Can a Horse Feel Its Hooves? (+ 5 Simple Caring Tips)

Clip-clop, clip-clop, that is the sound when a horse roams around the stable- when putting on the horseshoes or trimming the hooves, you must wonder if it hurts the horse. After all, he is a living animal. What do you think; can a horse feel its hooves?

A horse can not feel its hooves as the dead-end of the hoof area doesn’t have any sensing nerves. Horses won’t be knowing, even if hooves get damaged.

Do Horses Have Feeling in Their Hooves?

For a better understanding of if horses have feelings in their hooves or not, we will take an example of our feelings towards our nails.

We never feel pain whenever we cut our nails, as they are made of dead tissues. The same equation applies to hooves. Hooves are of dead tissues.

The horse won’t know about this, whether you trim them or they get damaged.

Despite not having sensory nerves in the hooves, horses can still feel pain if they wear horseshoes improperly or ill-fitted shoes.

You have to be very careful when putting and removing the horseshoes. Your single wrong move can cause severe injuries to the horse. Yet, the exact procedure can save the horse from such issues.

Why do horse hooves need to be trimmed?

Being a horse owner, you must know how sensitive your pet is. Unlike cats and dogs, horses never come close to you, lay on your lap, telling you they need something.

The horses’ hooves have always been a center of discussion among horse owners. Whether to trim or not, this always raises bars of confusion.

For proper walking and healthy feet, hooves’ trimming is necessary. Trimming down the hooves every three weeks eliminates the chances of bacterial growth and promotes healthy hoof growth. In general, the stronger and healthier the hooves are, the power-pack will be the horse’s performance.

What happens if you don’t trim horse hooves?

Horse owners often ask this; is it necessary to trim the horse hooves? What if you don’t trim the hooves?

Not trimming the horses’ hooves will cause foot disorders. Hooves’ maintenance is crucial; it prevents fungal infection, abscesses, and sole bruises. Untrimmed hooves are prone to chipping, injuries, and difficulty in walking.

1. Fungal diseases

When not trimming the hooves, the foremost issue that arises is the fungal disease. The outer layer of the hooves is continuously in contact with the base; of course, the floor has many fungi and bacteria that can affect it.

Keep the hooves trimmed to offer less space for the fungus to attack and cause fungal infections.

2. Difficulty in walking

The long hooves have trouble walking, misbalance the weight, or even your horse might fall sometimes. Long hooves also can cause trouble and discomfort while running and walking.

So it is better to trim the hooves every three weeks to reduce the chances of fungal infections and trouble walking.

3. Internal injuries

Other than external infections and damages, the untrimmed hooves also cause internal injuries, little did you know. There is a connection of hooves with the skin; long size penetrates the skin and cuts the muscles.

The inner sole of the hooves is a sensitive region. Severe internal injuries can even cause lameness.

How to Protect a Horse’s Hooves?

As horse owners, it is our responsibility to that our horse is healthy, get a proper diet, and most importantly groomed and cared for properly.

When it comes to protecting horse hooves trimming them on time is more than enough to protect them from any serious issues.

Here are some of the ways (recommended by expert horse keeper) with which you can protect your horses’ hooves;

Use a high-grade trimmer

Using a cheap-quality hoof trimmer will not only consume more time it also makes the process painful for the horse. Research thoroughly before opting for a trimmer. Have a high-quality trimmer (sharp enough to cut down the hooves in one go).

Keep the hooves clean

You might delay the trimming routine but never delay the cleaning one. Sometimes your horse stands in water, mud, or even poop, all these things stuck in the hooves causing infections. Use a brush to deep clean the hooves every 15 days.

Have bi-annual checkups

Do not deal with everything all alone. There are various illnesses that we can’t determine. Contrary to this, a veterinarian can recognize the infection at first glance. Have bi-annual checkups with an expert veterinarian.

Be careful while nailing

Never go too deep while nailing the spick. If not, you will reach the inner layer of the hoof (which has sensory nerves). This action will not only cause severe pain. But also can damage nerve tissues, cause lameness and internal injuries.

Use the right size horseshoes

The last protection protocol is to use the size of the right horseshoe. Remember, while putting the horseshoes, you are drilling a pin in the outer layer. A wrong move can cause lameness. Have a detailed inspection of the right size before putting on the shoes.


Among other horse caring things, horse hooves are the most important things that should be cared for more often. It is true that horse hooves cannot cause pain to your horse(only if they’re not too long).

That does not mean you let them grow till it causes discomfort or leads your horse to serious injuries.

Whether you prefer putting horseshoes or not, one thing is required, proper cleaning and trimming; when necessary. Do not let the hooves grow continuously. Trim them out every three weeks.