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The Horse in Motion: The Anatomy and Physiology of Equine Locomotion

ISBN: 978-0-632-05137-3
208 pages
October 2002, Wiley-Blackwell
The Horse in Motion: The Anatomy and Physiology of Equine Locomotion (063205137X) cover image
We all want our horses to be able to perform to the best of their ability and we know that an effective training regime has many facets. The horse must be worked correctly, fed a balanced ration, mentally and physically healthy and well looked after. This book examines a further aspect of the horse’s performance: it is designed to help all horse owners and riders to understand how a horse moves and how its anatomy helps, or hinders, the horse’s athletic ability.


First, the book uses sequences of photographs and detailed anatomical drawings to show the systems of support and movement at each phase of each of the horse’s gaits. The walk, trot, canter, gallop and jump are all examined, and the effect of the rider on the horse evaluated so that the rider can take appropriate action to avoid hindering the horse. Tips are provided throughout on ways in which the horse’s life can be made easier, such as saddle fitting, warming up and cooling down procedures.

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Part I: Anatomy and conformation; The head and neck; The chest and ribs; The forelimbs; The abdomen; The hind limbs; The back; Part II: Movement; Walk; Trot; Canter; Gallop; Collection; Lateral movements; Rein back; Jumping; Part III: Lameness and injuries; Sites of common lameness; Identification of the lame limb; Common lamenesses; Appendices: The points of the horse; The skeleton; Superficial muscles; Deep muscles; The stay apparatus; The tendons and ligaments; The circulation; The nervous system
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Sarah Pilliner has an unusual mixture of an academic background combined with extensive practical knowledge. She is a former lecturer in nutrition and exercise physiology and is the author of Horse Nutrition and Feeding and Practical Feeding of Horses and Ponies. She is also co-author of Horse and Stable Management, Getting Horses Fit, and Equine Science, Health and Performance. Sarah competes regularly in dressage, showjumping and horse trials.


Samantha Elmhurst is a freelance illustrator with a mixed background of art school training, scientific knowledge and equestrianism. As well as being a regular contributor to various equine magazines, her work can be seen in the more mainstream veterinary publications for both pet owners and veterinary surgeons and also medical titles. Samantha competes regularly in dressage and showjumping.

Zoe Davies is a former lecturer in equine science, a consultant equine nutritionist and an external examiner for higher education courses for Edexcel. She has substantial experience in equine management and training. She is the author of Care of the Horse at Grass, and co-author with Sarah Pilliner of Getting Horses Fit and Equine Science, Health and Performance.

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* superbly illustrated, with over 200 anatomical line illustrations and photographs
* essential for students and serious horsemen and horsewomen
* provides unique insight into anatomical and physiological factors affecting a horse's performance
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