Why do horses wear shoes?

Why do horses wear shoes?

Why do horses wear shoes?

A thoroughbred horse is shod. (Image credit: jess311 via Getty Images)

Horses have been central to human transportation and agriculture for centuries. These symbols of power and speed require hoof care and new footwear every four to six weeks to keep them working. But why?

Horses (Equus caballus) that are domesticated for human use and bred for performance wear shoes because their feet are delicate and therefore need protection, said Dr Fernanda Camargo (opens in a new tab), veterinarian and equine extension officer at the University of Kentucky. “Shoes protect certain areas of the foot from horse“, Camargo told Live Science in an email. “They keep the hooves from wearing down too much and thus becoming sensitive.”

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