How Many Bones Does a Horse Have?

how many bones do a horse have

Listed below are the different bones in a horse’s body: the collarbone, the coccygeal bone, the tarsus bone, and the cannon bone. Each bone has a specific function and is located on different parts of the body. The horse’s skeletal system is very complex, with many bones varying in shape and size.


A horse’s skeleton usually contains 205 bones. Some breeds have fewer bones in the spinal column than others. The number of ribs varies among breeds, too. Arabian horses may only have 17 ribs instead of the standard 18 bones. A horse’s heart can weigh up to 22 pounds.

A horse’s skeleton consists of five basic groups: long bones, short bones, flat bones, and sesamoids. The long bones are located in the legs and help support the body. They also store minerals and aid in various body functions. The short bones protect internal organs, like the heart.

The skeletal system of a horse helps protect the vital organs and provide support for the soft body parts. A horse’s skeleton consists of 205 bones in its limbs and spine. The thoracic limb contains 20 bones, while the pelvic limb has 19 bones. There are also eighteen bones in the hindlimbs and twenty bones in the forelimbs. In addition, there are 54 bones in the spine, a pelvis, and a skull.

Irregularities in the skeleton

In the diseased horse, there are many skeletal irregularities. These are often associated with osteolytic bone resorption. PSBs and ISLs are both affected. The ISLs have local detachments and focal loss of bone in the proxio-axial areas. The diseased horse also has hypercellular bone marrow due to the invasion of plasma cells and lymphocytes.

Irregularities in the skeletal system of the horse can also lead to lameness. For example, horses that have high ringbones are at risk of developing osteoarthritis of the proximal interphalangeal joint, a joint in the hindquarters. Overloading of the joint is the most common cause of this condition, although microtrauma and soft tissue structures are also responsible.

In addition, the skeletal system is often underrepresented in animal paleopopulations due to the low prevalence of archaeozoological studies on single bones. This makes it difficult to study animal paleopopulations in detail. Irregularities in the skeleton of horse may be more readily observed if studies are performed on whole skeletons.


The skeletal system of a horse protects the vital organs while providing a framework for soft tissues. It also has joints that allow it to move. There are two main types of skeletal bones, the axial and the appendicular. The axial skeleton contains the skull, vertebrae, and sternum. The appendicular skeleton is made up of the legs and fore and hind limbs. Each type of bone has a specific function.

The thoracic vertebrae form the dorsal boundary of the thoracic cavity. The scapula covers the first seven vertebrae. The transverse process, or “fingerbone,” is a small bone with accommodating facets that allows the ribs to connect to each other. The thoracic vertebrae support the weight of the horse and its rider.

The development of bones in horses is a complex process. During the early stages of development, the horse’s bones are mostly flat. These bones include the skull, the lower jaw, and parts of the pelvis. The long bones, like the cannon, arms, and legs, are made through endochondral ossification. These bones are most important to the soundness of the horse.


Horse bones are divided into five main groups. The long bones, or tibia, are located in the horse’s legs, while the short bones, or fibulae, are found in the joints. The long bones serve as storage sites for minerals for the body’s functions. The short bones are located in the joints, but they also protect internal organs. The horse’s ribs form the cage around the heart.

In horses, the skeleton consists of 205 bones on average, excluding the collarbone. The bones of the horse’s front limbs are attached to the torso by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Although the bones in a horse’s legs resemble those in humans, there are a few differences between them. The ‘knee’ in a horse is actually a set of carpal bones, which resemble the wrist in humans. Horses have a separate ‘hock’ region, which contains the bones equivalent to a human ankle and heel.

A horse’s leg bones have numerous synovial joints. These joints are crucial for normal movement and shock absorption. They also have hyaluronic acid and lubricin, which are lubricants that allow the joints to move easily. The horse’s limbs are made up of many bones, joints, and muscles, and are responsible for supporting the body. The front limbs carry most of the animal’s weight, while the rear legs provide propulsion. The hooves provide support and traction, while also absorbing shock and allowing the horse to move.