Goats originated in the mountains. They had stones to climb on and wear their hooves down.
Now, we keep them on pasture and they grow large sections of hooves on the outside of the pad. The pad is the soft inside of the goats foot. That hard section of hoof needs to be trimmed at least twice a year.
I put the goat in the stanchion and Jack takes the hoof in his left hand and the hoof trimmers in the right and proceeds to cut the hoof back up even with the pad. Its just like cutting fingernails, except it's harder because the animal doesn't like to stand still and I have had to actually tie some of them to keep them still.
If you don't trim the hoof, it will bend over and grow over the pad. Then it proceeds to rot. It collects moisture and manure and its not nice at all. Better to trim twice a year and prevent any problems.
This is also one of the first things we check before we buy an animal. It will actually cripple the goat if the hoof rot isn't taken care of properly. I did have one given to me with hoof rot and we tied her up and cut the hooves down and dosed the feet with peroxide three times a day for about a month. We had good luck that time and she recovered, but we have had other ones that we had to butcher because they couldn't walk. If they can't walk, they can't stand up to breed and they have no value here except as meat.