why do horses need shoes

Why Do Horses Need Horseshoes? But Can Still Do Without Them

Time to talk about horses, those four-legged animals that we have used for many centuries and are still using today. They are so important and so meaningful to us. When we talk about power in cars, we almost always call horsepower as a measurement. Same with the ones that we can call workhorse. Horses like many animals live a very active life. The way their legs’ muscles develop is a clear sign of it. But over time, things would start to degrade slowly but surely. The main thing that can degrade due to intense activity is the hoof. Let’s find out why do horses need horseshoes and if they actually need them at all.

Do Horses Really Need Horseshoes?

We are getting into quite a controversial topic here people. Turns out, not everybody likes horses to wear horseshoes. They said horses do not need horseshoes and they have many points in favor. But are horseshoes bad for horses? As you may deduce, if there are some conflicts with the point in question, it must mean that it depends. And it does, because it is not a simple answer that you can just give a yes or a no.

The people who think horseshoes are good probably have a horse that is a workhorse. The amount of activity this could do is massive compared to what horses in the wild can achieve. The same can be said about racing horses.

What all of this has to do with horseshoes? When a farrier, puts horseshoes on horses, it helps prolong the protection of these horse parts. A farrier is someone who does the “manicure” on a horse hoof and puts a horseshoe on a horse’s hoof.

Just imagine pounding your feet so vigorously to the floor when barefoot. And then running in a track or making jumps over obstacles. Imagine just pain. Well, that is why horseshoes defenders like so much these devices on horses.

On the other hand, there are the ones who do not like horses wearing horseshoes. They say it can degrade hoof progressively and can be uncomfortable for horses. Mostly, horses that don’t have that much activity don’t actually need to wear horseshoes.

Can Horse With No Horseshoes Run Barefoot?

One reason some people opposed to horses to wear horseshoes is that they believed it doesn’t need “improvements”. So, can horses run barefoot? The answer is yes. Surely, they could. But you have to keep in mind the activities your horses do. That said, when they doing fewer activities, then they can be very good at not wearing any horseshoes at all. And when there is the need to move or do something remotely harder than normal, then wearing horseshoes is advisable.

However, it does not matter if you think the horses do need horseshoes or not. The most important of all is the care you must give to those hooves. It is way more important than just nailing a shoe and forgetting it or just leaving the horse be. Similar to humans, horses need their nails some care or treatment.

Why horses need horseshoes according to farriers.

Now that let’s talk about specialists responsible to make horses’ hooves in good shape. Healthy and in good shape hooves can be credited to farriers. They are the ones capable to install new shoes the proper way. Whether your horses need horseshoes or not, farriers will give you proper advice on it.

A well-trained farrier, with many years of experience, will give you the best advice. If your horse has activities involve a grueling effects on the horse’s hooves, they can go and nail the horseshoe to the horse’s hoof. It will not hur of make the horse suffer, as most opponents say they do. Thing is, the hoof exterior in which the shoe is nailed does not have any sensitive parts, just the inside of the hoof has them, which allows the farrier to proceed with its work. They will ensure horses can walk their best wearing horseshoes.

Sometimes it is not necessary to nail the shoes and gluing it can be an option. This may not work well for horses that are going to muddy areas. It can be replaced easily when the hoof and the shoe itself need maintenance. As you may see, it is not that easy to go one way or the other right away. You should look forward to what you want to do with the horse to see if it would need shoes or not.


Horses who are doing hard work like pulling, racing, jumping, carry cargo, etcetera probably needs horseshoes. Even when there is ice everywhere, horseshoes install is a must for traction. You do not want to see your beautiful horse falling, do you?

On the other hand, horses can do with hoof boots that can qualify as “horseshoes”. They can be removed easily without the help of a farrier. And when speaking about farrier, you should know that these people are the professionals in horse hoof care. They know way more than we do on how necessary horseshoes would be for a horse. Farriers maintain good shape and health of your horse’s hooves.

Speaking of hooves and feet, do you ever wonder why the flamingo birds stand on one leg? Check out on our future post.

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