I like having barefoot horses, it's cheaper, and it's more "natural." I had front shoes on Stanley, shoes all around with pads in front on Nikki, but Annie remained barefoot through everything we did.
When I still had Annie I was considering looking into hoof boots, for situations where we were trail riding on a lot of rocks. You do have to mind rocks and long stretches on pavement with barefoot horses, and a lot of miles will cause the feet to wear out faster so boots can help keep a horse barefoot the rest of the time.
Stella is on a hoof supplement right now, in addition to her Omega Horseshine (which also helps the feet), and we have finally noticed some good foot growth. Which is awesome as my farrier is working hard at making her feet look the way he wants them to look.
I took these pictures approx a week after a trim to have a representative of a few boot companies measure Stella for boots. Unfortunately she has round feet, where most boots fit oval feet. I even had one representative flat out refuse to size her at all until I addressed her trimming issues. Thanks. She also grows one foot funny with a flare my farrier is trying to address, which will also cause boots to not fit properly. I'm hoping that after a couple more trims and some supplements to help her feet grow faster and grow with more quality that she will turn around and I'll have an easier time finding boots for her.
I am well aware that there is a rabid religion around trimming feet and I am expecting the smiting to commence hence forth.