Anatomy was one of my (Denise) favourite subjects in vet school. So when we were building saddle trees, I was always curious about how the tree and saddle worked with the horse’s anatomy.
We had the opportunity to dissect the musculature on a miniature mule and assemble a full skeleton of a miniature horse. We also got to play with skeletons of a number of other horses (discovering in the process that there are relatively few “normal” spines compared to ones with anomalies).
That interest and experience led me to do a lot of reading and research on how anatomy actually functions – biomechanics. And all of that led to a series of blog posts on our old website on anatomy and biomechanics and how it relates to saddles and trees. Here are links to them all, compiled in one section to make it easier for those who are interested to learn about a fascinating subject that I am still learning more about myself!
Meet Arnie, our skeleton
Where do you start with a table full of bones? How we put them together.
Foreleg of the horse - bones and attachment
How does the horse's shoulder blade move?
Movement of the shoulder blades and saddle fit
Bones of the hind leg - part 1
Bones of the hind leg - part 2
Of pivots, lollipops, and springs - movement of the horse's hind legs
Putting the spine together
The major segments of the equine spine
The basic design of the vertebrae
And the vertebra is connected to the... next vertebra
The cervical (neck) vertebrae and how they move
The thoracic vertebrae
Thoracic spine anatomy, movement and saddle fit
The lumbar and sacral vertebrae
Movement of the lumbar spine
The rib cage
Movement of the rib cage
A word (or a few) about muscles
The trapezius muscle
The latissimus dorsi muscle
The rhomboideus muscle
The serratus ventralis muscle
The pectoral muscles
The medial (or middle) gluteal muscle
The longissimus dorsi muscle
A few more trunk muscles
Back movement and muscle contraction
Boil and bubble and jigsaw puzzles
Can the loin of the horse carry weight?
All Western saddles extend over the loin
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