How did humans learn to trim horses hoofs?


How did humans learn to trim horses hoofs?

In: 24

Horses were wild and their hooves were maintained by the terrain. If not, their hooves would grow out and break off in chunks, which was another way they could self trim.

Humans recognized this when they kept horses in captivity. Just like human nails, they grow out and curl over, causing extreme pain and potentially the inability to walk. A horse must remain upright. There’s also a huge infection risk.

On the other hand, we took them out of the wild and make them walk on concrete, roads, and other extremely abrasive surfaces. This wears their hooves down too much, so they need shoes to protect them

Experience mostly.

We realised that horses hooves are essentially nails like we have on out fingers and toes – through the process of domesticating and working horses we noted their growth, and realised that while in the wild they maintained themselves, in captivity they needed looked after.

A horse that is less active in the wild – such as one kept in a stable or field – will not do the same amount of walking or running, and will often be confined to softer surfaces. This means the hooves don’t wear so much and will grow too long, and we need to trim them.

A working horse that spends most of its time on hard surfaces however will wear down to hooves too quickly, and so they need to be protected – this is the purpose of the iron horseshoe.
Because the horseshoe will prevent natural wear, the shoes need removed and the hooves maintained periodically.