Why Do Wild Horses Not Need Shoes?

A wild horse is an animal that lives in complete freedom without contact with a man (or very little) instead of domesticated horses.

The term wild horses is applied to horses descended from domestic horses returned to their natural habitat after being abandoned by man or having escaped. These animals readjust very easily to wildlife.

We must not confuse their situation with that of the Tarpan breed and Przewalski’s horse, which is not entirely proven to belong to the same species like the horse and that they have never been domesticated.

Why Do Wild Horses Not Need Shoes? Wild horses don’t need shoes; the main reason is that they move a lot, running long distances, and the running wears down their hooves. Plus, they don’t have the need to walk on roads or concrete-like domestic horses.

Domesticated horses need horseshoes with regular maintenance to protect their hooves, avoid injuries, perform better, and be more effective in their activity.

Since wild horses do not perform any of the activities domesticated horses do, they do not require a horseshoe.

Wild horses also regulate their own wear and balance as they move through soft, hard, and rocky terrain. 

These regulation times are long, and the life span of a wild horse is usually shorter.

In short, the need or not for hoof protection depends on the interaction between a horse (weight, conformation, quality of their hooves), terrain (soft, hard, abrasive, stony), quantity, and quality (gaits) of their work.

Besides, some environmental aspects must be specified; quality and quantity of food (essential for the growth of the hoof) and humidity of the land and environment; helmets are stronger when dry, even though they are less flexible.


 At what age should a horse be shod for the first time?

When no correction of the feet should be made, it is advisable to start shoeing it from the moment it begins to mount.

Why should a horse be shod?

The horse must be shod to protect the hooves from bumps and wear caused by the ground and improve the balance of the foot to increase its performance, whether at work or sport.

It is also braided to prevent possible injuries to bones, cartilage, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Can I use a barefoot horse?

Yes, but care must be taken not to walk on stones or over very abrasive terrain and to take care that the horse does not suffer pain from its too worn hooves. 

How often should a horse be shod?

A horse should be shod every 40 or 50 days; in that time, the hoof will have grown too large, and the correct poise and balance of the foot are lost. 

As a consequence, pain begins to appear that can later cause irreversible injuries.

Conclusion: Why Do Wild Horses Not Need Shoes?

Wild horses can move long distances with nothing to protect their hooves.

Wild horses, compared to domestic ones, can walk without horseshoes because in the domestication of horses, they are suitable to perform a series of tasks that they do not naturally perform.

Such as carrying a rider, galloping on asphalt, staying long hours in the stables, pulling heavyweights, among many other activities that are not natural for these animals, causing stress and greater wear and tear on their limbs.