Planes aren’t so Plain…

So besides the fact that I am very behind in my classes for massage, one of my current struggles continuing with my secondary equine education is with directional terms and planes. So many things have different definitions relating to humans and to horses and each one has about 5 different names for the same thing.

Like for example a sagittal plane and a medial plane are pretty much the same thing…till you start dissecting limbs. And I’ll be honest all this is pretty relevant when it comes to X-Rays, but I’m not sure how relevant it will be for me, yet.

Plain old Planes

Another thing that bothered me about horse anatomical directional terms is leg terms. So above the carpus and the tarsus, aka knee and hock, you only have to remember two terms: cranial and caudal. Simply put, the front of the leg is the cranial and the back is caudal, for both front and hind legs. But below the carpus and tarsus, it’s a whole different story. The front of both sets of legs is dorsal. But the backs of the front legs are palmar and the backs of the hind legs are plantar.

It’s all based on humans and the fact that our feet point up and the horses front legs are pretty much human arms, but still. How to confuse a 20-year-old in two simple steps. Step 1: name one thing at a certain point. Step 2: literally right after that single point, change everything. Either way, now I can read equine x-rays.  Cue me losing my mind.

And I start the skeletal system next, and boy will that be interesting. Did you know horses have 205 bones? One less than a human. All well and cool, but Arabians have 203. Don’t know where all the other horses managed to find 3 extra vertebrae but they did. Those dang primitive Arabs. Which I wonder if its just Arabians are still considered a more primitive breed or selective breeding created that loss of the three bones. I’ll find out eventually.