THE SKIN HE’S IN

EQUUS - - Eq Tack& Gear -

Your horse’s skin is a big deal, phys­i­o­log­i­cally speak­ing. It is the largest or­gan in his body and con­trib­utes to many vi­tal func­tions, in­clud­ing ther­moreg­u­la­tion, im­mune re­sponses and sen­sory per­cep­tion.

The out­er­most layer of the skin, called the epi­der­mis, forms a tough shield against ex­ter­nal threats like in­sects, rub­bing tack and thorny bushes. Within the epi­der­mis pi­der­mis are also cells s that aid in im­mune re­sponses, ral­ly­ing the body’s de­fen­sive forces if an in­vader is de­tected.

The sec­ond layer of the skin is the der­mis, a thick, flex­i­ble layer made up pri­mar­ily of col­la­gen. The der­mis al­lows the skin to main­tain its shape and struc­ture even as the horse moves. It also con­tains sweat glands, se­ba­ceous glands and hair fol­li­cles, all of which are sup­ported by an ex­ten­sive net­work of nerves and cap­il­lar­ies.

The deep­est layer of equine skin is the sub­cutis, which is made up of elas­tic con­nec­tive and fatty tis­sues. This layer of skin is tightly an­chored over the horse’s hips and ver­te­brae but slides freely over mus­cles that move with the horse. The sub­cutis con­nects to sheets of mus­cle on the sides of the body that al­low the horse to “twitch” his skin to shake off flies.

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