WHICH IS STRONGER? Can you tell just by looking at two different colored hooves, which one will be stronger? Farriers are on opposite sides of the fence on this issue.

Light Vs. Dark: The Hoof Debate Rages On

Scientific evidence sides with there being no strength difference between the two hoof pigments

TO EXPLAIN THE VALUE of horses with light hooves, farriers came up with a saying a long time ago:

One white foot, buy him;
Two white feet, try him;
Three white feet, deny him;
Four white feet and a white nose — take off his hide and feed him to the crows.

While shoers aren’t about to put down a horse with all white feet, the saying demonstrates the passion surrounding this black vs. white hooves debate.

Science has been trying to prove that this poem is a myth, but many farriers today still believe that white hooves are structurally weaker than their darker counterparts.

Color-Doesn’t-Matter Argument

Some farriers are convinced that the color of a foot can be directly related to whether that hoof is going to be strong or weak. However, there are many shoers who will not accept that rationale and claim that the “white is weaker” explanation is just a myth.

“The color of the hoof has little to do with strength, although just about everyone that asks me thinks that a darker hoof is stronger than light,” says Miles Courchesne, Mackay, Alberta, Canada. “I’ve found that hoof strength has more to do with capsule shape; with the rounder being the better.”

Most farriers base the conclusion that there is no difference between hoof color on practical experience.

“I have had white hooves hold shoes longer than some black hooves and vice versa,” says Sarah Cook.

“I have seen bad feet in both colors,” adds Dick…

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