A horseshoe is a metal-fabricated product that is attached to the surface of a horse’s hooves. Just as we wear shoes to protect our feet, horses wear horseshoes to protect their hooves. Read on to know more about the reasons why horses need to wear horseshoes.
Protection from rough terrains
The hooves of horses can be injured by traveling over rough terrains or landscapes that are harder in nature. In a dry climate, horses cannot walk comfortably through long distances. When they do so, their soles can become harder and thicker due to overstimulation. Hard roads can also wear down their hooves and frogs. To prevent horses from the resulting pain, they are made to wear horseshoes.
Prevention of hooves from softening
At places where soils are soft and heavy, horses’ hooves may also be softened. This results in weakening and splitting of hooves. Splitting happens because hooves are made of a protein called keratin that becomes fragile under conditions of moisture. Therefore, wearing horseshoes can offer protection to the hooves of horses.
When horses are loaded with weight on their back, their hooves may be worn out over time. Some breeds of horses are naturally not developed to bear the load of a rider or cart on their backs. Thus, horseshoes can give them strength to walk without pain when their backs are loaded.
Correction of gait
Not all horses have perfect hooves to support their proper gait. Thus, the use of horseshoes can help in correcting their gait or natural movement. It all depends on the thickness, shape and weight of a particular horseshoe.
Enhancement of performance
You may have noticed that racing horses develop weakness in feet or legs over a long time. This can be prevented if racing horses receive specialized horseshoes that also enhance their performance.