Why Do Horses have Shoes on their Hooves / Hoofs?

Why do horses have shoes on their hoofs? (correctly spelled hooves) Horses have shoes put on their feet to help them walk on different surfaces without pain.

Hundreds of years ago, while mustangs roamed rocky hillsides and, just like our own feet would if we went barefoot, their hooves became very tough and able to walk across rocky trails with no pain. Domesticate horses, however, are sometimes not allowed this opportunity. Horses are frequently stalled to stand in soft bedding or turned out in springy pastures. In these conditions, horse’s hooves become soft and sensitive to walking across jagged rocks or even gravel. Sometimes genetics contribute to this sensitivity (for example, thoroughbreds who have been kept this way for thousands of years tend to have sensitive feet) Many horses have shoes on their feet to help them walk on rough or jagged surfaces with no pain. Just like the sole of your show protects the bottom of your foot, a horse shoe covers the weight bearing surface of the horse’s hoof with a durable metal.

Many horses are able to develop tough hooves with correct management and never need horse shoes- just regular visits from the farrier to trim down their hooves.

Other horses are shod for performance reasons. Racehorses or show jumpers work so hard that if their hooves aren’t very healthy naturally, they could injure themselves by wearing down their hoof unevenly. These horses wear horse shoes to protect and improve their performance. Other horses, such as police horses or show horses, have special shoes put on to protect their hooves and joints from walking on concrete, or to help accentuate the action of their gaits in a show ring.

Why do horses have shoes on their hooves? Many different reasons- Shoes help protect horses hooves and help them be more comfortable and perform their best.

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