small pastern bone
- See under pastern(def 2).
- the part of the foot of a horse, cow, etc., between the fetlock and the hoof.
- either of the two bones of this part, the upper or first phalanx (great pastern bone) and the lower or second phalanx (small pastern bone), between which is a joint (pastern joint).
Origin of pastern
- the part of a horse's foot between the fetlock and the hoof
- Also called: fetter bone either of the two bones that constitute this part
Word Origin for pastern
late 13c., "shackle fixed on the foot of a horse or other beast," from Old French pasturon (Modern French paturon), diminutive of pasture "shackle for a horse in pasture," from Vulgar Latin *pastoria, noun use of fem. of Latin pastorius "of herdsmen," from pastor "shepherd" (see pastor). Metathesis of -r- and following vowel occurred 1500s. Sense extended (1520s) to part of the leg to which the tether was attached.