In Defense Of Shoes

The six winners of the Mustad’s scholarship essay contest describe why horses should be shod

Shoeing allows farriers to provide five benefits to horses: protection, traction, correction, therapeutic and performance. Most horses today are used for performance and pleasure. The duties that owners ask of their horses are tough and can be physically hard on the animals. With special shoes, horses are able to perform amazing moves with less stress to the hoof and all structures supported by it. In the following paragraphs, I will explain how keeping a horse shod is beneficial.

Safety First

A horse’s foot needs protection when the rate of wear exceeds the rate of growth. Without protection, the horse can become sore or lame because of damage to the sensitive parts of the hoof. The main weight-bearing surface of the hoof is the wall. The sole becomes the weight-bearing surface when the wall is worn down more than the sole. Sole pressure causes sole bruises and pain to the horse. When a horse (like a pack horse) is working on hard ground with many rocks, shoes are important to protect the frog and sole from damage.

All shoes provide protection and support for the hoof. If extra protection or support is needed, a pad can be placed under the shoe to cover the frog and sole. Packing is used inside the pad for cushion and support. A barefoot horse would not have the same amount of protection as a horse wearing shoes.

Get A Grip

Depending on the ground conditions a horse is working on, it may need traction. Rim…

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