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The specialized and fascinating anatomy and function of the reciprocating systems, which aid locomotion in horses, is crucially important for farriers. I want to begin by clearing up some confusions about anatomical terminology, as well as make clear my approach to teaching horse anatomy.
There are two ways in which anatomy can be taught. The first is called “regional anatomy” and it’s the approach that dominates the training of veterinarians. The regional approach spotlights one zone of the body at a time and asks the student to learn every anatomical part, i.e. bone, muscle, nerve, blood vessel, tendon, ligament, organ or tissue that can be found there. This approach is well suited to the training of surgeons because surgery is almost always performed by cutting into one small area of the body.
Elastin is a secondary structural material in musculoskeletal tissue. Its loose molecular structure resembles crocheting, and its molecules can stretch up to double their resting…