Hoof care is essential for domesticated horses because this is something that will affect the movement of the horse and its overall health. Not all horses will wear horseshoes. If your horse travels on a variety of ground surfaces that help the wearing of their hooves, then horseshoes may not be necessary but for most farm horses who walk on soft ground all day long, horseshoes give much needed protection.
There is a lot of trimming that is required when your horse is unshod. Wild horses travel on a lot of hard ground surfaces so they will wear their hooves out evenly and it will help to strengthen their hooves as well. But domestic horses generally walk on soft ground so wearing of the hoof will not happen at the same rate as their wild counterparts. This is why it has to be trimmed regularly. Trimming will need to be done every 6 weeks or depending on the horse and the nature of work they do. If they are walking on abrasive surfaces frequently, this duration will be extended and they will not need frequent trimmings. With a trimming, you will be able to ensure the right shape of the hoof. Horse owners can learn trimming as well. But there are professional farriers who are able to carry this out perfectly and they will know to inspect the health of the hoof as well. They will have blacksmith supplies to make sure they can modify the horseshoe to the hoof of the horse.
If your horse is shod, they will need to be reshod after every month or six weeks. This duration will not change depending on the wearing of the shoes. Because the hooves of a horse grow constantly much like our toenails, the hoof will not be able to wear properly with the shoe. The farrier will have to come regularly to make sure that there is an appropriate amount of time between shoeing of the horse. If your horse is not continuously working, they don’t need to be shod continuously. They can be unshod or some can be shod on the front only. There are other options that you can explore as well to make sure the hooves of your horse are protected. One option is hoofboots that allow the owners some flexibility. They can be used when the horse is working and when the horse is at rest, their feet can be left bare.
But there is a lot of care involved in having a horse that is barefoot. Re-shoeing is the process of removing the shoes, trimming the hooves and reapplying them. This duration can be determined by the farrier. They will give you a schedule to stick to and they can make recommendations on the type of shoe your horse will need. Some horses will need some corrective work so this will help them walk comfortably. You don’t need to worry that you are doing a disservice to the animal by applying the horseshoes. It will not negatively affect their hooves in any way. When properly done, horseshoes will ensure good health of the animal and you will be able to go on different ground conditions of the animal without any injury to the horse.