I kept my horses barefoot for 5 years. My two primary horses had never had shoes, because they were young when I started the barefoot trend and they went 8-9 years of no shoes before getting their first pair.
This past summer I put shoes back on my horses for the summer/fall. My horses could go ANYWHERE for DAY, My problem come with riding them multiple days on rough terrain. If I stayed barefoot they would come up sore and tender the second or third day of riding. So I had to put boots on.
I'm sure all my purchases from Easyboot made their quarterly profits for those 5 years. Working 4 horses ment I needed 4 sets or 16 boots. That's a little over $800-$900 in original outlay. I found that almost every outing, one of the 16 boots would get damaged. Broken buckle, broken cable, torn gaiter or even a lost boot. It quickly seemed like a was spending more on new boots and repairs of exisiting boots than what it would cost to just put shoes on my horses.
The boots worked fine, Horses moved OK with them. Hooves stayed sound and no soreness, Never had any problems with rubs. My problems just became time and money. Since I was usually the owner, wrangler and guide, it seemed it was always me having to boot up 4 horses before every ride and pull boots after every ride. Let's see 16 boots at 2 minuted each to put on, and 30 seconds each ride to pull off = was 40 minutes I spent messing with boots every ride. And I probably average $20 per ride in repairing parts to my boots. It just got too expensive.
I came to the decision that my horses had to go barefoot and just use the boots for that occassional ride, or they needed to be shod. And my horses just can not ride the rocks of Utah day in and day out barefoot. So I went back to shoes. And the horses did fabulous this past summer.
This is why I gave up boots. When after every ride you find one of your horses looking like this
It didn't matter which model of boots I had, Epic, BARES, Gloves, they all got trashed going through the rough stuff.
If you are riding down gravel roads, established trails, Boots work great. But if you are bushwacking, having to cross blow down, picking your way thru rocks, They just dont hold up. A 1000 lb horse dragging the buckles across a log as the step over, wedging the boot between two rocks picking their way through a boulder field will break something.