Artwork and text by TwilightSaint
The muscles are built for endurance, possessing more slow twitch and type IIa fast twitch fibers.
Like equines, they are able to stand for long periods and sleep standing up due to isometric contractions and the makeup of their long limbs. Long thigh muscles, particularly the elongated vastus lateralis, give the Dutchie great strength and endurance in their hind limbs, able to work on all fours for extended periods of time.
Lacking a clavicle for the torso, the front limbs are supported by the brachicephalus muscle that extends down the sides of the neck. Tendos and fascia make up a collar-like structure. This lack of the clavicle permits extensive motion of the shoulders and flexibility in the front limbs.
The tail is typically quite flexible laterally, able to grasp objects or sway back and forth easily. If the tail is injured or amputated, it will not grow back. If an individual is born with a shortened tail, it will still be fairly flexible. If the individual has lost its tail, the tail will not grow back and they will suffer some loss of strength and flexibility due to muscular damage.
The breed of horse the individual more closely resembles varies between Dutchies. Some are more similar to thoroughbreds, while others are closer in anatomy to draft breeds. These variations of physiology give different Dutchies various talents to best suit their environment.
The wing pectoral and supracoracoideus muscles are enlarged, able to facilitate flight for prolonged periods of time. Depending on the individual's wing and feather structure, some are more prone to soaring, and other to tight aerial maneuvers. The fore of the wing breast muscles are attached to the furcula, just before the front limbs' scapula. This does not inhibit movement of the front limbs. The patagium connecting the leading edges of the wing arm is the only membrane making up the wings. Strong tendons and tissue strengthen the front of the wing during flight.
The muscles are built more for endurance than that of the Western dragon, mainly due to the presence of feathered wings, a feature all Dutchies share.
The neck is shorter and thicker than Western dragons, more flexible longitudinally than laterally, able to curl into an impressive profile.
On Western dragons, the aft portion of the skull is supported by the thick dorsal neck muscles, and the crushing bite power possible due to the larger masseter.
Muscles of the Dutchie's legs are long and packed with mitochondria, enabling them to trot or gallop for miles on end. The gait is a mix of equine and feline characteristics.
Limbs are long and lean, built for long-distance walking and running. Most individuals are able to outrun an attacker over a long distance, while others can outrun anything in a quarter of a mile.
Western dragon's limbs are built more for leaping than running. The front limb muscles are incredibly strong. Leaner individuals are typically built for endurance and long-distance running, whereas bulkier individuals are able to sprint for short periods of overtake prey. Given their predatory physiology, the latter is more common among Western dragons.
The tail base muscles must be incredibly strong in order to carry club tails or blade. These thicker muscles stiffen the tail towards the base, morseo than the Dutchies, though the middle and end portions will be more flexible. Individuals sporting spines or frills may raise or lower them in response to emotions, pools of blood beneath he scales forcing the spines to stand on end. On Dutchies, tail feather fans and manes are able to be flourished to facilitate emotions, responding to tightening nerves beneath the thinner areas of skin and the twitching epidermis.
Due to having bat-like wings, the Western dragon's muscles are built for high energy and maneuverability. The wing fingers are able to fold during flight, and the membrane itself is able to locally twitch, tighten, and loosen the respond to changes in airflow.
The Dutch Angel Dragon's muscles - and epidermis - on the trailing edge of the wing arms are very sensitive. The feathers sense changes in wind properties during flight, and these minute changes are felt in the the wing arm which twitches and tenses to change the angle of individual feathers to maximize efficiency. The primary feathers are the most flexible, able to pivot upward during the upstroke of a flap to allow air to vent through the wing and prevent the loss of lift, and then angling downward, the forward portions of the vanes pressing against each other to create a solid surface during the downstroke.
The pocket of low pressure created by the downstroke creates a pressure differential above the body, creating lift inherently and keeping them from losing altitude. The pressure differentials is so powerful that the scapular, or back feathers, actually lift off the back to create channels to streamline the oncoming air over the body.