10 Amazing Facts About Hooves
1. Millions of years ago, the ancestors of the modern horse had three or four functional toes. But through evolution, some equid ancestors lost their side toes and developed a single hoof. While only horses with single-toed hooves survive today, the remains of tiny vestigial toes can still be found on the bones above their hooves. The splint bone is formed of two of these former toes, the second and fourth toe. The third, or middle, toe is the cannon bone. 2. Recent research suggests that, while modern horses are still partially genetically “programmed” to create five toes in each foot, those four extra toes either don’t develop fully or essentially disappear during fetal development. 3. The wall of the hoof grows from the coronary band at the rate of 6-9mm (¼ to ½ inch) per month. As the average hoof is 76-100mm (2½ to 4 inches) long at the…
Subscription Upgrade RequiredUpgrade your subscription now for full access or register to continue reading.
Subscribers: enter the email and password connected to your subscription.
First time logging in?
Not a subscriber yet?
Click here to see our print and digital subscription offers that include full access to all Horse-Canada.com articles.
Subscribe now and enjoy full access to Horse-Canada.com
Your All-Access Digital Subscription includes unlimited access to all Horse-Canada.com articles as well as a digital subscription to each issue of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, and Canadian Thoroughbred.
Get full access to Horse-Canada.com including all articles from Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.
Read the digital editions of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.