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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2016

Why Do Horses Have Hooves?

by  Digger Doug

Dear Grant,

Since I’m a mole, I like to stay close to the ground. That is why I don’t ride horses very often. Some people, however, love to ride horses. God designed horses with strong muscles that can carry people at fast speeds for long distances. One reason horses can carry people is because they have strong hooves. Horses run over rough ground where there are sharp sticks and rocks. If their feet were soft, these sharp objects would stab them, especially if the horse had extra weight on its back, such as a human rider. Hard hooves help protect horses from injury. Also, horses use their hooves for defense against enemies or predators. One swift kick from the hind legs of a horse can kill a wolf or coyote. One hard stamp from the hooves on the front legs of a horse could crush the skull of an attacker. If horse feet were soft, without tough hooves, horses would not be able to protect themselves as well. So you see, Grant, God gave horses hooves to help them haul humans and hinder harmful attackers.

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