on the hoof


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hoof
horse hoof

hoof

 (ho͝of, ho͞of)
n. pl. hooves (ho͝ovz, ho͞ovz) or hoofs
1.
a. The horny sheath covering the toes or lower part of the foot of a mammal of the orders Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla, such as a horse, ox, or deer.
b. The foot of such an animal, especially a horse.
2. Slang The human foot.
v. hoofed, hoof·ing, hoofs
v.tr.
To trample with the hooves.
v.intr. Slang
1. To dance, especially as a professional.
2. To go on foot; walk.
Idioms:
hoof it Slang
1. To walk.
2. To dance.
on the hoof
Not yet butchered; alive. Used especially of cattle.

[Middle English hof, from Old English hōf.]
References in classic literature ?
That time is needed to cool the meadow, for these unshod Teton beasts are as tender on the hoof as a barefooted girl.
The pastern prevents the weight of your horse from crashing down full force on the hoof.
In fact, if you lay a short straight stick on the hoof and pastern, the stick will rock on the coronary band.