Horse Shoes

It could seems unbelievable, but would you think that how long do horses live depends also on the care that we give to their foot and their horse shoes.

Horse Shoes are intended to protect the hoof of the horses from damage produced by the contact of it with hard surfaces. These days, (in some way controversial due that some people say that they cause more damage that protection) most of the horse’s lovers will say that the horse shoes are basic for the health of their horse’s hoofs.

Even though back in the day horse shoes were made from metal, contemporary items are also made from synthetic substances and even rubber.The way that they worked is by being nailed to the incentive underneath side of the horse’s hoofs protect the surface of the hove.

Depending on the country, the person that is in charge of attaching the horse shoes to the hoofs requires different qualifications to get the job done. For example in the United Kingdom these persons need to be legally allowed to practice the profession, meanwhile in the USA normally the persons are only certified by professional institutions that train them for the Job but have no need to have any legal significance to practice the occupation .

These individuals independently of the legal requirements must be highly skillful and have a decent amount of experience when doing the job, due that any harm provoked by a wrong procedure can have important consequences for the daily life of the horse.

Farriers use different horse shoes materials depending of the type of activities that the horse is intended to do. For example, racing horses normally wear lighter shoes made from aluminum, and horses that practice tougher sports would use steel shoes.

Even in recent days the technicians have the alternative to use more contemporary materials that could also make  rubber shoes that are handy for horses that perform some kinds of specific activities.


Horse Shoes History

Protection for the horse’s hooves has been present for many centuries, and the first of these kinds of items dates back to the ancient Asia where some type of the protections were present and to help to avoid harm for the hoof of the animals.

The real origin of the item is not easy to establish, and diverse opinions about are very often seen. Some historians say that a type of horse shoes used by the Romans could be the first horse shoes that there is evidence, but archaeological findings in a an Etruscan  tomb in 1897 show some kind of item that  resembled a horse shoes with nail holes could be dated even to 400 BC.

The lack of evidence of their existence prior to AD 900, make difficult to assert the existence of them before 973 when some mentions about some kind of horse shoes can be seen.

The tomb of King Childeric I in Belgium that shows a complete set of horse shoes with its nails, is the first real evidence that display these kinds of items which can be dated to the 5th century AD.

From the 11th century the presence of horse shoes is easier to trace, and  the most common material that was used in Europe back in the day, was cast bronze. This material gave way to iron, which in the 1200s and 1300s was the most utilized raw material to craft the items.

The popularity of horse shoes in the 13th century was so widespread, that the blacksmith craftsmanship was greatly valued, and became one of the most important contributors to the development of the metallurgy in ancient history.

Meantime in America, Henry Burden an engineer and businessman originary from Dunblane, United Kingdom and founder of an industrial complex in Troy, New York called the Burden Iron Works, registered a machine that was able to produce 60 horse shoes per hour, giving way to the real industrialization of the horse shoes making process.



Horse shoes have had an important part in the history of equitation, and its help for the different kinds of activities related to horse, has been very significant. The health of horses is very related to the health of hoofs, and any negative effect in their mobility is very negative,  even to the level that sometimes when horses have extremely complicated issues in their extremities, must be sacrificed.

The craftsmanship that is implied in the farrier job, is so great that even in some countries like the UK, the job is restricted only to people that have some degree of studies in the discipline.

Every hove is different and even though the horse shoes are made in big amounts, the farrier adapts each of them to the individual horse’s hove.

Horse lovers know how important is the health of the horse’s extremities,  an value in high esteem the phenomenal work of a good farrier.

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