Heavy Horses - do you need steel toe caps? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Heavy Horses - do you need steel toe caps?

Just wanted to get some thoughts on footwear while you are working around heavy horses. Now I mean genuine heavies - those who weigh around a ton like the Shires, Clydesdales, Belgians etc. So many people (who don't own heavy horses) advised me to get steel toe capped boots for when I was working around my two heavies. Initially I could see some sense in this. However, once I got talking to other 'heavy horse' owners e.g. The old ploughmen, carriage drivers they told me "under no circumstances wear steel toe caps". I thought this was crazy until someone explained. A heavy horse standing on your foot will cause broken toes usually (I can confirm this...I have had 3!) If he stands on your foot and you are wearing steel toe caps, there is a possibility that his sheer weight will crush the toe caps...straight into your toes. More difficult to remove the boot and you may end up with amputated toes eventually. I don't wear steel toe caps anymore. What do others think?
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 06:46 AM
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I've heard the same about steel toe caps, not in relation to horses. If a large enough weight lands on your toe, the edge of the steel cap may even sever toes as its pushed down.
Frightening thought. Anyway, that's just what I've been told by some construction people I think.
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 06:50 AM
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Steel toes causing greater damage than would be caused without is an outright myth.

If significant enough force is applied the back end of the steel caps will pinch down a bit, but a horse could never apply sufficient enough force to bend that cap to that degree. Furthermore, the force required to bend the steel caps would be enough to break every bone in the foot multiple times, and do enough damage that amputation would be necessary.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 AM
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If its a myth it certainly makes me feel better, and will tick one thing off my list of nightmares! :)
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mind View Post
Steel toes causing greater damage than would be caused without is an outright myth.

If significant enough force is applied the back end of the steel caps will pinch down a bit, but a horse could never apply sufficient enough force to bend that cap to that degree. Furthermore, the force required to bend the steel caps would be enough to break every bone in the foot multiple times, and do enough damage that amputation would be necessary.
Are you talking about horses in general or 'Heavy Horses' weighing in at 1 ton?
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 07:37 AM
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Sorry my post was ******ed, had to retract it :)
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 08:17 AM
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this post comes up repeatedly, and we always get a few repeating the amputation nonsense. I don't know where this stuff comes from and why people keep repeating it.
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
Are you talking about horses in general or 'Heavy Horses' weighing in at 1 ton?
Drafts.

Steel toed boots would not be worn by people around the world if they exacerbated risk. I've seen weight equivalent to multiple drafts run across a steel toe, and it did bend, but not enough that the boot could not be taken off.

Even if the steel cap did bend enough to pin the foot in place, there's no reason the it could not be cut down the middle and slipped off.
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 09:18 AM
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From someone who has been stepped on by a very heavy horse while I was barefoot, I have a piece of advice. NEVER TRY TO PUSH THE HORSE OFF YOUR FOOT. Ha ha They will lean into your push and they are so much heavier when leaning into it. Rather a good swat to move them off without the grinding the foot into your foot. Also... NEVER GO BAREFOOT AROUND A HORSE. Funny how hindsight is so very clear.

I hope others can learn from my mistakes. Ha ha
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
this post comes up repeatedly, and we always get a few repeating the amputation nonsense. I don't know where this stuff comes from and why people keep repeating it.
Well I have some evidence that there is truth to this 'so-called' myth. One of the ploughmen (aged 93yrs) I was speaking to about my Clydesdale told me that a lad he was training up wore the steel toe capped boots. They were training a couple of Shires to pull a cart. The lad got his foot in the way of one of the Shires who was also shod, and the weight of horse, hoof and horseshoe caused the steel toe cap to collapse around the lad's middle toe. He ended up with a fracture of his foot and big toe and the middle toe which was caught under the steel cap, had to be amputated. At first I thought this was a 'country myth' but I was corrected when the old ploughman told me the lad in question was his son. He said he never wore steel toe caps again around heavy horses and neither did any of the other 'fellas'. Just to clarify that Heavy Horses in the UK mean your big, giant horses such as Shires, Clydes, Percherons many of which weigh in around a ton and not heavy cobs (draft type).
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