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Excerpt from Structure of the Horse's Foot: And the Principles of Shoeing Originally the art of shoeing must have been based on observation of the effects of wear on the natural protective covering of the foot, the hoof-horn. Even in the wild state it is more than probable that the hoofs suffered injury from attrition and concussion, but in such cases the horse would instinctively avoid using the damaged foot unnecessarily until the damage had been repaired by fresh growth of horn. In domestication some plan of avoiding the loss of the animals services while a new horny covering was developed would soon become a necessity, and it is easy to understand that the device of attaching a ring or plate of some wear-resisting material to the bottom of the horses foot would be resorted to. After many experiments it would have been discovered that less than iron-resistant materials were not well adapted for the purpose of protecting the hoof from undue wear. Whatever might have been the nature of the substance first employed, it may be assumed that it was attached to the hoof by means of thongs of hide or some flexible substance. Driving nails into the foot could only have been suggested as a desperate alternative when other means had failed; and it is not improbable that the ingenious person who first attempted to secure a shoe to the hoof by the aid of hammer and nails fortified himself by making a section through the foot as a preparatory measure. Even the elementary knowledge of anatomy thus gained would be of incalculable value to the primeval shoer of horses, and would suggest further investigation. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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