SHOES, HORSE. The horny casing of the foot of the horse and other Solidungulates, while quite sufficient to protect the extremity of the limb under natural conditions, is found to wear away and break, especially in moist climates, when the animal is subjected to hard work of any kind. This, however, can be obviated by attaching to the hoof a rim of iron - a simple device which has been probably not surpassed in its beneficial effects by the introduction of steam-power locomotion. The animal itself has been in a very marked manner modified by shoeing, for without this we could have had neither the fleet racers nor the heavy and powerful cart-horses of the present day. Shoeing does not appear to have been practised by either Greeks or Romans ; but there is evidence that the art was known to the Celts, and that the practice became common after the overthrow of the Western empire towards the close of the 5th century. It is only recently that horse-shoeing was introduced in Japan, where the former practice was to attach to the horse's feet slippers of straw, which were renewed when necessary. In modern times much attention has been devoted to horse-shoeing, with the result of showing that methods formerly adopted caused cruel injury to horses and serious loss to their owners: The evils as summarized by Mr George Fleming, army (British) veterinary inspector, were caused by (1) paring the sole and frog ; (2) applying shoes too heavy and of faulty shape ; (3) employing too many and too large nails ; (4) applying shoes too small and removing the wall of the hoof to make the feet fit the shoes ; and (5) rasping the front of the hoof. According to modern principles (1) shoes should be as light as compatible with the wear demanded of them ; (2) the ground face of the shoe should be concave, and the face applied to the foot plain ; (3) heavy draught horses alone should have toe and heel calks on their shoes to increase foothold ; (4) the excess growth of the wall or outer portion of horny matter should only be removed in re-shoeing, care being taken to keep both sides of the hoof of equal height ; (5) the shoe should fit accurately to the circumference of the hoof, and project slightly beyond the heel ; (6) the shoes should be fixed with as few nails as possible, six or seven in fore-shoes and eight in hind-shoes ; and (7) the nails should take a short thick hold of the wall, so that old nail-holes may be removed with the natural growth and paring of the horny matter. Horse shoes and nails are now made with great economy by machinery. In rural districts, where the art of the farrier is sometimes combined with blacksmith work, too little attention is, in general, given to considerations which have an important bearing on the comfort, usefulness, and life of the horse.