Trivia Challenge: Anatomy Riddles!

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and interesting information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. It’s the ‘top of the bottom’; nicely muscled is best.

A) flank

B) stifle

C) croup

2. Tiny leg bone AND a fix for a break.

A) pedal

B) splint

C) digit

3. Could be a mooring or a horse’s upper tail.

A) dock

B) pier

C) buoy

4. Inner hoof bone AND a final resting place.

A) tomb

B) grave

C) coffin

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct. The croup is the top of a horse’s hindquarters, from the point of the hip to the point of the buttocks. It should be well muscled.

2. B is correct. The splint bones, remnants of two of the original five toes of prehistoric equines, lie along the inner and outer sides of each cannon bone. An injury to one of these small bones can cause a painful lump; the horse is said to have “popped a splint.”

3. A is correct. The dock is made up of the muscles and skin covering the horse’s tailbone. Never tie anything around the dock that could cut off circulation.

4. C is correct. Also known as the pedal bone, the coffin bone is a primary weight-bearing structure inside a horse’s hoof capsule. Roughly hoof-shaped, it attaches to the hoof wall via the laminae.

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