To protect the hooves of horses, horses need to wear shoes just as we wear shoes to protect our feet from the dangers on the ground.
As horses became a lot domesticated during recent times, horseshoeing has also been adopted to prevent the horses from having a weak hoof, specifically during inhabitable climates which some horse breeds already have at default.
Under normal conditions, there is no need for horseshoes as they can go on without them. This is referred to as barefooting. Similar to human nails, the horse-hoofs has the same build, although it is a lot thicker.
Farriers typically nail the horse holes to the thick unfeeling part of the animal’s hoof.
ALSO SEE: Can You Ride a Draft Horse?
Hitherto, the centre of the horse’s hoof is rather sensitive, and the outer part of it does not feel pains. Farriers habitually opt to glue the shoes to the hoofs instead.
You must be aware that the horses can quickly lose its shoes, specifically when they are frequently riding in muddy conditions.
The Controversy Surrounding The Horseshoeing
Some people think that horses should never wear shoes and that if they are trimmed and maintained correctly, a horse can participate in any discipline and remain healthy without the shoes.
Many barefoot advocates believe that even serious hoof problems traditionally treated with specialized footwear by a farrier can be solved with natural adornments, changing the position of the horse’s footing and changing its diet.
Some people even argue that shoeing a horse is inhumane. Or in this case, “Horseuman”.
ALSO SEE: What If a Horse Has Positive Coggins?
Should Your Horse Wear Shoes?
For most recreational horses, shoes are probably not necessary, and reasonable maintenance, including regular trimming, is all that is needed.
You should pay attention to the wear of the hoof and the comfort of your horse while riding all kinds of shoes. If your horse’s feet hurt, you have several options.
Your horse may need protection, such as hoof boots, which can be worn only when riding. Or you can opt for traditional shoe nailing.
They also stick to shoes, which some consider more human. The best resource for information on what hoof protection your horse may need is its farrier.
While bare feet are considered ideal for horses, there are times when shoes are needed. Horses that pull abnormal amounts of weight require shoes to prevent their hooves from wearing out.
Shoes are often used to protect racehorses that have weak hoof or leg muscles. They are also used to provide additional traction to horses in snow and ice.
The Dangers Of The Horseshoe
Barefoot enthusiasts point out that shoeing is the cause of many problems, and indeed poor horseshoeing can do more harm than good. Yet it also has many benefits.
Which barefoot is better or not depends on you and your horse. Most farriers are very good at their jobs, but mistakes do happen.
If the horse’s hoof is fragile or damaged, the nails used in the horseshoe can further damage the hooves.
Sometimes the nails are inserted incorrectly, causing pain to the animal and damaging the soft tissue of the hoof.
Poorly fitted or adjusted footwear can cause damage when the animal walks, similar to the problems that arise when humans wear shoes that are too small.