneath below the rectum, so whatever the correct medical term for "below" is, use it. The editor who put that in didn't cite a source, so hard to say if it was a source error or just an editing glitch. Just remove that horrible tag! (grin) Montanabw(talk) 04:13, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Possible merge?[edit]

Hi Horse anatomy editors! The following material is taken, verbatim from the Equine nutrition article, which I started, but another editor added onto in the digestive system section. I think there is some good material here that isn't in horse anatomy. I think it should be consolidated, and then I'd like to shorten the section in equine nutrition and just reference it to here. Feel free to steal it and incorporate it into horse anatomy, and when I feel most if it is where it needs to be, I'll remove it from here and reduce the other article accordingly. Thanks! Montanabw 05:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Removed the material that has now been merged. Montanabw(talk) 17:13, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


"A horse's teeth grow throughout the animal's lifetime"

The quote above is incorrect. It’s actually a common misunderstanding.

A horse’s teeth are only temporary rootless, which means that they grow for a period of time until they grow roots and stop. The incisors stop growing when the animal reaches about 12 years of age. The premolars and molars are also temporary rootless, but I don’t know when they stop growing.

The term “temporary rootless” is translated from the Norwegian term since I don’t know what term to use in English.

I’m new at Wikipedia so I would not try to edit the article at once, but I hope some one can correct it.

Greetings from Norwegian veterinary student Grosvold 18:21, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

See horse teeth and the anatomy section of horse someone got it right in one or the other of those sections, in that they phrased it that the teeth ERUPT continuously thoughout its lifetime, which is more accurate. If you want to let me know which page has the phrasing "erupt," I can do the wordsmithing. However, I have never heard of age 12 as when the teeth stop growing, so I am not certain you have it correct either. I would suggest that someone get a source on this before we mess it up too much. Montanabw 03:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
And now I have fixed it. See horse teeth for futher details. Montanabw 05:14, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok =) I have the age about 12 from a symposium we use at school about digestion in animals. It is written by one of our professors. I can try to ask him where he has it from when I start school again after summer. Grosvold 21:45, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

All I know is that horses still have teeth in their late 20's, I've known several. I know that a horse's baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth, but that is done well before age 12. (At 12 months, some adult teeth may be forming? Are you confusing months and years? Could this be a translation problem?) The adult tooth is, ultimately, only a certain length (i.e. I agree that they "erupt," they do not "grow" like a rodent.) and eventually they get quite short and some very old horses do "lose" their molars as the entire tooth apparently wears away, but I have never heard of anything special happening at age 12 years. If there is, well, that will be useful in horse teeth, where the topic is covered in detail. Montanabw 16:13, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Horse teeth continue to erupt well into the 20's. And while the general contetion is that they do not truly grow (as happens in rodents and lagomorphs), there is some evidence that there is a small amount of true growth that can occur. (I'll have to find the reference, although it's probably better to leave the terminology as "erupts" to avoid confusion.) But, yes, generally speaking, a horse's teeth are as long as they are going to be once they are about 4-5 (the bumps on the underside of the jaw of a 4 year old are where the roots end), and there are roots present throughout this whole period. The only (somewhat) rootless teeth are the 'caps' which are the deciduous premolars.--Getwood (talk) 00:31, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
No disagreement. My now-28 year old mare still has all her teeth, eats just fine, maintains her weight well, though she needs some major dental work about every 18 months to deal with some hooks she gets on her back molars. Some horses seem to have better tooth luck than others, I had another horse that lost teth to the point she was on mush by about age 31 or so, it would be interesting if it has been established that some growth occurs. Be quite interesting. Maybe check Horse teeth to see if it can be sourced a bit. Montanabw(talk) 21:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

definition of elbow[edit]

"elbow: the front leg equivalent to the stifle. The joint of the front leg that is right at the point where the belly of the horse meets the leg. This joint extends backward when a horse jumps an obstacle." Is it not the fetlock and knee that extend backward when a horse jumps an obstacle? Does not the elbow bend FORWARD when a horse jumps? Look at any picture of a horse jumping; if the elbow bent backward the knees would be under the barrel instead of in front of the chest as is the case in any picture. Thanks for any help or clarification! 19:20, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

This article needs tons of cleanup, you're right. If you can fix that, go for it! Montanabw 21:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Horse morphology/Horse anatomy[edit]

My dictionary says "Anatomy:The science of the structure of the body learned by dissection." Shouldn't this article be more correctly "Horse morphology" since that covers both the outer form and the inner structure, while anatomy is reserved for inner structure. Just asking.....Roxithro 10:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I think the term anatomy is sufficiently broad to cover both aspects with respect to this article. The diagrams cover both and the text while focused on the outside does also discuss the internal morphology so to speak. I would recommend though that horse morphology be created and redirected here just in case we're missing readers. I expect most people arrive at this page through the root horse page though. WikipedianProlific(Talk) 12:58, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Edit/Update - in the interest of being bold I have created the page horse morphology and redirected it to this article.WikipedianProlific(Talk) 13:01, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I would keep "anatomy," as that is the general public's term for such things, even if not entirely accurate. Thanks, though, for doing the redirect. Montanabw(talk) 17:54, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Anatomy and morphology[edit]

A belated comment. The problem is not the term anatomy. The problem is limited definitions in some dictionaries (and some textbooks), and the failure to recognise this. The above-mentioned dictionary definition is not a complete definition. A more full dictionary definition will always spell out something along the lines that WikipedianProlific notes. That is, anatomy is a broad term pertaining to the structure of organisms.

It is the case that the term 'anatomy' is derived from the Greek word meaning 'to cut' or 'dissect', and is therefore linked, at its root, to dissection. And it is true that texts will mention this. However, as Gray's Anatomy (1973) states, anatomy is now used more broadly:

to perform an 'anatomy' was to make a 'dissection'; the two words are no longer synonymous. Dissection has remained a technique; Anatomy has become a field of study - a corpus of observations, still dependent upon technique, but capable of rational correlation among themselves and with other biological studies.[1]

And, "anatomy may be the investigation of biological structure - in plants or animals - with no other motive than description of form".[1]

The first definition in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary below, is consistent with the above-mentioned contemporary usage:

  1. The science of the structure of the bodies of humans, animals, and plants; a treatise in this field.[2]

The dictionary of course goes on to give other definitions, including one consistent with dissection. But it logically starts out with the most general sense of the term, which is consistent with the point made in Gray's Anatomy, and the sense in which the term anatomy is used in this article.

In contemporary usage then, anatomy, while acknowledged as derived from dissection, is commonly used as synonymous with the study of an organism's structure. So textbooks say things like: "Anatomy refers to the study of structure and the relationships among structures", and "Anatomy is a broad science", containing sub-divisions, including surface anatomy and various sub-divisions of internal anatomy, as well as various levels of anatomy, from gross or macroscopic (i.e. visible to the naked eye) to microscopic etc.[3] The field is of course constantly evolving, so details change, but the general concepts remain stable.

  1. ^ a b Roger Warwick & Peter L. Williams, ed. (1973). Gray’s Anatomy (35th ed.). London: Longman. p. xiii. 
  2. ^ Angus Stevenson, ed. (2007). Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 1: A-M (6th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-19-920687-2. 
  3. ^ Tortora, Gerard J.; Anagnostakos, Nicholas P (1990). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (6th ed.). New York: Harper & Row. p. 6. ISBN 0-06-046694-4. 

So anatomy as used today by both professionals and lay people is not restricted to dissection of internal structures. It pertains to the study of structure, especially biological (but not exclusively, one finds the term used elsewhere). In contemporary usage, anatomy and physiology are terms for structure and function. Morphology pertains to structure, as does anatomy. So in some works, you find these terms used interchangeably. For example "morphophysiology" is just academic shorthand for morphology and physiology, or anatomy and physiology, or structure and function. In academic journals, compact jargon is typically used to keep the article within space limitations, and because the audience is expected to know what the term means, or how to figure out what it means, without spelling it out each time.

Conversely, as Montanabw correctly says, the general public would tend to use the term anatomy. But there is nothing innacurate in using the term horse anatomy to refer to the overall structure of the horse, as any experienced biologist knows. And while biologists would use the term morphology more often than the general public, they would know full well the interchangeability of the term when it comes to discussing various organisms. Biologists looking for information on horses would also use the term 'anatomy', because they'd know damn well they'd find stuff under that, both in academic or general publications.

So in contemporary usage, when using the term anatomy, if no finer definitions are made, then by defaul it includes the whole structure of the organism, inside and out, at all scales. Why? Because the term anatomy is the broadest conceptual level of the use of that term. If one is specifically referring to a sub-use, such as say, endocrine, skeletal, muscular, neuronal, cellular, chromosomal, etc, one necessarily defines that specific use.

At a glance, this article is looking good. The term horse or equine anatomy is not the least innaccurate or misleading. Leaving that terminology in place will cause less confusion than replacing it with the less publicly familiar term morphology, the use of which for its own sake (as opposed to using it in a useful context) adds nothing much to the article. Wotnow (talk) 03:09, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

clumsy opening[edit]

so... whats up with the first sentence of this article?

"The anatomy of the horse comes with a large number of horse specific terms."

This seems clumsy and kind of redundant to me.

Anyone can edit. If you want to improve it, feel free to give it a shot! Montanabw(talk) 17:25, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Can we change the title??[edit]

Per a request from folks over at the Equidae article, would anyone object if we changed the name of this article to Equine anatomy? I'll leave this request here for 4-5 days, and if no one objects, I'll make the move. This may result in a need to wordsmith the article a bit so that, if I may mix my methphors, the donkey people don't have a cow (grin), but I am willing to deal with that issue if need be. Montanabw(talk) 17:15, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm in favor of the change to equine from horse.--Getwood (talk) 00:09, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I think someone changed Horse conformation to Equine conformation. When I created Equine nutrition, I think I started with that title (can't remember, it was a while ago.) You and I appear to be the only ones who care. Be my guest if you'd like to do the move. Montanabw(talk) 21:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Another move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk)

Equine anatomyAnatomy of Equidae — The title is best changed again to Anatomy of Equidea; this to make it more understandable that the article is about the anatomy of the equidae-group (others animals too need anatomy article; this simplifies matters) - Relisting  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC) (talk) 13:42, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Oppose: the term "equine anatomy" is prefectly clear and straightforward, also corresponds to naming conventions of other articles such as Equine conformation, Horse management, Equine nutrition, etc. Also, this article is mostly horse-focused, with a nod to mules and maybe donkeys, so it's not really going to work completely for, say, the zebra which may not have everything put together exactly the same way. Montanabw(talk) 22:34, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

I would agree, basically, except that "equine" can be used to refer to any member of the Equus genus, which includes zebras, onagers, kiangs, as well as horses and donkeys. The Equus subgenus however, includes only the wild and domestic horse, the przewalskis horse, and the tarpan. So which (the genus or the subgenus) are we referring to with the use of "equine"? Asses, donkeys, kiangs and onagers are part of the Asinus subgenus, just as a note. I agree that horse anatomy and, say, zebra anatomy should be different, but I'm not sure how to work it, except maybe to have individual subgenus articles. Dana boomer (talk) 23:10, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
My basic point is twofold: 1) "Equine (or whatever) Anatomy" is a better title than "Anatomy of (whatever)" unless we want to rename at least couple dozen articles. ("Tack of the Equine?? Hooves of the Equine?? Where will it end?) I just oppose the move 2) As for the rest, I just wish we called it "Horse anatomy," because I'm not going to be the one to go researching Kiangs and Zebras to see if they have a different number of vertebrae or something... But that was a battle I lost long ago; I think that a bunch of these articles were in fact originally "Horse" this or that and somewhere along the line, someone felt we were dissing mules and that "Equine" was more inclusive. Montanabw(talk) 05:05, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Except that we once had all these articles labeled "horse" this and that and had a whole crew of people whine and complain about that, at which time stuff started getting named "Equine" this and that. Will post on WikiProject Equine and see if the people who actually to the work have more opinions. Montanabw(talk) 03:45, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I would prefer just "Horse anatomy" as well, but agree with Montanabw on the pre-existing politics of the whole situation making it difficult. With "horse" we could include the wild and domestic horse, przewalskis and tarpan, and leave the rest to their own devices, which would actually make for a pretty decent article. Also, "horse anatomy" is better than "anatomy of the horse" because, for continuity, a bunch of articles would need to be renamed - "vision of the horse", "hooves of the horse", etc. Dana boomer (talk) 20:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose is it me, or is Wikipedia in general becoming far to technical when it comes to biology related articles? I don't think that we should "dumb down" the encyclopedia at all, but seriously, we actually use the regular English words such as (in this case) "Horse", or "Zebra", or whatever, for organisms in day to day life. This is a general audience encyclopedia after all, not a biology textbook. So yea, I'm with Ucucha, let's move this to "Horse anatomy".
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 21:10, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Apathetic So we move it to horse anatomy, which I think was the name it was created under originally. Then six months from now we are going to move it back to "equine anatomy" because the mule people are going to be ticked off again. And while we fight over the name, no one is going to actually do any real research or actually improve the article in either direction because we run off all the people with a science background who actually try to improve these articles. (Sigh, whine, kvetch, grumble) I really no longer give a flying rat turd. Just whatever you decide, keep it to two words and someone else can disambiguate all the links. Again. Montanabw(talk) 21:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I am sorry if my vote is disrupting some fragile piece of balance. I don't really care much about it either, and if you WP:EQUINE people feel it's better left where it is, I have no problem with it. Ucucha 21:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
NO ned to apologize. The original move suggestion was first made by an anon IP. All I really want to know is how we close the discussion, however it closes...  :-P Montanabw(talk) 00:59, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a solution in search of a problem. The vast majority (may I posit all?) of the article is about horses so the current title is fine if a bit vague. (A return to horse anatomy would be better for those unfamiliar with the adjective.) If the article content is changed in the future to add info about other equids, revisit the issue then. Even then, I would propose "equine" appropriate as adjective of equid. — AjaxSmack 02:59, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Moving closure[edit]

A comment on finding a way to put useful closure on the move proposal. Perhaps stepping back from your own knowledge-base, to that of a general reader, and generating information in the process, may help.

What might a general reader want to know? The anatomy of a horse? Sure. Would a general reader know that horse anatomy = equine anatomy? Not necessarily (though lots of horse lovers would of course know), but a redirect takes care of that, and teaches the general reader something on finding the article.

So far so good, maybe. One might then ask whether all of the anatomy described in the article pertains to all equids. If yes, then the article is about the anatomy of equids in general (regardless of whether it uses the horse as the specific example), else it is not. So it matters to address that question.

If the answer is yes, it would seem logical that the article title remains at the most general level, that of equine anatomy. In that case, another question can be addressed. If the article pertains to all equids, then it would also make sense to name other equids such as zebras and donkeys, at least in passing. As, for example, I will have done just before I save this dialogue. This itself can help you to define how you want the article to read and be titled. For example, if the mention of other equids is out of place, then surely the article is not about equine anatomy per se.

Conversely, if there are anatomical aspects that differ amongst extant equids, and if you want the article to be inclusive of extant equids, then you need to elaborate on the differences where relevant.

I'm sure you see my point here. The answer to these questions should generate information to aid in decision-making. And that's what you need for decision-making: sufficient information to make an informed decision. Wotnow (talk) 04:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Basically, horse anatomy is basically similar to that of other equids, however there may be some subtle differences (probably mostly in the skeleton, number of vertebrae, etc.) and none of us have the time at the moment to do the research to check. I frankly am fine letting it sit as is until someone who knows donkeys or zebras wants to add info on any significant and relevant anatomical differences they have (beyond length of ears! LOL!). Montanabw(talk) 05:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Historical anatomical classifications[edit]

Perhaps the millenia-old anthropomorphic classification (that remains in use) could be presented side by side with the more accurate scientific classification without having to note that the old is 'wrong' every time? Some kind of explanation of the old and the reasons why it was used, and the scientific view and why it is more accurate, perhaps? And then put the terms into those two categories? Anarchangel (talk) 01:26, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Not sure what part of the article you are referencing? Montanabw(talk) 18:10, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
"cannon or cannon bone: The area between the knee or hock and the fetlock joint, sometimes called the "shin" of the horse, though technically it is the metacarpal III."
"fetlock: Sometimes called the "ankle" of the horse, though it is not the same skeletal structure as an ankle in humans. Known to anatomists as the metacarpophalangeal (front) or metatarsophalangeal (hind) joint; homologous to the "ball" of the foot or the metacarpophalangeal joints of the fingers in humans."

Currently, these are the worst of both worlds, to a layman reader. They include the old terms, without stating the reason for the misconception: that the hoof was a foot, therefore the fetlock was an ankle, etc. They include the new scientific terms, without explaining those or the new perception of the rear legs as having, to equate them to human ones, elongated feet and resting on a toe bone.Anarchangel (talk) 16:12, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm open to wording things better, definitely. I'm just wanting to be sure you understand that words like "fetlock" and "cannon" are actually historic as well as used in every day horse lingo today, though words like "shin" and "ankle" are just plain incorrect terminology, period -- both historically and currently (though "ankle" is distressingly common, even amongst those who should know better). Montanabw(talk) 21:26, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


Isn't the place where the neck meets the head called the throat? See e.g., Brander, The Complete Guide to Horsemanship, page 26, or this Horse & Hound article, or Lynhaug page 578 or 403 or 523 or 467 ... The throatlash is a part of the bridle, I believe. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 01:17, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

The two sources for the picture both give it as 'throat latch', one is a veterinary manual, and the other a very detailed equine anatomy book. I'm still a little unsure on whether 'latch' is pronounced 'lash' or if these are different things. I've been canvassing opinion, and most people seem to think it is 'throat lash' for the tack. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 07:44, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
In addition to the reputable cited sources, a quick web search reveals the widespread usage. Like here, with picture. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 08:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'm not disputing that 'throatlatch' or 'throat-latch' or 'throat latch' or their '-lash' equivalents are words, they obviously exist. They just aren't the word usually used to describe the throat of a horse, which is I think, er, 'throat'. It isn't a regional thing, either. The Lynhaug book is a US publication; 2 out of 17 occurrences of 'throat' are followed by 'latch'; the other 15 are not. Suggest putting the commonly used word as the primary, noting the variants. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I would suspect that 'throat' refers to a larger area than the specific morphological point of 'throat latch'. I'm a person medic, not an animal one, but certainly for people, the throat would refer to the pharynx and larynx as a whole entity. I believe that in terms of points of a horse, that is also likely to be true (with the throat therefore extending for a considerable portion down the anterior of the neck), whereas the throat latch is the specific point where the anterior section of the head and neck meet. This is somewhat supported by the H&H article you referenced, where it talks of swelling of the throat behind where the throat lash would go. I will have a look at my equine anatomy books again when I get a chance to see what they say. Do your reference books specifically talk about that one point, or are they more general? OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 12:35, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
"Throatlatch" is correct for both the bridle part and the external anatomical region. The only debate is if it's one word or two. No one spells it "throatlash" here, though apparently some places it's pronounced that way. I've tossed in a simple dictionary definition for now, but see also [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], and [6]. Just for starters. I found one site that uses "throttle" (even more problematic than "throat," but I think it was once correct, now an archaic term) and in one case "gullet". Montanabw(talk) 19:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
As above, not disputing the existence or correctness of the word 'throat-latch', just whether it is the ordinary term for the throat of a horse, which ordinary people call the 'throat', just as they call the legs the 'legs' and the head the 'head'. Yes, Owain, Brander is quite specific about that one point: "the junction of the head and the neck"; you can look at Lynghaug for yourself, it's on Google books. I think 'gullet' is likely to refer more to the gullet (in the ordinary, not the saddlery, sense of the word) than the throat in general. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, I didn't get an edit conflict warning although my post is timestamped after yours. Apologise if it appears to have been inserted out of sequence. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:06, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

OK, having gone back to source, it seems that 'throat' is 'throat', like in other vertebrate mammals, and comprises the larynx and pharynx, and is essentially an internal anatomical feature, all be it that some of it can be discerned from external morphology (notably the laryngeal prominence of thyroid cartilage in the throat which is just behind the anterior join in the head and neck). Throat latch on the other hand seems to be specifically the point of the horse, where the anterior head and neck actually join. On that basis, i'd say that it was good to stand. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 21:46, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, you may note that I inserted links from three major breed registries (AQHA is the largest in the world), and two universities. So yes, it IS the ordinary term, amongst horse people, at least on this side of the pond. The "throatlatch" is the term for the external region. Just as we say "hoof" not "foot," even though a hoof IS a foot, we call that region the Throatlatch. I will also note that your link to Lynghaug uses the term "throat" 17 times but I searched on "throatlatch" and got that word 35 times see here (and zero for "throatlash") -- Lynghaug pretty much just summarizes and repeats breed standards. We will include all versions, but I believe that sheer overall use favors "throatlatch". The refs to "throat" I can find are predominantly very old texts (one from 1904), and use is not consistent. So JLAN, please let this go and respect the language and tradition of the English-speaking horse world. Montanabw(talk) 22:00, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, you may note that I inserted links from three major breed registries (AQHA is the largest in the world), and two universities. So yes, it IS the ordinary term, amongst horse people, at least on this side of the pond. The "throatlatch" is the term for the external region. Just as we say "hoof" not "foot," even though a hoof IS a foot, we call that region the Throatlatch. I will also note that your link to Lynghaug uses the term "throat" 17 times but I searched on "throatlatch" and got that word 35 times see here (and zero for "throatlash") -- Lynghaug pretty much just summarizes and repeats breed standards. We will include all versions, but I believe that sheer overall use favors "throatlatch". The refs to "throat" I can find are predominantly very old texts (one from 1904), and use is not consistent. So JLAN, please let this go and respect the language and tradition of the English-speaking horse world. Montanabw(talk) 22:00, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have put 'throat' in the article, given that horses do have one and that is what is usually called; but if you want to draw this fine distinction and make a separate entry for throatlatch I certainly won't dispute it. Perhaps a more important question is what this article is supposed to be about. The title is Equine anatomy, but the whole first section is a laundry list of everyday terms for parts of the horse, with a few passing anatomical annotations. Might it be better to move that to something like Parts of the horse, and hope that a vet or zoologist (or perhaps a sawbones?) might write some stuff about equine anatomy? Zootomy doesn't even have an article here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:02, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

"Anatomy" is both inside and out. Overall, it is not wise to have a bunch of stubby, balkanized articles when there is a solid overview article. I have no personal kick if someone wants to rename the "external anatomy" section to "points of the horse" but I think it WAS once points and reamed to "external anatomy." I think there may once have been separate articles that were merged (can't guarantee this, just have a notion). It's silly to split up a good overview article. Parts of the horse as a separate article is not needed. You will note that there are already many existing articles on the other body systems, and as for vets, I have been a member of WP Veterinary medicine for years and real vets are few and far between. A few will still be reachable via email, but overall, what we use here are good sources.


This is really for JLAN, but anyone else feel free to butt in.

The removal of the reference to hands in the measurement of height. I'd say that was pretty relevant to the article. The argument for removal was that it was regional. We've had this argument fairly recently over the hands/convert temnplate (i forget where), and i believe the consensus was to lead with hands when talking about horse height. I don't see the benefit of removal here, especially after I reworked it to include the use of alternatives.

Comments? OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 12:46, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for willingness to discuss. No, I don't think there was any consensus on anything in that RfC. But no-one appeared to be prepared to assert that WP:MOS should be altered to allow special conditions such as "leading with hands". SI units are the default in the wiki, and I've tagged this article as needing overall attention to units; there is absolutely no justification for giving, say, the length of a horse intestine in feet. Zootomy is science, and science uses the language and internationally agreed units of science, in this wiki as throughout the world.
As regards the measurement of height in this article, I suggest that:
  • it is completely irrelevant to the external anatomy of the horse, though I would expect it to be mentioned at withers and at hand (unit); the other parts of the horse that are commonly measured are not so annotated in this section
  • giving exclusivity or priority to 'hands' introduces a regional bias which is entirely inappropriate to the topic of the article, which has no particular regional affiliation
  • SI units, introduced in your edit, are indeed used for measuring horse heights in many places, as are hands in others; but is anyone sure that no others are used? I for one have no certain knowledge of what units are used in, say, Ladakh, nor can I find any reference that tells me.
So a suitable wording might be "... is measured in whatever units are in customary or official use in that place and at that time." I suggest that omission is a better and simpler solution. Could you live with that? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 14:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I sort of see this as WP:BUILD in that in English speaking countries, the customary unit is hands, and we know that this has been used for thousands of years (at least since egyptian times). As it is customary in english speaking countries, and this is EN wikipedia, I think its worth including. Maybe something like " measured. In many countries, this is measured in hands." This removes any of the defintive version, but still provides the useful elements of building the web. As for all the other units, then i'm all for using {{convert}} on them as a lot of imperial units confuse me a little bit! OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 15:39, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

We beat this to death at WPEQ, the overall consensus was that we use hands. That and the convert template. And JLAN, I for one would be eternally grateful if you would just accept that hands are used in the English-speaking world, and not drag this little pecadillo of yours across every single article on wikipedia. Montanabw(talk) 19:16, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


Is the dock really just where the tail attaches to the rump? I thought that was the 'root of the tail', or 'root of the dock'? I rather think the dock is (some or all?) of the living part of the tail. That is why cutting it is called 'docking' and not 'tailing'. See e.g., Luxmoore. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 15:11, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

See rump (animal) and tail (horse). Believe it or not, we once had a freakin' edit war over this. (and hence, I am not going to literally get into a fight over a horse's rear end, lest all involved begin to resemble one. Sigh). Both definitions are seen in various publications. I happen to agree to with the "living part of the tail" definition, but for every chart with that, there is another that just points to the junction. We probably need a "def 1" and "def 2" version on this. Montanabw(talk) 19:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I put it in, doubting that anyone will care enough to war over it. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Proper anatomical terms[edit]

Under the listing of the different parts of the equine body, the article uses words such as "behind," "above," "between," etc which are ambiguous and confusing for anyone who's studied biology. The article should use the proper anatomical terms, such as superior, inferior, proximal, distal, medial, lateral, etc, instead of layman words.

I know Wikipedia is an encyclopedia for everyone, but these terms aren't difficult to learn, and it does wonders for those who are studying anatomy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Actually, they make the articles quite difficult to read if you are a kid. It's one thing when you are discussing specific anatomy, but in a general interest article, the vernacular is preferred, or else we have to define everything in every article, which is a challenge. Montanabw(talk) 23:20, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus not to move the page at this time, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 00:34, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Equine anatomyHorse anatomy – Per WP:COMMONNAME we should use the common name where possible. The common name would be Horse anatomy, which is more accessible. Some other articles also follow this pattern, eg Horse breeding, Horse and Bird anatomy.--Tom (LT) (talk) 21:27, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment the article's scope says it covers other equids like donkeys and zebras, not just horses. Stickee (talk) 23:57, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose there's no common name here, it's a descriptive title. Further, the article also covers animals other than horses. -- (talk) 04:31, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: We moved this to equine anatomy a number of years back because of people complaining that it was too narrow and, indeed, covered ore than horses (equine includes donkeys zebras, etc.) It is focused mostly on horses, but not exclusively so, the internal anatomy in particular is pretty common between extant equids. Montanabw(talk) 08:59, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Horse anatomy would be the common name for an article about horses (which both horse and horse breeding are). As this is an article about all types of equid, the common name would be equine anatomy. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 11:06, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.