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Bella asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Horse riders! Here is a question for you!?

My friend says that horses with lighter colored hooves have medical issues. She doesn't know much about horses but she says she does, and I was wondering if that's true because my horse has light colored hooves. I'm pretty sure it's not but just in case.... And also just curious, do you ride western or English and which do you prefer?

Thanks all you horse lovers!

Update:

Thanks guys!! I can't pick a best answer cuz they r all different and I was pretty sure they don't have problems! And I am a western barrel racer!! But it is way fun trotting English I have to say :) but western is my preference.... I have been riding since I was four :) so ya thanks... And I didn't know there were so many English riders... But then again I live in canada :P where all the westernies are lol :)

23 Answers

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  • Bliss
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are tons of myths about the color of hooves, but that is exactly what they are - myths. I believe it was Equus magazine that had an article about research done on hooves, and the conclusion was that there is a TINY bit more abrasion resistance in a dark hoof than light colored one, but zero difference in strength, moisture content, or likelihood of cracking. There's certainly no effect on medical issues.

    I belong to a barefoot horse discussion group, and this has come up there repeatedly. The upshot of the anecdotal discussion there is that any hoof on any horse can be made and kept strong, solid, and healthy with a good barefoot management protocol. Whether the horse is TB, Arabian, draft, or mustang, doing the right thing will improve hoof health and doing the wrong thing will make them weak, soft, shelly, and tender. Sufficient movement/stimulation (maximum turnout), correct trim, dietary management, and treatment of any infectious conditions are good for building healthy hooves.

    And English or western is just a matter of clothing - yours and the horse's. A good horse is a good horse, whatever you do with it or whatever it is wearing. I grew up riding western, but now I find that a western saddle tends to make my knees hurt, and most of them are made for men, with a wide, flat seat. I prefer to have a narrower twist in my saddle. I equally enjoy western and English disciplines - some of them, anyway. I'm not crazy about so-called western pleasure with its shuffling 'dead horse' gaits, or saddle-seat with its spooked-up high-steppers, but reining, dressage, cutting cattle, jumping - they're all great, and of course the trails don't care if your horse is wearing any clothes at all!

    T&A - You're spreading another myth. I used to have a show rivalry with a girl who ran barrels in her English/AP saddle. We were usually both right up there in the ribbons together in W.P., W. Equitation., games (barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole race, flag races, egg and spoon, and dollar bareback) and trail class. She had a western saddle too, but she liked to run the games in her AP.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, that's an old myth. There is no difference between light coloured hooves and dark coloured hooves. I had heard that socks mean the horse had weak ankles, but I found that isn't true either.

    Western. I love english but I'm more comfortable with western so I'll say that I prefer that!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Its greatly debated actually, but there is no conclusive answer to light colored hooves being any stronger/weaker than dark colored hooves. My mare has 2 dark hooves and 2 light hooves and has never had any issues (she's trail ridden regularly on several terrains, such as forests and mountains and is barefoot). My father's gelding has 4 light hooves and has never faltered either.

    As to disciplines, I ride western. But if you are a beginner and just learning, I encourage you to learn english. English requires the rider to have more balance in the seat and forces the rider to apply themselves better. Furthermore, its much easier for an english rider to convert to western than a western rider to convert to english style.

    Source(s): Years of experience, National Competitions in Horsebowl (Quizbowl on horses)
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Complete myth. The mare I own now has two white feet and they are actually stronger than her two dark feet! The gelding I owned before her had all four feet white and we never had any problems with them.

    I personally ride both english and western. I like both but I prefer western more because it was what my mare was bred for. I started out riding english and I will never stop even though I ride western a little more. I personally don't like the "which do you ride and why" questions because it starts a lot of the "one is better than the other" crap that is not true.

    Source(s): 11 years riding/showing AQHA and APHA horses in local, 4-H, AQHA, and APHA shows. Competed in Hippology and Horse Bowl for 6 years. 2008 national champions Hippology team problem section. 2009 national Horse Bowl champions. 3rd place individual overall nationally, top individual in the state.
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  • Caz
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    This is a myth and although some horse owners believe that black hooves are better, research has shown there is no difference in hardness, toughness or brittleness between white and black hooves. I just ride and have never thought about whether I'm western/english but I do ride in an AP saddle and prefer them to stock saddles but I hate jodhpurs I ride in jeans. So its my own mix!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/47187208@N06/43261741...

    heres some pics of my guys hooves you can flick back through them to see how bad they were, he has one white and one black and both were dispicable at the time of purchase... and the girls elderly grandfather mentioned the white hoof being weaker belief but couldnt find an excuse for the black hoof being equally damaged!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have always thought it was a myth but i have heard somewhere that lighter colored hooves are not as strong as darker and are more likely to crack or break. I ride English so i would have to say that it is the best although i have always wanted to try Western :)

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  • Ron Sr
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Some light colored hooves will tend to be drier and more brittle, but if you take proper care of the hooves then you will never notice it. I ride both English, Western, and bare back and I like all 3.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is proof (according to a Purina Feeds seminar I was at in 1990 or so) that the keratonin is bonded less tightly together in hoofes that are white, or somewhat clear. According to Purina at that time, stiped hooves were the strongest.

    However, as a culture we don't work the horses like we used to. Horses used to be a vehicle, and were worked and whipped to death.

    We don't work our horses to the level that demonstrates the weakness in the lighter hooves... like a full work week of 40 - 50 hours, week after week, year after year, from age 2 to 20.

    So, it is somewhat true, but you'd never notice.

    Source(s): Purina Feeds seminar (1990-ish)
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nope, thats false. If a horse has a white nose or is all white with like, white/light pigmenting, then it can get sunburned. xD but thats it. Your horse is fine.

    I ride english and prefer english. (: There aren't any western barns around my area, so I've never really gotten to try it out a whole lot. I'd love to though. (: I have nothing against it!

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's a common thought but there is no real scientific evidence to back it up. Its just an old myth probably started by a breeder who had horses with white and notoriously bad feet.

    I mush prefer english. I find it more of a challenge and I like how its never the same, a jump course always changes, dressage tests always change, where as poles and barrels are always the same. Just my personal preference though i respect western!

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