Did you ever wonder why horses wear shoes? Is it their incredible fashion sense? Their desire to fit in with humans? As the number one destination for horseback riding in Pigeon Forge, the staff at Five Oaks Riding Stables knows a thing or two about horses. So, sit back and relax and we’ll explain the solution to the great horseshoe mystery!
The reason horses wear shoes isn’t actually all that different from why people wear shoes. The purpose of a horseshoe is to protect a horse’s hoof from wearing down. These metal shoes are nailed onto the horse’s hoof in order to provide a buffer between the hoof and the ground. While the nailing process might sound painful, the horse actually won’t feel a thing. Hooves are similar to human toenails, so it’s not a big deal to trim them or even drive a nail through them!
If horses need shoes to keep their hooves in good shape, what do wild horses do? Do they pop into town, buy a nice pair of shoes and head back into the woods? In reality, wild horses don’t wear shoes, and they also don’t need them. When living in the wild, horses might travel up to 50 miles per day, but they do so at a slow and steady pace in dry climates. These conditions make their hooves naturally small, smooth, and hard. In contrast, domesticated horses live in colder, wetter areas with softer and heavier soils. The domesticated lifestyle is much tougher on hooves, so horses who live in barns and stables need to be “shoed” about every six weeks.
When you go horseback riding in Pigeon Forge, you can check out some horseshoes for yourself. Five Oaks Riding Stables has 60 happy and healthy horses who are always ready to take you for a scenic trail ride through our 70 acre nature park in the Great Smoky Mountains. Now that you’ve learned about horseshoes, take a look at our tips for what people should wear while horseback riding!