Horses are beautiful and very smart animals. They bring exclusively joy and benefit to a person, which is why they need to be taken care of. First of all, you should know why horses are shoeed, because proper shoeing is one of the most important stages of keeping this animal. The farmer needs to know what types of horseshoes are and how horses are shod.
- Why do horses need a horseshoe
- Types of horseshoes
- How to properly make a horseshoe
- Useful tips for the farmer
Sometimes, inexperienced and unfamiliar with horses people have doubts as to whether this procedure is really necessary and whether the horses hurt. Why horses are horses, if wild animals do well without it? – simple Wed hoof protector, like shoes for humans. Modern horseshoes protect hoof tissue from mechanical damage and various diseases.
Some farmers, with due knowledge, carry out the procedure like forging a horseshoe on their own at home. There are also horse breeders who order heels and invite a specialist to install them. Before choosing a pad, it is best to consult a professional so that you do not make a mistake with the size and material. You can chat in various forums with breeders and grooms from different countries, as well as see photos and videos.
Why does a horse need a horseshoe
When a horse lives in natural conditions, it wears only its weight, so the processes of abrasion and tissue regeneration have time to change each other.So a wild horse lives without horseshoes. The need for horseshoeing arose when horses began to be used by humans as a means of transportation, transportation of certain products and things. Complicating the work of the horse was the fact that over time, the road surface became rougher, and now it has become very harsh, unsuitable for ungrounded hooves.
Horse-shoeing was started in the antiquity age. Of course, the horseshoes of those times were not like the ones we were used to. Today, there are many species, and modern horseshoes for horses are very popular. There were different ways to attach the horseshoe. For example, the Romans tied the horseshoes of their horses with straps, but, unfortunately, this fastening was not reliable. Nail horseshoes with nails were invented later. At the moment, such a fastening is the most reliable.
Functions of heel padding
- horse horseshoe protects tissues from mechanical damage, and it is convenient for the animal to step on the ground and run;
- promotes stability on slippery surfaces and helps to fix the leg;
- minimizes the likelihood of injury;
- performs an orthopedic function.
Not they forge horses that are on pasture, that is, for which a wild method of rearing is used. The animal walks on a soft natural coating without additional load. Therefore, the processes of abrasion and regeneration take place in parallel.Sometimes it happens that the hoofed horn does not have time to wear out. In such cases, it is even trimmed. Another reason is that horses often play in the herd, and horseshoes can even be traumatic.
Of course, it is very important to choose the right horseshoes. They are divided into two types: sports, designed for horses participating in competitions, and standard.
There are parameters by which horseshoes are chosen
- body weight;
- hoof size;
- the work performed by the animal.
The procedure for selecting a horseshoe is as follows: first, the hoof is measured in length and width. Caring manufacturers put a number on the horse’s horseshoe at the top, like the size of a person’s shoes. Accordingly, the larger the leg, the larger the number. The number on the heels of the horseshoe and its variants begins with number 00 (for the smallest). Marks are placed not only in order to know the size of the leg.
The back and front heels also differ: they have a different outline. Horseshoes for different horses differ in surface smoothness. For example, for the winter period they put a studded horseshoe, which protects the horse from slipping on ice. For summer and smooth surfaces use a shoe-horseshoe. There are still German types of horseshoes on sale. When choosing a modern heel pad, you should be attentive to the manufacturer, as different countries sometimes label sizes differently.
In order not to be mistaken in the choice, there are special tables where the sizes are transferred from foreign to ours. The types of horseshoes are so diverse that they may vary in the materials from which they are made. It can be plastic, rubber or metal. Before purchasing, you should look at the photos and study the reviews about the chosen type of horseshoes.
Types of horseshoes
By far, the oldest and most proven material even for a modern horseshoe is metal. All types of metal and its forging, even now retain their popularity. But in the light of scientific and technological progress, rubber and plastic horseshoes have their advantages. Among them are the following:
- Plastic and rubber are better shock absorbers than metal.
- Nails are not needed for fastening such horseshoes, as they have their own special mount, which is an integral part of the heel.
- Plastic and rubber horseshoes gain weight: they are much lighter than their metal counterparts. That is why they are often used for sports horses.
There are other opinions. Some experts argue that the glue base on which the horseshoe for horses is mounted harms animals because it consists of chemicals. Others argue that lightweight shoes help horses feel better.