Many people wonder why horses wear shoes. What's the purpose?
And do horses have to wear shoes?
First, Some Brief Facts About Horseshoes
There is some debate about when nailed-on metal horseshoes were actually first used, but most historians agree that they’ve been around for several centuries. And that around 1000 AD, nailed horseshoes made of cast bronze became common in Europe.
What are the Benefits of Shoeing a Horse?
Horseshoes designed for sporting events can reduce stress in the legs, joints and hooves of the horses participating.
If you ever see police horses in the city, you’ll notice that they’re usually shod for protection on the pavement.
Correction and Comfort
What are the Risks Associated with Shoeing a Horse?
Solar Bruising, Thrush, Hoof Wall Separation
Poor Shoe Fit
Improper Hoof Flexion and Shock Absorption
Horses do not always need to wear shoes, but they can be beneficial in certain situations
- Hoof health – are his hooves strong, or do they tend to split?
- Foot conformation – does he need correction in his posture?
- Terrain/surface he spends time on – in the pasture, or long trail ride on rocky terrain?