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From Old French pasturon, diminutive of pasture (shackle for a horse in pasture), from Vulgar Latin pastōriā.



pastern (plural pasterns)

  1. The part of a horse's leg between the fetlock joint and the hoof.
    • 1918, Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude (Oxford 1998), page 158:
      It was quite impossible to ride over the deeply-ploughed field; the earth bore only where there was still a little ice, in the thawed furrows the horse's legs sank in above its pasterns.
    • 1928, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Penguin 2013, p. 227:
      Below me, somewhere in the horse-lines, stood Cockbird, picketed to a peg in the ground by a rope which was already giving him a sore pastern.
  2. (obsolete) A shackle for horses while pasturing.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete) A patten.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
      So straight she walk'd, and on her pasterns high.