Donald Chump asked in PetsHorses · 1 month ago

If horses have really evolved to be domesticated, why do they require metal artificial shoes nailed into their hooves?

That says to me that we keep them in conditions they're not adapted for at all.

8 Answers

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  • Amber
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Wild horses don't walk on pavement or carry frequently high loads on their backs and in the wild horses hooves do get over-grown. They end up lame and then either a predator will take them down or they lag behind so the herd leaves them. Of course we keep them in unnatural conditions. They say you need 1 acre per horse but horses walk 30-40 miles. We make them drink tap water with it's chemicals, lock them in stables for hours, put bits in their mouth and humans on their backs in the exact same place a predator would attack them. Most of them are born into this environment so they are used to it and know no different. But their natural instincts still exist which is why people call horses "unpredictable" or "flighty". They are neither. We don't know what it's like to be pray and to have the thinking brain of pray.

    Shoes aren't always needed. And good horsemen know when to use them and when to avoid them. Some conditions of the hooves require shoes. But people do tend to shoe when they don't really need to. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    My horses are barefoot unless they are carrying loads or working in streets that are paved.  Wild horses don’t carry 100 to 300 pounds extra weight on their backs, nor do they walk on concrete, tar, cobblestone for hours on end.  Yes wild horses do walk on stone and granite but not carrying loads and not for long periods.

    Also wild horses don’t need farriers - people to trim the excess growth off their feet, their hooves chip down and wear down naturally.  So do domesticated horses and when they are working shoes protect their feet against the hard surface, keeps the feet from wearing down to bloody stumps, it also helps cushion their feet (specialty padded or rubber shoes). It all depends on the horse and the surface and or work it will be doing.  Wild horses don’t work so their feet don’t overly wear too short.

    We may work horses in conditions they are not naturally exposed to in the wild, however they are kept in stables or pastures, barns or paddocks with an earthen or sand floor to drain the water or urine, straw, hay, shavings for bedding so they are not standing on hard packed ground.  Would be similar to us changing from uncomfortable shoes to soft slippers.

    People that care about their animals keep them in good clean conditions.  But there are abusive lazy people out there that shouldn’t open any pet.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Horses didn't evolve to be domesticated, because there is no such thing. And you are correct, we as people make horses lead a lifestyle that is completely foreign to the one they originally evolved for. We put shoes on horses to prevent them from wearing their feet down so much that they go lame, as well as to prevent injuries from work on unfamiliar surfaces like concrete, etc.

    Keeping horses the way most people do causes problems for the animals in many cases. From stable vices to serious medical issues like colic and laminitis, domesticated horses are subject to many illnesses and injuries. Add in the fact that horses were never meant to be ridden, and it becomes obvious why horses tend to be one of the most expensive and fragile animals to keep.

  • 1 month ago

    "Evolved to be domesticated" isn't a thing. Nothing is evolved to be domesticated. Evolution happens in response to natural pressures, like when animals adapt to hotter or colder temperatures. Something "evolving to be domesticated" would be something that evolves to make itself easier for humans to domesticate, before humans ever encountered it, which isn't anything that happens.

    Horseshoes help protect their feet. Sometimes horses are walking on hard surfaces, like streets, that their hooves will get worn down by. That doesn't mean it's bad for them to be walking on streets, as long as they're shod. If they're in fields or other soft materials, they don't need shoes.

    Think of it this way. If you went and walked around on city streets all day, without shoes, you'd hurt yourself. You'd step on trash, maybe burn your feet if it was hot. So, you should wear shoes. That doesn't mean it's bad for you to be walking on streets, it just means you have to wear shoes. 

    If we tried, theoretically we could selectively breed horses that would have hooves that are hard enough, or grow fast enough, that they would never need shoes. But we don't do that, because it's easier to just put shoes on them, and there's no reason not to.

    Horseshoes don't hurt the horse. The nails go into the hard part of the hoof, which is like the hard material of your nail. It's not painful for them. 

    And anyway, domesticated horses live longer than wild ones. Domesticated horses get food, shelter, and medical care, and are protected from predators. Wild ones aren't. Wild horses usually die of disease, being attacked by predators, or from other natural and violent things. It's very rare for wild animals of any sort to die of old age, or diseases related to old age, but it's common for pets and domestic animals to eventually do so.

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  • 1 month ago

    They don’t have to have them. And you don’t normally put them on because of the conditions you keep them in. A horse in a filed or stall doesn’t need shoes to be comfortable. You put them on so you can do other things with them and keep them safe and protected. Same reason you put shoes on when you go on a hike or walk on concrete. That being said I know people that have their hooves trimmed a specific way so they don’t need shoes, but a lot more goes into it then just not shoeing them, and their horses always do fine.

    Two of mine only get their hooves trimmed cause they only go in fields and on dirt roads, and the other two get four shoes every six weeks. I put them on because I ride in the mountains and we go over lots of rocks and occasionally on asphalt roads. 

    The only discomfort that comes from a horse getting shoes nailed on is the owner shelling out the cash for them. They can be really expensive. I put about $1,600 a year into my horses’ hooves to make sure they are comfortable and healthy.

    Besides, they protect the nerves and joints that could be injured. Shoes are shock absorbers, and they can add support if a horse needs corrective shoes for health issues.

    In the wild, if a horse blew a bad abscess in their hoof, or got an injury in their hoof or joint, and they weren’t able to heal while still moving around effectively, then they would be separated from the herd, probably starve or get dehydrated and be attacked by other animals and die. They are still animals of prey. But we love our horses so we do things that will keep them safe from the things that would normally kill them.

  • J M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    They don’t. We shoe them to protect their feet. But they are fine without them if cared for.

  • Snezzy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Ever bother to learn about horses much? Ever work with horses at all?

  • 1 month ago

    "Evolved" =/= "domesticated."

    Horses don't "require" artificial shoes any more (or less) than humans do.  In both cases it's just more convenient when the natural hoof or foot isn't regularly exposed to a natural environment.

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