The Horse's Body

For most parts of a horse’s body, it is usually not sufficient to refer to, for example, its leg or head – there are many more specialised words which refer to particular bones, joints and even tendons, which are all commonly used in paddocks around the country.


The withers of a horse is the muscular ridge where its neck and back join. It is the highest constant point on a horse, and, as such, is the point where all horse heights are measured from. It is also the point of reference teachers will give you when teaching you where to holds the reins.

Rump or Croup

The rump, or croup as it is also known, is the fleshy area at the rear of the horse. This is often referred to in beginners’ classes, as it is the rump you will need to swing your leg over to mount and dismount the horse.


You will often hear people refer to the fetlock. It is the joint at the base of the horse’s leg, above the hoof. It can be seen quite clearly, as it usually protrudes from the rear of the leg.


The muzzle, much like that of a dog, is the area of the horse’s head covered by a halter. This includes the nose and mouth parts.