Talk:Limbs of the horse

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Pastern photo[edit]

I have some clearer photos of the pastern absorbing shock, but I don't want to release one cc-by-sa unless you think it would be useful. You can see them at .--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:06, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

I think if you could crop the best-quality image to show just the front legs and upload that, I'd see it as superior to a blurry image.

Done.--Curtis Clark (talk) 01:25, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Metabolic system of the horse[edit]

This seems overly broad for an article; besides the digestive system, it would include parts of the endocrine and circulatory systems, as well as needing to touch on cellular metabolism in every cell. Digestive system of the horse might be easier to swallow, avoiding esophageal impaction. :-) But if you've already got it mapped out, don't let me stand in your way.--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:16, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

We already have Equine_anatomy#Digestive_system, which summarizes the digestive system, and circulatory system of the horse, with the digestive system summarized at Equine_nutrition#The_digestive_system. So do we need a spinoff or should we just fix redlinks? Just FYI. Montanabw(talk) 18:03, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I guess I'm just having trouble getting my head around the scope of Metabolic system of the horse.--Curtis Clark (talk) 19:36, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Nope, we definitely don't need to write that was just the first link that came to mind for that particular wording. Feel free to change/relink/fix, whatever. Honestly, my main reason for writing this article was to have someplace to merge some of the one-line stubs on various leg blemishes in horses that haven't gotten any bigger in the 5 years I've been on WP and probably never will. I'll probably start working on tagging some of those potential merges over the weekend - I wanted to let things shake out with the initial write-up first. Dana boomer (talk) 20:11, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I like merges! Yay for merges! Montanabw(talk) 00:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


I've started adding merge tags to some of the leg injury/blemish/issue pages. Just starting a space for comments/suggestions/objections here... Dana boomer (talk) 20:54, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

As time permits, I'll try to merge some of them. If I see anything that I think needs to stand alone, I'll put it on that article's talk. Montanabw(talk) 20:24, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
You know, I think these would be better merged into Lameness (equine). That's where the list is. Montanabw(talk) 23:59, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Except that these don't necessarily cause lameness. My thought was to merge everything that always causes lameness (or is a specific type of lameness) to the lameness article (some of which has already been done over the past couple of years), everything that relates to legs but doesn't always cause lameness here, and a couple of stubs that relate specifically to the feet to the hoof article. Dana boomer (talk) 13:27, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
But then stuff like splints sometimes does cause lameness (at least at first, and later if in the wrong location) and sometimes doesn't. Maybe we should also just merge the whole lameness article into here as a summary section, with a chart or something that could be called "issues" or something. Dang, this gets complicated... Montanabw(talk) 01:18, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I've considered merge of the entire lameness article, but then what about stuff that causes lameness but isn't in the legs? This is a very minor part of lameness, true, but there is still some fraction. Do we just have a sidenote that says lameness can be caused by issues in other parts of the body, but generally isn't? If we don't merge the lameness article, I haven't quite figured out what to do with stuff that sometimes causes lameness and sometimes doesn't. I was going to do the easy stuff first :) Should we also consider merging the Equine forelimb anatomy article? Dana boomer (talk) 16:17, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh man, well, mostly that will be neurological stuff, so probably we could put a caveat into the list. Yes, merge Equine Forelimb Anatomy! Montanabw(talk) 23:20, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I've merged the first two articles on minor issues. Here are a few more I'm considering putting tags on:

I've also proposing a merge of Quarter crack to Horse hoof, as it's another baby stub that hasn't gone anywhere in years. Thoughts on any of the above? Ideas on other articles to merge here? Dana boomer (talk) 21:37, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I generally favor merges of stubs when there is a good redirect, a clear section for them to "live" and no good reason to expand a spinoff article -- for example, laminitis clearly would be a standalone, but really, what more is there to say about quarter cracks? I'd also say that if no one other than me weighs in on these merge tags, just be bold and merge them, tag or no tag. If I think you overdid anything, I'll just to a revert and explain my thinking (or explain my thinking without a revert, depending on how trigger happy I am that day...) Montanabw(talk) 02:30, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Pin Firing merge: I think we don't want/need to merge this one, as it is about the medical procedure and not the limbs themselves. JMO. Discuss? Montanabw(talk) 22:33, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Right, but isn't it done to only the legs? If so, the procedure doesn't exist without the legs. Dana boomer (talk) 02:17, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
True, but I think it is still suitable to stay un-merged, primarily because I don't think we want to get treatment modalities mixed up in here, especially outdated ones, and the topic of splints in general will ultimately be worth a spinoff if it isn't now. Unlike, say, shoe boils, there is a lot going on with splints. Montanabw(talk) 22:29, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Looks like not all of the merges have been done. It seems that Osselet would be better merged to Fetlock than to Limbs of the horse, but otherwise I'm happy with the concept of merging it. Klbrain (talk) 12:33, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Frankly, that article merge now puts undue weight on the fetlock article. I'd keep it free-standing or merge to lameness (equine). Montanabw(talk) 23:25, 22 August 2016 (UTC)


Just found these in Commons, add if you think suitable (I like them) Montanabw(talk) 23:31, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Dana, we never did discuss swapping the above image of the front leg for the partial one that's in there. What do you think? (Be cooler if we could find the Stubbs sketches he did of the front legs to match the hind leg one in there now, but couldn't find it on Commons...) Montanabw(talk) 16:26, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Eh. The one currently in the article is a partial, but it's way more clear than the ones above. I'd prefer to have the matching Stubbs image, as well...I'll have to look into that a bit more. Dana boomer (talk) 17:53, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Limbs of the horse/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jens Lallensack (talk · contribs) 18:15, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

I will review it. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 18:15, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Just to chime in, I'd expect an article like this to go just a bit into the evolution of the quite distinct limbs? For example by briefly discussing multi toed basal horses and such. FunkMonk (talk) 21:45, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. I'll have a look through the source material and see what I can come up with. This is my first article of this sort, so suggestions on where things are missing are definitely welcome. Dana boomer (talk) 22:00, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I've added in a small discussion on evolution. Is that approximately what you were suggesting? Dana boomer (talk) 00:42, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I would note that we have extensive discussion at Evolution of the horse and some of the theories have some controversy. We want to be careful not to open this article up to some of that stuff over there. What's been added looks OK to me, though I think that only the splint bones are vestigial remains from the three-toed intermediate species, I don't think there are vestiges of the 4th and 5th toes...? (also the forest-dwelling stuff is a bit of a tangent and not needed, IMHO). BTW, I'm not a reviewer on this because I was too involved at various points in the process, so just weighing in as a WPEQ member and supporter of this GAN. I'll help as I can. Montanabw(talk) 00:52, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I think what we have now is a nice, focused summary, which doesn't need much more expansion. FunkMonk (talk) 08:30, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Ok, here are some notes (I may will add some more). I think the "limb anatomy" section still needs some general work, and I hope my notes will help you with that.

  • What about adding this image, for an general overview?
    Otherwise, only the lower forelimb is illustrated but not the upper, and the forelimb is illustrated in side view while the hind limbs are in back view, making comparisons difficult.
  • I've moved the images around to add this as the lead image. Dana boomer (talk) 14:31, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • You start with listing the individual bones, followed by a separate list of the joints. For a reader who wants to learn about horse limbs, these lists may are not useful. It may be better to describe the whole limb from thigh to hoof, so that the reader gets a general picture of the different sections and the joints that connect them. Perhaps you should start with general aspects (e.g., proportion of limbs in comparison with the body; horse is a cursorial animal -> short thigh, long foot bones; odd-toed ungulate that retains only the third digit, general trend towards reduction of limb bones that are not necessary for running).
  • I've integrated the lists of bones and joints. This, combined with the reorganization and expansion of the section as discussed below, alleviates the above issue, I think. Dana boomer (talk) 18:33, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • You did not explain terminology that is only used for horses. When you write "knee", you should explain that this has nothing to do with the knee in other animals, but refers to the equine knee that actually is the wrist. Otherwise readers may be bemused.
  • These terms are all linked to the proper name of the correct bone/joint/muscle/whatever, and the correct term is used first, followed by the horse-specific terminology used to describe that structure. Comparing each structure to corresponding structures in other animals would take too much focus off of the horse, which is what is being discussed in this article, especially when there are links that the reader can follow if they are truly interested in the topic. Dana boomer (talk) 13:46, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The section "Hoof" is very detailed. In contrast to that, most other aspects of limb anatomy are described only superficially.
  • I have re-read this section, and I don't see how the hoof section is any more detailed than the other aspects of limb anatomy. Could you provide some examples? Dana boomer (talk) 13:46, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Information that could be included (would be nice if some of these could be added to the article, but of course, do not try to include everything I list here):
    • limb length proportions (are fore and hind limbs equally in length?)
    • proportions of the individual limb bones (femur and humerus are proportionally short, while the lower limb bones are long -> adaptation to a cursorial habit)
    • range of motion
    • Added a bit. This varies significantly. Dana boomer (talk) 18:33, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    • neutral position while standing (The limbs are not straight columns, the carpal phalanges are more angled than the cannon, and the humerus is inclined toward behind …)
    • How much do the fore and hind limbs contribute to locomotion, respectively? Is much of the thrust generated in the hind limbs?
    • Added some on propulsion to Movement section. Dana boomer (talk) 14:31, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    • The ulna is reduced in the horse, unlike in most other cursorial animals, where the radius is reduced.
  • The section starting with Horses are odd-toed ungulates, or members of the order Perissodactyla. can be found within the section "hofes". This should be explained at the beginning of the anatomy section.
  • This and the paragraph on evolution are now at the beginning of the section on anatomy. Dana boomer (talk) 13:46, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • (not necessary for reacing GA) The reader should find out about Functional anatomy: The horse has only one functional toe left. The ulna also is reduced, leaving the radius as the only functional element of the lower leg of the forelimb. Why this simplification? Its also an adaptation for running, similar features can be found in other cursorial animals.
  • The new paragraph on evolution discusses the reasons behind the changes in the equine limbs over millions of years. Dana boomer (talk) 13:46, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • There is a long section about the suspensory apparatus and the stay apparatus. However, for me it seems a bit unspecific and does not make the point. I have not understood how that is supposed to work; for example, when the suspensory consists only of tendons, ligaments and sesamoid bones, how can it carry much of the weight? --Jens Lallensack (talk) 11:35, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't really understand what further information you would like added here. Is there perhaps information on pages 6 and 7 of this paper that you feel would improve the article? Dana boomer (talk) 14:03, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments, Jens. I have begun to reply above. Dana boomer (talk) 13:46, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Jens, I believe I have replied to the majority of the issues above. I am still doing a bit of research on a couple of points, but they are minor. Do you have further comments, especially on the later parts of the article that don't seem to figure into your review above? Dana boomer (talk) 18:33, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for all the improvements, Dana! Just a few more minor points:

  • then they are when the originate in the chest – can you check this, I don't understand it. Should it be "they originate"? But the forelimbs always originate in the chest, don't they?
  • Yes, that's a typo, should have been "they". This sentence is a comparison: when the legs/hooves are closer together at the ground then at the shoulder, the horse is base-narrow. When the legs/hooves are farther apart on the ground then at the shoulder, the horse is base wide. Dana boomer (talk) 20:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The ulna shrank in size and its top portion became the point of the elbow, while the bottom fused with the radius to form the radiocarpal (knee) joint – the formulation may be mistakeable; I think the ulna does not contribute to the radiocarpal joint, it ends just above it.
  • Clarified the sentence slightly (the fused portion is part of the radiocarpal joint, not the whole thing). The source says "...the lower...end of the ulna is fused with the distal end of the radius to form part of the radiocarpal joint..." Dana boomer (talk) 20:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The sources seem to be all over the board on this. I've changed the wording to just say they merge above the joint, which is true, and lets me keep the wording about the wrist/knee connection. Dana boomer (talk) 00:48, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the link explaining the suspensory and stay apparatus, now I understand. A question though: This apparatus carries much of the weight – even in neutral rest position, or only when the fetlock joint is extended while walking? For a better understanding, what about adding the information that the suspensory apparatus is an elastic structure on the back of the cannon, fetlock and pastern that acts like a spring; when the fetlock is extended, it stores energy, and then provides the rebound effect. Before reading the PDF, I have wondered where the rebound effect comes from. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 08:01, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think we need a separate article on the stay apparatus: it would be fairly small, IMO, and would just be a candidate to be merged back here. What we were trying to prevent with this article was a bunch of little ones on various topics relating to the legs. The stay and suspensory apparatuses are not off track for this article, because they relate solely to the legs of the horse. I'll add in more from the source I provided, which covers it quite well. That also looks like an interesting link from The Horse, so I'll skim that as well. Dana boomer (talk) 20:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • OK, I've expanded the paragraph on the suspensory apparatus to include information from both sources (the UC Davis paper I linked and the The Horse article Montanabw linked). I'll probably continue tweaking things, but I think I have the majority of the issues you've brought up corrected. Dana boomer (talk) 20:46, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Happy with changes, but spotted a nitpick in the lede: "The majority of the weight is borne by the front legs, while the rear legs provide propulsion." I would add something like " a standstill," as the faster the horse travels, at least if collected, the more weight is shifted to the hindquarters. You might want to note in the body text the average percentages, this source says it's 60-65% (also has some good stuff on conformation defects, though that may exceed the scope of this article, which is more on anatomy than judging...). Note at this source that one hind leg also bears 100% of the weight in the gallop at one point. I'm not finding a source for how weight shifts back in terms of percentages, but the concept is crucial in dressage. (Found a non-RS mention in passing that the trot is distributed 50-50...which is probably sort of true, depending on a lot of other variables) (This shifts back to 60-40 at a racing gallop, I guess, this study is not relevant here, probably, but is interesting) Y Montanabw(talk) 18:02, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I've expanded the stuff in the body on weight bearing, adding the caveat that dressage encourages the horse to move weight back, and tweaked the lead wording a bit. However, every article I've seen that gives percentages gives the front legs as bearing more weight (moving from 55-70 percent depending on gait/speed/sport). Dana boomer (talk) 01:22, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Second, more minor nitpick: I put the word "lock" in quotes in the article where you discuss the stay apparatus; it's a colloquialism we horse people use all the time, but there might be (somewhere, I don't know where) a more technical term out there. (I did the same for "knee" per comment of reviewer above). Montanabw(talk) 18:02, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I removed the quotes around "knee", because this is the technical term in horses, and I did end up adding in a comparison with the human wrist later. "Lock" is the word that the sources use, but there may be a more technical term out there, so I left the quotes.
  • OK< that works for me, I'm happy. Montanabw(talk) 03:11, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I have passed it now. Contratulations Dana, and big thanks for the great work! --Jens Lallensack (talk) 07:17, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the review! Dana boomer (talk) 12:49, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Yay Dana! Good work, girl! Montanabw(talk) 16:24, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

More sources[edit]

New article(s): here. Montanabw(talk) 21:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

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