Classic Horsemanship  

Go Back   Classic Horsemanship > The Classroom > Leather and Tack

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-13-2012, 04:15 PM   #21
Cattleman
Foal
 
Cattleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
I am puzzled about the white hoof deal. I am not really sure, and I shoe horses. It is hard to reject it, when so many people swear they have proof. I just don't know why a white hoof would be any different, because there is nothing inherent about pigment that would affect structure. I have never seen any scientific proof, or microscopic evidence that there is any structural difference, and yet there is a ton of anecdotal evidence that says white feet are weaker or wear faster. I do know that a horses can have one hoof that is weaker, or more problematic than the others, even with black feet. It may be just coincidental that the white foot happens to be the one with the problem A law of average kind of thing. I just don't know how pigment could affect structure. But I don't know a lot of things.
I would be interested in seeing some scientific research into whether or not a black hoof is harder than a white hoof. A few weeks ago I took one of my top saddle horses over to the vets for his yearly shots and to get his teeth floated. A few of the vets were gathered around admiring this particular horse. One of them said "That is a dang good looking horse" to which the group began to agree, then one piped up and said "all except for the fact that he has white feet" They laughed, at this point I was bothered. I had heard the notion that white hoofs were soft, but this is a horse that is a go all day type of horse. I have never had an issue with this horse, and am very proud of the effort that he gives me. Whether he has soft feet or not, this is one of my best horses and I could care less what others thought about him. But I am now wanting to know if there is any evidence into this notion of the darker the hoof the harder it is or if it is just a common fallacy that has been created in the horse world.
Cattleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 05:13 PM   #22
flyingcollie
Weanling
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 87
Default

Cattleman, it would be best to just blow off the dumb comments. You know your horse, and what he's worth to you. Some guys get all huffy about riding mares, too, or make a big deal about a horse with a wall-eye. In my mind, they're all just unthinking predjudices that don't have much to do with individual cases, or even "real life". Chances are, they're just jealous of the "chrome" . . . seems flashy-marked horses with sox often have white hooves. The comment was raised about environment and nutrition, which sure could have a bearing on hoof quality regardless of color. I'd guess those variables would have to be part of a "bona fide" scientific approach. All I can tell you about hooves is very often, color is noticeably tougher to nip through, and that's more noticeable when you're trimming several head at one time.

Mike F, noted. One of the big problems writing on this kind of a deal is how we can't see each other's expressions or body language . . . I'm sorry if I took you wrong. In a week or so I've got to take my horses for re-shoeing. I'll ask my farrier about "education" and such. I know he's competed in "blacksmithing" competitions and won, I'd be glad to pass along whatever he can tell me about schooling, associations and such.
flyingcollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 05:34 PM   #23
Jimmy
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Default

What I have noticed about the desire for barefoot, it went along with wanting all things organic and natural. The concept came first, not from need or practicality, but from want and idealism. It then tried to apply science after the fact to try and prove it was valid.
If your horse can make it barefoot, by all means keep it barefoot if you can. But there has been a pseudo scientific attempt to prove that shoes do more damage than good. I have read and watched the internet presentations. Its a stretch. It is just nonsense.And the evidence just isn't there.
I met a fella on a 23 year old cutter that was still competing. I asked him if he ever took the shoes off. Nope. I asked him how long he had been wearing shoes. Since he was two. An exception? I don't think so.
But I have come a horse, a warmblood, whose feet were so rock hard, they broke a pair of nippers! But shoeing does more good than harm, in my opinion.
Jimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #24
Cattleman
Foal
 
Cattleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
But I have come a horse, a warmblood, whose feet were so rock hard, they broke a pair of nippers!
Must have been a cheap pair of nippers... I kid, I kid, a few things I found on the topic:

Are four white feet bad? Or good? There are two different versions of 'white feet' rhymes, with different suggestions.

The two poems are:

One white foot, buy him.
Two white feet, try him.
Three white feet, be on the sly.
Four white feet, pass him by.

The other says just the opposite:

One white foot, keep him not a day,
Two white feet, send him far away,
Three white feet, sell him to a friend,
Four white feet, keep him to the end.

In reality, a horse's color or markings does not determine its temperament or ability. However, some horse people do believe that black feet tend to be harder than light feet, or more brittle than light feet. Is this really true? To date, we know of no research that indicates there is any proof either way. If this was true, you would expect to see a noticeable difference in health and lameness of different colored horses.

From "Popular Beliefs and Superstitions: A Compendium of American Folklore" edited by Wayland D. Hand, Anna Casetta and Sondra B. Thiederman.
Volume 2, 18944-36209, G.K. Hall and Co., Boston, Mass., 1981:

31574. "When your husband goes to buy a horse, he must buy one that has one white sock, for they are the sturdiest and work the best" (Mrs. L.S., F, 56, clerk, Bohem., Cleveland, 1958).

31575. A horse with a white leg is the sign of a weak horse (Mrs. L. S., F, 58, h.wife, Leban., Cleveland, 1956).

31576. When a horse has three white stockings, buy it (Mrs. P.M., F, 46, nurse, Ger.-Ir.-Fr., Wapakoneta, 1958).

I also found this....
"One of the foremost experts in his field, Doug Butler, Ph.D., of LaPorte, Colo., is the author of The Principles of Horseshoeing, one of the most widely used texts on horseshoeing in the world. He also has 30 years of teaching experience and acts as a consultant and lecturer on horseshoeing. In 1976 while doing research at Cornell University, he conducted a study on white versus black hooves by taking squares of hoof material and crushing them in a compressor.

"There was no difference between black and white," he agrees. "The main difference was in moisture content: The softer hooves fell apart easier." He notes that genetics also play a role in hoof strength. "Some Paint Horses have extremely brittle white hooves and others donít. Appaloosas seem to have extremely strong feet, no matter what color; genetic propensity seems to be more important than the color of the hoof."

The other thing that is interesting to note is that Appaloosa have very strong feet. Most Appy's feet are white with black stripes. Also you know what happens when you put a soft and hard material together and then put it under pressure? It pulls apart. If white hooves were soft and dark were hard then horses with striped hooves would have issues with them pulling apart as the forces acted differently on the soft and hard portions of the hoof. Instead the horses with these kinds of hooves tend to have the strongest hooves.

And another short article from a farrier site:

White Hooves Bad, Black Hooves Good-Right?

by Russell Bloodworth

Surprisingly, I get asked quite often if black hooves are better then white hooves and run into many horse people that certainly have an opinion about whether or not black hooves are better than white. And then there's the "But so-and-so said..." Sadly, there are many myths about the topic to address in this article but I'll try to touch on what I've researched in relation to the white hoof versus the black hoof debate.

Some people are under the impression that all white hooves need to be shod but it is not necessary for black hooves to be shod. So I ask ,what you would do if your horse has three black hooves and one white hoof? Would you place a shoe on the white hoof and leave the black hooves alone? Sounds silly, right? And then there are the striped hooves, how would you handle them? Unfortunately, this "wisdom" can confuse well-meaning horse owners. Mostly, the color of a horse's hoof is determined by color pigment. Often, when the horse has white markings it will have white hooves, and horses that have black legs tend to have black hooves. Some horses that have a mixture of colors on their legs will have a mixture of colors on their hooves, ie. striped hooves.

Master Farrier John Burt says, "There is no quality difference on the same horse, no scientific data to sustain any difference. The white and black hoof are both designed the same structurally; the texture and quality of the hoof is the same." John owns and operates the JDC School of Basic Farrier Science near Texarkana, Ark. He is also a member and tester for the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA) and a 2001 inductee into the BWFA Hall of Fame, so I give his statements ample creditability.

The biggest differences among the strengths of a horse's hooves is due to moisture content and genetics. That being said, I frequently recommend a good hoof sealant or conditioner to be used especially after a visit from your farrier. Most farriers will carry a variety of products or can suggest certain items they have found to be of good quality.

What it really comes down to is what you, as a horse owner, likes in breeding and coloring of horses.

There is no scientific determination as to which color is better. On a personal note, as a farrier, I like white hooves simple because it is easier for me to see the various imperfections of the hoof while I'm working on them. I take nothing away from black hooves and the majority of horses I work on have them. But ultimately the debate is simply a myth.

Russell Bloodworth is a Certified Farrier.
He owns, Farrier Services, in Greenville, AL, and
works on horses throughout south Alabama and
and the Florida panhandle.
http://www.bwfa.net/hooves_white_vs_black.html
Cattleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #25
Jimmy
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Default

Thanks for that post, Cattleman. BTW Weren't my nippers anyway.
Jimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #26
flyingcollie
Weanling
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 87
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattleman View Post
. . . he [Butler]conducted a study on white versus black hooves by taking squares of hoof material and crushing them in a compressor. "There was no difference between black and white," . . .

. . . "Some Paint Horses have extremely brittle white hooves and others donít. Appaloosas seem to have extremely strong feet, no matter what color; genetic propensity seems to be more important than the color of the hoof." . . .

. . . The biggest differences among the strengths of a horse's hooves is due to moisture content and genetics . . .
I think an engineer would say Butler's test was incomplete - compressive strength doesn't tell you much about tensile strength or wearability. Those other quotes have a lot of sense to 'em. Good post, Cattleman, thanks !
flyingcollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 12:10 PM   #27
Cattleman
Foal
 
Cattleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcollie View Post
I think an engineer would say Butler's test was incomplete - compressive strength doesn't tell you much about tensile strength or wearability. Those other quotes have a lot of sense to 'em. Good post, Cattleman, thanks !
I wondered if someone would bring that up A test to determine wearability would be difficult to isolate, and get reliable results. I wonder if someone has tried though.
Cattleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 02:54 PM   #28
MikeF
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 17
Default

Thanks for the info, Cattleman. I have some horses with white feet and I have horses with black feet. It is much easier to see inflamation and bruising on a white foot, than on a black foot, so some might also get the impression the black foot is healthier even when similar problems may exist.
MikeF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.