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Is it because donkeys are smarter than horses?Apparently, you can work a horse so hard that it keels over and croaks. A mule, which is a sort of donkey (but we can't really go into that because this is a family oriented forum) will not croak. It knows if it is being worked too hard and it says something like; "@#$%@&@^ this! I'm going to sit down and have a cup of tea and a kip before I croak."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey#ShoeingIt turns out that whales and dolphins don't wear shoes either.Neither do mountain goats or... well, the list is long of the animals that don't wear shoes.In fact, the list of those that wear shoes is short including Man, Horses, and sometimes dogs.So, the question is why do horses wear shoes?People normally don't shoe their horses when they are out to pasture, and sometimes even if they are riding in dirt fields. In fact, it is often recommended to remove the shoes for the winter.So, why do wild horses not need shoes, but domesticated horses require shoes? The wild horses would live in an environment where the hooves would wear at about the same rate they grow so they don't get too short or too long.Once horses were domesticated, people started building gravel, rock, and paved roads. And also riding the horses to add to their weight. So, the hooves started wearing too fast, and thus the need for steel shoes.Donkeys would need shoes only when used in strenuous situations. Perhaps the donkeys are also adapted to more rocky mountainous territory than the horses, and thus would adapt to hard surfaces better than the horses.