Understanding Horse Hoof Care: The Essential Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide about horse hoof care. The health of a horse's hooves is vital for its well-being, but there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the topic. Whether you're a horse owner, a professional horse rider, or just someone interested in horses, this guide will clarify your doubts and provide you with essential information to help you understand and navigate the world of horse hoof care.

We will be covering a range of topics such as why wild horses don't need shoes, the benefits and drawbacks of horseshoes, and what can happen if a horse is not shoed. In addition, we will also discuss how long horseshoes typically stay on and whether horses feel pain when ridden. All of these points will be supported by expert opinions and factual information, helping you to make the best decisions for your horse.

Beyond answering these questions, we will also introduce you to our hoof care collection, a carefully curated selection of products designed to promote horse hoof health. This collection includes products like the Lincoln Biotin Tablets, Equimins Hoof Mender 75 Powder, and many more.

So, without further ado, let's delve into the fascinating world of horse hoof care.

Why do wild horses not need shoes?

Unlike domestic horses, wild horses roam free and live in environments that naturally keep their hooves in good condition. Their hooves are subjected to the natural process of wear and tear, and they constantly adapt to the terrain. However, it's a different case for our domestic friends. Domestic horses need extra support due to less active lifestyles and often softer ground conditions. Speaking of extra support, have you checked out our Hoof Care & Boots collection? The Keratex Hoof Hardener can strengthen the hoof horn within hours of the first application, helping provide the additional strength that domestic horse hooves might need.

Do horseshoes help or hurt horses?

Horseshoes can be both beneficial and harmful to horses, depending on the specific situation. On one hand, horseshoes provide additional support to a horse's hooves, protecting them from wear and tear, especially when carrying heavy loads or travelling on hard surfaces. On the other hand, improper shoeing or leaving shoes on for too long can lead to discomfort or damage. Hence, it's essential to ensure the right shoeing practices, proper maintenance, and hoof care. A well-rounded hoof care routine includes supplements like the Dodson & Horrell Hoof Support, which enhances hoof quality and growth.

Why do horses need to be shoed?

Domestic horses often need shoes for a variety of reasons. For one, horses involved in strenuous activities or sports often require horseshoes to protect their hooves from injury. Additionally, horseshoes can provide extra grip on slippery surfaces, and they can correct hoof abnormalities or issues with gait. Finally, the wearing down of a horse's hooves might exceed their growth rate, especially in hard or abrasive terrains, hence necessitating the use of horseshoes. Taking care of your horse's hooves is vital, and our Equimins Hoof Mender 75 Powder can help significantly improve hoof quality over time.

What happens if you don't put horseshoes on a horse?

If a horse doesn't wear shoes and it's not properly cared for, it could suffer from various hoof-related issues like cracking, bruising, or abnormal wear. Furthermore, unshod horses, especially those working on hard or rocky terrain, are more susceptible to lameness. However, it's crucial to note that not all horses require shoes. A regular and proper hoof care routine is often more important. Using products like the Lincoln Biotin Tablets can provide your horse with essential nutrients for hoof health, even if they aren't shoed.

How long do horseshoes stay on?

Horseshoes typically need to be replaced every four to six weeks, but this can vary based on several factors. These factors include the horse's activities, its rate of hoof growth, the season, and the type of terrain it's frequently exposed to. Keeping an eye on your horse's hooves is key to knowing when it's time for a change. Consider using a Shires Hoof Pick/Brush for regular hoof maintenance and to keep them in top condition.

Do horses feel pain when ridden?

A properly cared-for horse should not feel pain when ridden. However, if the horse is experiencing discomfort or pain, it might be due to ill-fitting tack, a rider's poor technique, or underlying health issues. It's crucial to ensure that your horse's gear, including its bridle, fits well and doesn't cause any discomfort. Regular health check-ups and using supplements like Everyday Horse Vitamins & Supplements can help ensure your horse's overall well-being and comfort during rides.


In conclusion, horseshoes are not a necessity for every horse. Wild horses do not need shoes because they live in an environment that naturally wears their hooves down. Horseshoes can be both beneficial and detrimental depending on the individual horse's lifestyle, activities, and hoof health. Neglecting to shoe a horse that requires it can lead to serious health problems, while unnecessary shoeing can interfere with natural hoof functions. The duration a horseshoe stays on varies but typically lasts four to six weeks. Lastly, a well-cared-for horse should not feel pain when ridden, but pain can occur due to ill-fitting tack, poor riding, or health issues. Regular hoof maintenance with quality hoof care & boot products and supplements can greatly enhance your horse's hoof health and overall well-being. For all your horse care needs, visit our online store.