UNIVERSAL ANATOMICAL NOMENCLATURE
Within the practice of veterinary medicine there are universally accepted terms to pinpoint a
three-dimensional location anywhere on the horse’s body. Throughout the program you will hear
the following terminology:
• Cranial means the head, or toward the head.
• Caudal means hindquarters, or toward the tail.
• Dorsal refers to the spinal back or an upper region.
• Ventral refers to the belly or a lower region.
• Proximal is the upper end of an area or the point at which an appendage joins to
• Distal is the lower end of an area or the tip of an appendage farthest from the
• Medial refers to the center.
• Lateral refers the outer left or right side…which is always from the horse's
perspective and not the observer.
Advanced Equine Studies recommends a familiarity with these terms for accurate