3 year old - barefoot, boots, shoes?
Ok, internet, what would you do?
My currently barefoot 3 year old has thin soles. He is extremely sensitive to hard or uneven ground, which is a given in perpetual-drought Texas. My first farrier couldn't trim without leaving him lame, current farrier keeps him sound but he's always going to be tender-footed.
Now that we're started under saddle, he will obviously short-step on less than perfect footing, but the only "good" footing is a small sand dressage arena. There is a nice open field and trails available to us, but that requires walking down a 1/4 mile gravel drive - which actually dropped my guy to his knees on a particularly sensitive footed day, and causes cringe-inducing discomfort on normal days.
Do I look into the incredibly overwhelming boots realm which I know nothing about, or go for shoes with pads? I'm not fond of shoeing youngsters, but I'm less fond of causing potentially-preventable pain.