New horse owners often ask themselves, “Why do horses need horseshoes?” and it’s a valid question. After all, horses have been around for centuries without the need for man-made accessories. So, do horses need it or not? The short answer is yes, they do. In this article, we will explore the reasons why.
What Are Horseshoes?
Horseshoes are man-made, U-shaped metal plates that are nailed to the bottom of a horse’s hoof. The primary purpose of horseshoes is to protect a horse’s hooves from wear and tear. A horse’s hooves are made of tough keratin material, but constant exposure to the ground can cause them to chip or crack.
Why Do Horses Need Horseshoes?
Unlike wild horses who do not work or travel on hard surfaces, domesticated horses are used for various activities such as riding, pulling carriages, and participating in competitions. As a result, their hooves are exposed to rough terrain and hard surfaces, which can cause damage. Horseshoes act as a protective barrier, preventing the hooves from wearing down and becoming injured.
What Are The Advantages Of Horseshoes
Apart from protecting hooves, horseshoes offer several other benefits to horses. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
- Improves traction
- Prevents slipping and falling
- Corrects gait imbalances
- Reduces stress on joints and muscles
- Promotes proper hoof growth
- Provides support for injured hooves
- Reduces the risk of developing hoof-related diseases.
So, as you can see, the why behind “Why do horses need horseshoes” has many answers. Horseshoes are not only essential for protecting hooves but also for promoting the overall health and performance of horses.
What Happens If A Horse Doesn’t Have Horseshoes?
If a horse is constantly exposed to hard surfaces without horseshoes, their hooves can become damaged and lead to lameness. This can result in pain, discomfort, and even permanent damage to the hoof. In severe cases, a horse may need to be euthanised due to the severity of their hoof condition.
Where To Buy Horseshoes In South Africa
At Trident Saddlery, we offer both front and hind horseshoes for sale in South Africa. Our horseshoes are available on request as they need to be expertly fitted by our Farriers! So give us a call today, and let us help you find the perfect horseshoes for your horse.