Why do horses need horseshoes?


Horses in the wild seem to be perfectly fine without them, why do we need to put hunks of metal on their hooves?

In: Biology

You can run horses without shoes and their feet will be tougher. But just like your feet, they will be more protected and less work than going barefoot

To answer your question… horses don’t NEED horseshoes, just like humans don’t NEED shoes. But it they make life easier

You don’t need to if you only plan on having your horse on natural soft surfaces like dirt. If you are riding your horse on rocks, asphalt, concrete, etc. Then you need shoes.

Horses in the wild also don’t have access to stables, vaccines, blankets, etc. and as a result don’t live quite as long (or healthy) as their domestic counterparts. Horseshoes are a protective measure similar to the aforementioned examples to keep their hooves from splitting when running on hard or uneven surfaces.

Horses on the plains run on mostly soft soil with patches of rough hard ground and do not have weight on their backs. When we use them as mounts or to pull things they are often walking are harder surfaces than they naturally would and carrying far more weight than they naturally would.

Horses are basically dead if one of their legs break while in a race or the wild. And horses have delicate legs cus of their anotomy. So to avoid that and also cus the surface is different we use horseshoes.

The frog (the soft part in the center of a horses hoof) is sort of like a pump and an important part of the horses circulation. Horseshoes attenuate compression of the frog (particularly on hard flat surfaces like pavement), so they should only be used if the pros outweigh the cons.


A hoof is like a fingernail on a person, but the horse is walking on it. It’s really thick, but can still split if it’s put down on a hard surface. The horseshoe prevents a split and can also enhance the healing of a split. For some sorts of surfaces, like concrete, a plastic polyurethane shoe can be best, reduces slipping.

they dont need them if you only intend ot have the horse running around on dirt roads and fields without significant loads on their backs.

the idea of horse shoes became a necessity once horses had to start going thru more solid ground like asphalt roads and being used as cargo animals. if you didn’t somehow reinforce their hooves they would end up getting injured and would eventually endanger the animal’s life thru infection.