What Is a Pastern on a Horse?

Author Clara Cole

Posted Nov 8, 2022

Reads 75

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A pastern is the area of a horse's leg between the hoof and the fetlock joint. It consists of two small bones (the proximal and distal phalanges), the coffin bone (or pedal bone), the navicular bone, and the deep digital flexor tendon. The pastern joint is the articulation between the pastern bones and the cannon bone. The angle of the pastern is important in determining the conformation of a horse and can affect a horse's gait and soundness. Pasterns that are too upright are associated with strains on the ligaments and tendons of the leg and foot, while pasterns that are too sloping can increase the likelihood of concussion-related injuries.

What is the pastern sheath on a horse?

The pastern sheath is a tube of tough, fibrous tissue that encases the pastern and the long pastern bone. It protects these delicate structures from injury and helps to keep them in alignment. The pastern sheath also helps to absorb shocks and distribute weight evenly across the pastern.

The pastern sheath is attached to the fetlock joint and extends up the back of the pastern. It is covered by a thin layer of skin and is usually not visible. However, it can become swollen and inflamed in response to injury or illness. This condition is called pastern sheath distension and can be quite painful. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a horse's pasterns are too long?

If a horse's pasterns are too long, they may stretch and tear. This can cause fractures or problems with the joint at the back of the fetlock.

What is a half pastern marking on a horse?

A half pastern marking is a small circular or nearly circular white spot on the lower leg just between the hoof and the fetlock joint.

What are the leg markings on a horse called?

The leg markings on a horse are called white heel, coronet, half pastern, full pastern, fetlock marking, half sock, full sock, and stocking.

What is a split pastern fracture in a horse?

A split pastern fracture is a break in the long bone (pastern) that runs along the shank of the leg. It typically occurs at or near the point where the bone meets the hoof, though it can occur anywhere along its length.split pastern fractures can be very serious and may require surgery to fix them.

What is the most common fracture in a Quarter Horse?

The most common fracture in a Quarter Horse is a chip fracture in the short pastern bone.

Clara Cole

Clara Cole

Writer at Nahf

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Clara Cole is a prolific writer, covering a range of topics from lifestyle to wellness. With years of experience in the blogosphere, she is known for her engaging writing style and ability to connect with readers. Clara's approachable demeanor and relatable voice make her an ideal source for readers seeking practical advice on everything from self-care to personal development.

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