The horse has a large muscular system which allows movement of the horse, gives it definitions as well as allowing posture like standing by contracting both muscle groups at the same time.
3 Types of Muscles • Smooth • Cardiac • Skeletal
Smooth Muscle • Found in digestive, circulatory, and urogenital systems • Sustained, rythmic contractions • Made up of spindle-shaped cells with a single nucleus • Least specialized • Involuntary movement
Cardiac Muscle • Found only in the heart • Highly specialized • Rapid, rhythmical contraction and relaxation • Never tires, allowing heart to continually pump blood • Involuntary movement
Skeletal Muscle • Most highly specialized • Used for movement and can contract quickly • Function: to provide powerful, rapid contractions to allow locomotion • Attached to limbs of skeleton • Voluntary – controlled by brain and nervous system
When considering the anatomy of a riding horse it is the voluntary muscles which are significant. These are divided in to two groups - Flexor muscles which bend the joint and extensor muscles which straighten the joint. When a horse is standing both muscles act simultaneously to stabilize the joint, thus preventing either flexion or extension.
Rhomboideus • This is a long triangular muscle • located at the top of the neck • Action - To draw the scapula upwards and forwards
Splenius • A triangular muscle • located on the side of the neck • Action- Acting alone, the splenius draws the head and neck towards the side
Trapezius • Situated on the side of the neck and withers. • It is a triangular muscle • Action - acting alone the trapezius pulls the shoulder upwards and forwards.
Latissimusdorsi • Located on along the back down to the chest • Acting alone helps move the front legs and chest
Superficial Gluteus • The most superficial muscle of the croup. • It is V-shaped • Action – move the thigh outward
Biceps femoris • long, thick, muscle • extending from the superior part of the croup to the stifle • Action- It flexes the tibia and with assistance helps in the act of rearing
External Intercostal • Aseries of thin, flat muscles between the ribs • Action - Move the ribs upward and forward and assist in inspiration.
Posterior Deep Pectoral • Broad flat muscle • Extends from under the abdomen • Action – to pull the scalpula in a backward direction
Branchiocephalicus • Long, thick muscle • located in the neck • Action - help move the neck
Masseter • Thick square muscle • Located on the lower jaw • Action – brings the teeth of the lower jaw and the teeth of the upper jaw together
Work Cited • http://www.eec-equine-therapy.com/Muscular-System.html • http://www.irishhorsesociety.com/horsedata/muscles.htm • http://chestofbooks.com/animals/horses/Health-Disease-Treatment-2/Muscles-Of-The-Neck-Rhomboideus.html