I’m often asked the question: why do horses have to wear shoes? Well the short answer is they don’t. Many horses are better off not having shoes on, but let me start at the beginning. Horses by nature are a grazing animal. They herd and roam together in wide open spaces grazing at leisure all day and all night. Now that’s good for their system eating a little bit all the time that’s good for their digestive system and that’s why sometimes we have problems with horses because now we put them it installs and feed them him twice today with grain and that’s not what they’re used to. Well shoeing came about because we took horses out of their natural environment and we put them in stalls we turned them into, initially, either horses that were plowing fields or going into battle. Both of which wore their feet down more than grazing leisurely like they were raised or like they were born to do.
So we design shoes to put on the bottom of their hooves so that those feet would not be worn down to the point that it would hurt them you know the same way your fingernails would get if they were worn down to the quick. They can hurt and it’s the same way with horses so the main reason horses wear shoes is to protect their foot.
Now like I said there are plenty of times horses don’t need shoes and let me give you an example of that. If you’ve got a pasture of brood mares or a group of phillies that are growing up together it’s better for them not to have shoes on. You want their hooves to be able to expand you don’t want them to have contracted heels. You want their foot to be a natural state as long as they are in a natural state and that is in the pasture almost all of the time. Also the reason you don’t want pasture horses generally to have on shoes is because by nature they’re going to seek a pecking order that’s going to entail a little violence here and there. Striking, kicking, and biting. Well if the horse has on shoes and strikes or kicks another horse they can cause a lot of damage to that other horse if they have on shoes. If they don’t have on shoes it’s kind of normal, the horses are kind of used to that kind of fighting, but with shoes on it can really cause a lot of damage so try not to put shoes on horses that are out in the pasture together, it’s not a good idea.
Well now not only are horseshoes used to protect horses feet other times they are used to keep horses sound. Horses that have foot problems can use shoes to help alleviate pain and keep them in a healthy condition so that they can continue to be ridden and enjoyed. So that’s all I have to say about shoeing right now. I hope you learned a little bit and if you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about horses shoot me a line and I’ve love to hear from you.