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Horse Writing Tip: Basic Anatomy

July 12, 2014

So basically, this post is all about this picture:

 

Image scanned from The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship: Basics for Beginners, D Level, by Susan E. Harris (c) 1994

Image scanned from The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship: Basics for Beginners, D Level, by Susan E. Harris (c) 1994

It says ponies, but that’s because it was scanned from a Pony Club manual (more on that later) and all parts are found on horses too.

Now, this is a picture of a male horse. Females have teats instead of a sheath and their vagina is under their tail, between the buttocks. Think cow, but less obvious. Horse veterinary books will have more detailed drawings of horse anatomy, but this image is a good starting point and all you really need if horses are only background animals in your story.

In reference to us talking about measuring last post, to measure the height of a horse, you measure from the ground to the top of their withers. The average horse is 16 hands and clocks in at 1,000 lbs. A bit more specifically though:

Small or “light” horses: 840-1,200 lbs.

Middle-weight, riding horses: 1,100-1,300 lbs.

Draft or heavy-weight horses: 1,500 to 2,200 lbs.

For those confused, draft horses are those ones in the Budweiser adverts. They’re huge and eat about 42 lbs. a meal in hay. That’s the weight of a small child. Drafts also weigh the most, typically. Horse obesity is not very common, mostly because well-cared for horses have regular exercise schedules and it’s very easy to regulate their diet. It’s much more common for horses to not get enough nourishment and be underweight, sadly. Horses are high maintenance, expensive pets, and families sometimes don’t have enough time or resources to care for them.

But that’s a sad note to end on! Let’s end with a picture of Penny, who has the softest nose West of the Mississippi.

Penny says you can pet her on the nose

Penny says you can pet her on the nose

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From → Writing Tips

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