Do All Racehorses Wear Shoes?

The simple answer is no. However, you will find that most racehorses wear shoes to protect their hooves, especially to prevent the hoof wall from cracking or splitting. You may find that some horses are not fitted with shoes because they have problems with their hooves.

Horse racing shoes are generally made of aluminium – strong and light weight. In recent years, carbon shoes have become more popular as they almost half the weight of aluminium (65g per shoe). There is scientific evidence that carbon shoes are better for horses.

Many non-racing horses wear steel shoes, while some traditional draft horses have naturally strong hooves and do not need shoes.

Racehorses need their hooves trimmed or shod every couple of months by a farrier. Trimming and balancing can cost from £25 – £35 and shoeing £50 – £85.

You may have seen horses spread a plate or lose a shoe when racing. This is usually because they step on it with another hoof. This is more likely to happen in softer conditions because they are less coordinated. It is unlikely a horse will lose a shoe just by the muddy conditions.

Horse shoes are considered lucky.

Some considered the traditional blacksmith working with fire and steel as having special powers. While the eighth century Chaldeans, the cradle of civilisation, thought its crescent shape represented moon goddesses protecting against the curse of the evil eye. An upside down horseshoe is a common sight for those who are superstitious.