Most horses need shoeing, which protects the walls of their hooves and their toes. Depending on the work the horse does, the shoes can protect the muscles, bones and tendons of the legs from injury. Improper shoeing or remaining unshod when shoes are needed can make your horse permanently lame.
The daily care of the hoof falls to the owner, who should pick out each hoof every day, removing rocks, dirt and other foreign matter that will otherwise collect and create foot problems. Every six week, whether he wears shoes or not, your horse will need to have his hooves trimmed. If your horse is unshod and sweet natured about it, you may learn to trim each hoof yourself; otherwise, you’ll be hiring a farrier to take care of hooves, including the removal and replacement of shoes.
Horseshoes come in a variety of materials; steel, aluminum and rubber are some of the choices. Shoes are usually nailed into the hoof or the farrier may decide to use a specialized glue instead.