It is sometimes thought that the equine foot’s only role is to protect the end of the leg from wear. Very much like a foot on a chair or table.
This view is rather like saying the purpose of your finger is for picking your nose. Ok perhaps not the best example but if you spend a little time thinking about how complex a role our hands and feet play in our daily lives it will give you a window into understanding the highly complex role the equine foot plays.
There is another view that you may hear, along the lines of the equine foot is no longer fit for purpose.
This is really quite an odd point of view and I cannot think of another animal where we stand there, knowledgeably scratching our heads and say, evolution got it wrong. If you like, Darwin got it wrong.
It is easy to think that we have interfered with nature, altered the way we breed horses. Breeding horses with weak feet.
When did we do this, in medieval times? Tudor times? or more recently.
The reality is, if you took all the horses in Britain today and turned them out, set them free in an environment that supported their health, most would survive without shoes or support from us.