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Earlier in the equus evolution fight or flight was ALL the protection horses had from predators. There were no barn dogs or electric fences to keep hungry carnivores at bay. Horses had to be sure-footed and able to spin, turn and RUN AWAY.Today's horse is still driven by those millennia of hard-wiring to quickly gather info, decide which was to go and RUN AWAY. Solid, healthy hooves and feet are critical to this ability. (Every time I type RUN AWAY I replay that old Monty Python bit in my mind...)
Every time I see a picture of Lady GaGa in shoes the height of a toddler, my feet ache! Imagine how your horse feels with thrush, white line disease or overgrown hooves. OUCH!
If you wish to dive more into the structure of horse hooves here is an in-depth article on just that. HOOF BASICS Link open a new window to Wiki.