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Thekherham
January 5th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Here's a rather unusual question?
Would a person be able to walk if he had hooves like a horse instead of feet? Or would he fall on his face?

If he had these hooves from birth could he learn to walk like a normal person?

Thank you for any answer(s).

user123
January 5th, 2005, 03:21 AM
I don't see why he could not, if he had them from birth it would be normal to him.
By any chance are you reading "The Crystal Gryphon" by Andre Norton? I know the character of Korvan has hooves rather then feet.

Expendable
January 5th, 2005, 05:05 AM
Horses and many hooved animals walk toe/heel while humans walk heel/toe - with some exceptions.

But someone with hooves could learn to walk by putting their heel down first and then their toe....

Thekherham
January 5th, 2005, 10:23 AM
I don't see why he could not, if he had them from birth it would be normal to him.
By any chance are you reading "The Crystal Gryphon" by Andre Norton? I know the character of Korvan has hooves rather then feet.

No, I'm not. It's just that I've written a novel in which the protagonist is part human and part horse (not a centaur, though), and one of his parts is hooves instead of feet, so it got me to thinking: Could a person walk with hooves?

juzzza
January 5th, 2005, 10:35 AM
I think most readers would not question this detail, considering some of the 'realities' that the fantasy genre presents to us/them anyway.

You and the reader have nothing to base the answer on, you are asking the reader to accept that your story is taking place in an alternative world, with alternative rules, so even if a die-hard biology/physics doctor came along and gave you conclusive proof that it was impossible for a man to walk with hooves, you could argue that on your planet the 'squiggle' factor comes into play, therefore making such motion not only possible, but the norm.

I am being silly above, but my point is, if Tolkien, Rowling, Jordan, Martin, Stover and so on... Worried about whether or not something was possible here on earth, we would be stuck reading about stories here on earth. You are creating the fantastic, your job is to make the reader believe it can happen. I am guessing that the most fantastic (way-out/hard to believe)thing about your story is not that your character has hooves...

Expendable
January 5th, 2005, 10:47 AM
Is this a single hoof like a horse, or a split hoof like a bull? I'm not sure what kind of grip a horse has on hard surfaces like rock - and they've got four legs for balance. They really need to be shoed for hard surfaces too. Is your character gonna need a blacksmith?

KatG
January 5th, 2005, 12:00 PM
It sounds like your guy has two hooves instead of four, like a centaur, which would put him in the satyr category, though most of the satyrs in mythology had the hooves and haunches of a goat, rather than a horse, which is a bit different, being a split hoof, as Expendable brought up, rather than a single hoof like a horse's. Given that hooved animals can rise up on their back legs and remain that way for varying amounts of time, it would not seem strange for a human with horse hooves to be able to stand and walk on just two. Since the hooves are flat discs made to grip, they should serve as well as feet. It's the structure of the legs, hips and pelvis that would determine how much difficulty the person would have walking on hooves. If he has a horse's pelvis, he probably could not walk. If he had a human pelvis, he might be able to do so but would have a smaller basis on which to balance.

If you really, really want to figure out how much trouble he'd have logically, you need to find a biologist who specializes in equines and ask questions. For the purposes of a fantasy story, this may not be necessary, but for a sf story (should he be bioengineered) it may be more crucial. It would probably be more interesting if the guy has had trouble walking, or at least walking in a manner similar to a human, than if he is perfectly able to walk on hooves.

JRMurdock
January 5th, 2005, 09:52 PM
My opinion, do you WANT your character to have trouble or not? This is your character and you can decide. Mythology is filled with half man half goat creatures (the satyr Kat mentioned) and they had no trouble walking, running, dancing, and playing a lot of tricks on man. I don't see why your character would unless that's part of the character you want to develop.

Wildeblood
January 5th, 2005, 10:17 PM
Would a person be able to walk if he had hooves like a horse instead of feet? Or would he fall on his face?

If he had these hooves from birth could he learn to walk like a normal person?
Don't know; never seen a two-legged horse. Goats born deformed with only hind legs walk upright like humans, according to what I've seen on the television thingy. But goats are different from horses; goats have split hoofs as others have mentioned.

TheEarCollector
January 6th, 2005, 08:07 AM
I'm no biologist, but I think he would have a lot of trouble balancing on two horse hooves. Goat hooves (cloven hooves) are split and therefore act sort of like toes, giving balance...
But I don't think I would really care to get specific about the hoove types if I was just reading a story...