Just like your toenails, horse hooves grow and need to be trimmed and maintained. Horses who live in the wild don’t need as much help with this because they walk and graze so much -- all of the movement keeps their hooves nicely filed and smooth on the bottom. It also helps them to develop tougher hooves that are more resistant to injury.
However, horses who live in barns need some help keeping their hooves in shape because they don’t walk as much as horses in the wild. Because of this, their growing hooves are not kept as neatly filed, and it becomes the responsibility of the person who owns the horse to make sure the horse’s feet are taken care of!
In addition to having the horse’s hooves trimmed and filed, a horse owner also sometimes needs to get horseshoes for his animals. Because they are not toughened as much by walking, horses who live in barns also need the help of a horseshoe to give more strength to their feet!
One reason horses who work on a farm or run in a race need added strength for their feet is because they have the added weight of the person who rides them; horseshoes help this weight to be easier for the horse to handle by giving the horse a stronger, more sturdy foundation under his or her feet!
A good luck charm!Did you know that lots of people think of horseshoes as signs of good luck? What are some reasons you can think of why a horseshoe might be lucky??What are some other symbols of good luck that you’ve heard about? For example, lots of people think four-leaf clovers mean good luck because they are very rare and hard to find. Have you ever found one??
Sources & links
“Horseshoes and Shoeing.” Limebrook Farm. 8 Oct. 2009 < http://www.limebrook.com/horseshoes.html> “Why do horses have shoes on their hooves/hoofs?” Noblewood Farm. 8 Oct. 2009 < http://www.curlyfarm.com/articles/why_horse_shoes.htm>