What Did They Know About Horse Hooves 1000 Years Ago?


A LOT!!   While touring the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, my hoof fetish came out.  I was obsessed with the horse statues and the quality of the farrier work back then.  I asked the attendant if I could take pictures, of the hooves, of the horses on display.  Photos are prohibited in the museum of armor, and I did not want to violate the rules.  I explained that I was writing a blog on the history of the horse shoes of that era and she gladly escorted me around as I chose the photos I wanted to take.  I felt I had scored!!! I would never want to try to sneak in a forbidden photo….so permission granted was my dream of that moment.


The statues in the museum are 200 years old and were crafted to look as the horses did during the 1000 year history of the spanish mounted warrior  horses.  I am fascinated that the technology of horse shoes has not changed at all in this time.  We still nail metal to the wall of the hoof.  And, I am even more fascinated that the science has not changed as far as the fit of the shoe and the support of the anatomy of the horse.


The shoe of that era was styled to be more durable and road worthy, but the fit is the same as I look for in my farrier work today.  I was impressed!  Check out the amount of heel on the hoof!  The toes of the hooves are short and the frog of the hoof indicates nice balance as well.  1000 years ago, the Spaniards, who loved their horses, were spot on when it came to what kept their horses healthy and comfortable.  And, today they still have some of the most beautiful royal horses I have ever seen.  I will never be able to leave my hoof fetish at home:)