ezra_pandora: What are the main reasons to shoe a horse?
I am just curious, but what are the main reasons why you would shoe your horse. All three of our horses are barefoot, but we live in an area where there is minimal gravel and such, which is why I would think shoeing would be necessary. But other people in the barn shoe their horses. Would it be because of showing? What are the main reasons why people shoe horses and is it really necessary? I always heard barefoot is the best if possible. But I’m still curious.
Yep, we have a 4 yr old Appy/Mustang/Curly mix and his hooves are like rocks we’ve been told. They said he should never have to be shod. Also, as an added question, if you are riding on pavement, such as parades or just road riding, is it still necessary to be shod or just more recommended for added comfort? Thanks for all the answers 🙂
Answers and Views:
Answer by mini cheif
the main reason to shoe a horse is to protect the hooves, i mean you would’nt want anything stuck in there would you!
Depending on ware you live if the ground is hard or if your horses hoofs are soft but i have never shod any of my horsesAnswer by Joycee
To protect their hooves…Answer by Kayla L
There are only three valid reasons that horses are shod: protection, traction or to effect a therapeutic change in the way a horse moves. Protection is the most obvious reason: Simply put, if a horse’s rate of foot wear exceeds his rate of foot growth, his foot must be protected in some way. If not protected, continuing the same routine, in the same environment, will cause soreness. Once sore, the owner can either lay him up while he grows out enough to protect himself with hoof wall and exfoliating sole, or shoe him and accomplish almost the same thing artificially.
A traction device is anything added to a shoe to enhance or increase traction. Each traction device may be used in conjunction with others; thus, the usage may be customized for an individual animal to suit a specific set of circumstances. For example: a flat racer running on a sloppy track might be shod with a grab and sticker behind, and a grab and jar calks in front. The same horse, on a dry track, might run with only a grab behind and rims in front.
The final reason to shoe a horse is to effect a therapeutic change in a horse’s way of going, most often to stop the horse from hitting (interfering in some way). In reality, most attempts to modify a horse’s way of going are not therapeutic; rather, they are an attempt to modify a particular gait to better meet an arbitrary (subjective) standard, usually related to a particular breed. (Non-therapeutic considerations are an important portion of pragmatic farriery.)
The specifics of this particular aspect of farriery require particular expertise and are beyond the scope of this overview. In general terms, a gait may be modified by changing the way a foot leaves the ground (breakover) or its behavior off the ground (flight path). These factors are changed by the removal/application/utilization of weight and length. A gait may also be modified by changing the timing relative to opposite members; e.g., fronts to hinds.
A horse will do whatever he does most efficiently if he is balanced, both fronts and hinds, in the two basic planes (anterior-posterior; medial-lateral) from the fetlock to the ground. Recognition, analysis and treatment of gait aberrations are some of the most difficult tasks facing the farrier.
hope this helps!!! :o)Answer by taylor
im not sure but itll prob protect ther hooves fro wearin down or getting things stuck in them.but i guess natural will work bcuz they lived fine b4 peop were like “hey, lets catch these animals, break m, n nail some metal 2ther feet!Answer by danimonio
i’ll put it in an analogy. you wouldn’t want to walk around barefoot and have all the other snobbish skanks laugh at you for not having shoes right?Answer by Carol
There are many different reasons:
Some horses have “bad” feet and need shoes to keep them from chipping and cracking, horses that are used frequently (lesson horses etc) sometimes need them for protection, horses that are ridden on hard surfaces or rocks frequently, corrective shoeing for a problem and some people just do it because that is what they have been taught and feel that horses need shoes.
My horse get ridden at lest 4-5 times a week but he has really good feet so I keep him barefoot. It really depends on the horses feet and what you do with them.Answer by Indiana Frenchman
Shoes keep the hoof from cracking and splitting when the horse is ridden.Answer by rafaelloriga
well its for protection and wont tire there feetAnswer by mike093068
There is no reason to shoe a horse unless you need to for show purposes, or ride alot on roads or rough terrain.
I have 2 horses that I keep shoes on onyl because we road ride up to 30 miles per week .
Keeping hooves well trimmed and in good shape is more important than shoeing. The hoof will tell you if it needs a shoe.Answer by Mulereiner #
Only riding in boulderous areas, rock doesn’t bother my guys, they know where to put their feet. But if I am riding in the Bighorns or Rockies, I would shoe the fronts only.
Driving the mules in the winter on ice, I would use borium shoes to help with traction.Answer by Daisy_22
If you can find a good farrier that keep your horse’s hooves, in a “natural” shape, barefoot is ALWAYS better than shod. However….if the horse is going to be ridden on pavement (parade, etc.) OR is in extreme sport such as cross country jumping or racing, they should be shod. In the wild, horses arent shod and studies have shown that mustang’s hooves are EXTREMELY tough, without shoes. The majority of people shoe their horses because thats what their farrier tells them to do…more money for him/her. And many people just think thats what your supposed to do. But yah, barefoot is always better! Hope this helps!Answer by texasnascarcowgirl
My OTTB gets shod because he has really tender feet. They are not bad just tender. He can’t walk across grass without it looking painful! But, put shoes on him and he is fine. I put shoes on my filly because in the sand out here, they were starting to splay out and crack and chip off. The sand dries their feet really bad here. So, I shoe her to keep her feet from looking like a 20 yr old brood mare. LOL Plus they both get ridden quite a bit on the roads and it just helps them not to get stone bruises.
That’s why I shoe my horses.
Barefoot is better but some horses just can’t handle it. Alot of the reason is now days good feet are not bred into the horses. People forget that a good foot makes or breaks a horse. Look at some of those halter horses. Giant bodies on little tiny feet. No way can those feet be healthy. I love a horse with good feet that match the body.
That’s just the way I feel about it. great questionAnswer by wolfwitch421
The main reasons of shoeing are to protect and support the hoof if the area that they will be in is full of gravel or hard surfaces and correction of foot problems. Shoeing for protecting the foot against gravel will lift the sole off the ground and help keep sharp rocks for pressing to hard into the foot. Corrective shoeing is done for many reasons when a horse’s hoof is not correctly growing or due to conformational problems or because of the discipline ridden, i.e. reining horses where sliders to help with the slide and TWH’s wear platforms or lifts in their shoes to get them to really lift that knee in front. Its not always necessary but for some horses it is. I prefer barefoot if it is possible since most of the time they will only need minor trimming as the surfaces the horse is on wear the hoof anyways.Answer by Paint Pony
We keep our shod to protect the hooves since we show and rope and are on a lot of asphalt and concrete parking lots going to and from arenas. I also have a gelding who we tried to leave barefoot, but without the shoes, his feet just puddle all over the place, instead of having a nice neat hoof. Mostly it helps keep my horse shoer’s wife in diamonds and furs and driving a new Mercedes.Answer by littlexmissxrandom
soft hooves..rough ground. lots of roadworkAnswer by ceh000_000
You shoe your horses to protect their hooves. Some say you dont need it, but if you have ever rode your horse in the mountains.. and I mean really back wood trails, none of that sissy maintained stuff, you know that sharp rocks and such can crack their hooves. It also is easier on their hooves if you ride on paved roads. ( they actually make rubber shoes for that) Also you can have your horse shawed, but not shooed. I would suggest just that for you.Answer by Jeff Sadler
It depends on the type of ground the miles traveled the hardness of the horses hooves and even the gait of the horse.
We ride a lot of gravel roads and cover a LOT of rocky ground even if we are not riding the roads. We cover 300 to 500 miles per year and our horses hooves literally wear so short that they start limping if not kept shod during the riding season. Oh and gaited horses tend to slide their feet causing extra wear.
If you get by without shoeing that is GREAT! But watch your horses feet if you increase your riding miles.
And the word is shod not shawd.Answer by westerngamergirl
for corrective purposes, they have sensitive feet, or to protect while riding in ‘extreme’ sports such as racing, jumping, barrel racing, or gaming.