I have a 17 year old appendix quarter horse that we took barefoot in December with absolutely no preparation (the vet pulled his shoes because he was lame and we just left them off) but have been having some problems in the meantime.
He has done hunters and jumpers his whole life and has always worn front shoes. Two years ago we semi-retired him to just walk-trot-canter work so he is not working very hard (which is why we didn't think much of taking off his shoes). There are no farriers in the area that specialize in barefoot cutting (I'm from Southwest Michigan) and there are probably a lot of things that are being done incorrectly! In the last month, he has turned up lame again - it is pretty minor but I am concerned that it could be related to the cut or care of his hooves. To me, it looks as if his heels are too low and his front left is more shallow than his right (his right hoof is naturally smaller though). I worry that with the incorrect cut it could affect his tendons. I'd rather not put the shoes back on but ultimately I want to do what is best for him. I have attached some photos of his hooves - please let me know what you think and any advice is GREATLY appreciated - I know very little about the subject. We never had any problems with soundness when he had shoes on.
Also, the photo's are poor quality - they are dirty and the white line on them is just a glare - his hooves (when clean) are solid black.