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Would you buy a horse with 4 white hooves?

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  • Would you buy a horse with 4 white hooves?

    I'm going to check out a chromed out chestnut OTTB, and he has white feet all the way around. I'm hearing conflicting info on whether or not white feet are any weaker than black.
    Would that keep you from buying that horse?

  • #2
    you've been listening to Walter Matthau haven't you?

    No, it would not keep me from buying the horse.


    • #3
      Wouldn't bother me in the least, best hooves I ever had on a horse was one with four whites.


      • #4
        Totally wouldn't stop me. I have had one with 4 white feet who was a PITA, but he had a lot of other circumstances to make his feet crappy, too. Worst feet in my barn right now are black.


        • #5
          A year and a half ago, I would have said no, because everything with four white feet in my barn is a pain in the butt as far as feet and shoeing.

          BUUUUT... I bought an appy with three white feet (high white socks) as a project and even my farrier had to admit he had great feet. But I'd still be careful buying a TB with white feet- it would depend very much on the horse itself and the substance of the hoof.

          That said, be ready for sensitive skin, dew poisoning, sunburn etc.
          Big Idea Eventing


          • #6
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            • #7
              I know some studies say otherwise, but from anecdotal evidence I've seen white hooves are weaker than black *on the same horse.* That said, white hooves on one horse can be far better than black hooves on another, so yes I would buy a horse with white hooves if that horse seemed sound with reasonably decent feet.
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


              • #8
                My horse has 3 white legs/feet and my farriers have all told me that he has great feet. It really depends on the horse, nutrition, environment, etc. He's even barefoot right now and will remain so until he shows me that he needs them.
                In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.


                • #9
                  Considering the fact that I own an 8yo chromey chestnut with four white hooves who is schooling canter pirouettes and tempis and also jumps 3'6+ when we get around to schooling for hunter shows, goes on trail rides, gets plentiful turnout etc etc...

                  ...and he has never worn shoes or taken a lame step in his life...

                  I'd say you could do worse, soundness wise.
                  The Noodle
                  Boy Wonder
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!


                  • #10
                    I have a horse with four white feet. One hoof has a big crack/split in it from the coronary band to the sole. It was like this when I got him.

                    This horse has always been sound. Competed to Prelim until age 19, when chronic progressive lymphedema (a genetic thing, he's a Belgian x, but it's now in remission) forced his retirement from multi-day competition.

                    At 29, he's still sound. This year, an 11 year-old is riding him as her first jumper.

                    I should add that he only had shoes when competing in bigger stuff or fox hunting (he did that for many years). Otherwise, he's fine barefoot.


                    • #11
                      old wives tale



                      • Original Poster

                        Awesome, thanks guys!
                        He is barefoot and schooling 3' so I'm pretty confident in his feet condition, I just wanted to double check!


                        • #13
                          Have one in my barn - hoping he'll be my Advanced CDE pony. Four white stockings, four white hooves. Old wives tale.



                          • #14
                            I've got two in my barn with four white feet and both have terrific feet. But both are 1/2 pony.

                            I do believe that white feet tend to be softer but like others have said, there are many exceptions.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
                              That said, be ready for sensitive skin, dew poisoning, sunburn etc.
                              This. I have chestnut TB with 3 whites/3 white feet. He needs shoes all the way around because his soles are sensitive but his feet in general are good. It's the scratches that I have to stay on top of (although, he is field boarded so that prob doesn't help. And he's a bit of a nuerotic stall walker so it's difficult to give him a break).
                              You can't fix stupid.


                              • #16
                                Of my horses, the worst was one with black hooves. The white hooves have been just as good as the black ones.
                                Epona Farm
                                Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                                • #17
                                  I have a black Morgan pony with one white sock and hoof, and in the 9 years I've had him, he has never worn shoes or been lame even once. However, he had ONE abscess in his life, and it was in his white hoof. Coincidence?


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by netg View Post
                                    I know some studies say otherwise, but from anecdotal evidence I've seen white hooves are weaker than black *on the same horse.* That said, white hooves on one horse can be far better than black hooves on another, so yes I would buy a horse with white hooves if that horse seemed sound with reasonably decent feet.
                                    This has been my experience as well.
                                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                    -Edward Hoagland


                                    • #19
                                      I have been trimming for thirty some years, I definitely agree that white hooves are softer than the black hooves on the same horse.

                                      That said, I also think some white hooves, say white hoof on horse A, are stronger than black hoof on horse B.

                                      Would white hooves stop me from buying the horse, No, not just because they are white. Especially if all else with the horse seems great I would buy the horse.

                                      Would really poor hooves regardless of color stop me from buying a horse, yeah maybe.

                                      Questions I would ask regarding the hooves. Are they in good shape now? If they are shod I would ask why?
                                      If the hooves look rough is it lack of trimming? This can usually be overcome with time.
                                      Is it hereditary? Some lines are prone to 'poorer' quality feet.

                                      Hope this helps you make a choice.


                                      • #20
                                        Another one that wouldn't pass up a horse because it had 4 white hooves.

                                        Now an old wives tale as far as I'm concerned. I believe that superstition came about (and used to have some basis in fact) because years ago, a farrier would finish shoeing the horse and as a finishing touch would oil the black hooves, and 'smarten up' white hooves by rasping off a top thin layer of horn to reveal the fresh white horn underneath.
                                        A few shoeings down the line and your hoof is going to be noticeably weaker due to this.
                                        I was told this by an old farrier/historian, I have no idea if it's correct or not, but it seems reasonable.