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Horse Muscular System
Transcript of Horse Muscular System
Muscles are one of the most important components in the equine body. Without them, the horse would be unable to walk, chew and digest food, or even swish his tail. Muscles comprise the largest tissue mass in the horse's body. There are various types of muscles performing a wide variety of duties, but basically they all function in the same general way
Types of muscleThere are 3 types of muscle, all found within the equine:
Skeletal muscle: Contraction of these muscles leads to the muscle pulling a tendon, which in turn pulls a bone. Moving a bone results in either flexing or extending a joint. Skeletal muscles are usually arranged in pairs so that they oppose each other (they are "antagonists"), with one flexing the joint (a flexor muscle) and the other extending it (extensor muscle). Therefore, one muscle of the pair must be relaxed in order for the other muscle in the pair to contract and bend the joint properly. A muscle or muscles and its/their tendon(s) that operate together to cause flexion or extension of a joint are referred to respectively as a flexor unit and an extensor unit.
Cardiac: muscle which makes up the heart.
Smooth: muscle which makes up automatic systems (digestive system, for example)
Build of skeletal muscleSkeletal muscle is made up of several muscle bundles, which in turn are made up of muscle fibers. Muscle fibers have bundles of myofibrils, which are all parallel to one another, and are able to contract due to actin and myosin. Muscle is covered by a fibrous tissue called fascia, to which other muscles can attach, and muscles attach to bone via tendons.
Tendons of the lower legTendons attach muscles and bone, and are classified as flexors (flex a joint) or extensors (extend a joint). However, some tendons will flex multiple joints and extend another (the flexor tendons of the hind limb, for example, will flex the fetlock, pastern, and coffin joint, but extend the hock joint). In this case, they are classified according to whether they flex or extend the joints of the digit.
The following tendons are the main tendons found in the lower leg. When they pass over a joint, they are protected in a tendon sheath, which contains synovial fluid as a lubricant. The End :D