- White feet are weaker than black feet.
When I first took our horses barefoot we had only 2 black feet out of a total of 16. That's an awful lot of white feet, especially when you are asking them to go over tough terrain week in week out, and in a climate where its always wet.
Funny old thing, once they had healthy feet they were all rock-crunching, white feet or black. There have actually been studies done in the US, referenced in this blog post, which confirmed this.
- Thoroughbreds are bred to have terrible feet.
We've had lots of TBs here over the years, both our own horses and rehab horses and they have had a huge variety of feet - from weak and problematic to incredibly sound and tough.
TBs, like the other horses who come here, are capable of making dramatic and rapid changes to their feet given the right diet, environment and work-load and can go on to work hard, barefoot, year after year. We change lots of things when horses come here but one thing we don't change is their genetics!
- Some horses can't cope barefoot and have to be shod
I blogged about this one only last week - its really all about hoof health, not shoeing vs barefoot.
- If barefoot horses work hard on tough terrain their feet will wear away.
This is a really common one - although usually its said authoritatively by people who (a) don't work their horses on tough terrain and (b) don't work them barefoot, so their experience level is questionable at best.
This is another one I've blogged about before ("What happens when hoof wall wears away?") and although the thought of it often scares owners, its something that doesn't really make sense once you understand the anatomy of hooves and how they grow.
So how to tell truth from fiction? As with everything equine, if you are going to a human source make sure they have a wealth of experience in the area you are quizzing them about - and most importantly, always back it up by going to an equine source.
The horse is the ultimate expert on the horse.