Are White Hooves Weaker

It's a common belief that white hooves have more problems but is there any proof?


The only saying goes:

One white foot - buy him.

Two white feet - try him.

Three white feet - look well about him.

Four white feet - go without him


Holzhauer et al 2017 found a link between increased levels of sole bruising and white hooves compared to black.

A Swiss study from 2015, Federici et al - full text in German - , found an association between white skin pigmentation and dermatological disorders plus white hooves and poor horn quality.

Douglas et al 1996, in a small study involving six feet, found no difference in the mechanical properties of white versus black feet.

Earlier studies, including by the late Doug Leach, Ph.D., failed to show any difference in strength between white and black hooves when blocks of tissue were subjected to compression.

While some myths are just plain not true, in this case, the truth may lie between the two claims. The difference between white and black hooves is presence of the pigment melanin. This would not influence the structure of the hoof horn or its ability to withstand compression but it could have other effects.

The outer hoof wall, which is the only layer that shows pigment, is a specialized version of the outer layers of skin. It is composed of dead cells with fats holding them together and preventing moisture loss from the lower levels of live cells. Sun exposure without melanin protection leads to excessive drying which could, in turn, result in cracks and trouble holding nails.

In any case, there's no question that nutrition plays a huge role in hoof quality. Uckele has a broad line of hoof supplements to address your issues.

Uckele Horse Hoof Supplements

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