Company Wants to Take the Lead Out of Horseshoes With These Clip-ons
Technology| | By Robin Milling
There’s nothing like the clip-clop sound of a horse’s hooves on pavement. But one company aims to change all that with the world’s first clippable horseshoe.
Megasus aims to get the lead out of horseshoes completely with Megasus Horserunners – horseshoes that have no iron or nails and clip on to and off a horse’s hooves, revolutionizing the age-old steel horseshoe. Megasus does not reveal what they’re made of, only that they say it is “durable and powerful material.” According to a video from Viral Thread – which has gone viral on Facebook with over six million views and 58,000 shares – “they are shock absorbing and provide much comfort and can be used on any terrain.” Even at the beach.
Although horses in the wild seem to do quite well without shoes over a wide variety of terrain, they move at a slower pace. Horse owners, even in primitive times, needed to have their animals serviceable as much as possible, and so man began protecting their horses’ feet almost as soon as they started domesticating them.
According to Dressage Today, the horseshoe dates back to some time after the first century, where shod hooves traversed the roadways set down by ancient Romans. To protect their valuable steeds, the riders outfitted their horses with coverings inspired by the sandals strapped to their own feet. These leather and metal “hipposandals” fitted over horses’ hooves and fastened with leather straps. Their durability did not bode well in all weather conditions so by the seventh century they began nailing steel shoes onto the horse’s feet.
The process of hot-shoeing, where the steel horseshoe is branded onto the horse’s hooves with a fire sealant, began in Great Britain and France in the 16th century. Then it evolved into a more humane solution of nailing the shoe onto their hooves.
The practice of removing a metal horseshoe off a hoof looks excruciating. But can the horse feel the shoes, let alone let us know their feet are killing them? Over 11,000 users weighed in on Facebook. One comment insisted, “Transitional horse shoes don’t hurt them. Hooves have no nerves as is it is made out of a though (sic) hair like substance, like finger nails. Shoeing a horse hurts about as much as clipping your toe nails.”
Here’s a look at the device in the video from Viral Thread.
Megasus Horserunners claim metal shoeing could be the cause of 50% of leg and hoof issues and believe their product can make a difference in the horse’s performance and comfort level.
Another comment claimed they would be bolting for the hills if they felt any pain. “You people clearly don’t know a thing about horses!!! I hate it when people think they know what’s best for a horse when the closest they’ve got to one is on a movie! Do you really think that a horse would stand still and allow nails to be hammered through its hooves if it was hurting it?????”
Wonder what Mr. Ed would say?