Because I am rapidly becoming guilty of impatience. Three weeks into my horse's transitions to no shoes on his hinds, I'm trying to figure out why he's still ouchy on some surfaces.
Mate, you need to grow a LOT more patience, sorry to say! While some horses can 'transition' very quickly, that's not the norm & it depends on so many factors. Eg. The state of his feet to begin with - they need to be healthy *first* before *beginning* to be able to 'transition' - environment, diet & workload/footing also has a lot to do with whether your horse can become tough bare & how long that may take.
I was looking at the heels because his seem higher than many pics of barefoot horses
He's not 'many barefoot horses', he is whatever he is and he may or may not need his heels higher than others.
which is where the bars question came up. His are very prominent.
Yeah, they shouldn't be sticking out, but sloping a bit from the heels.
I just have to wait for the sole to toughen a bit more.
He may have pretty good feet but have had minor problems, that mean the sole's too thin, heels underdeveloped, whatever, which is what needs to be developed over time. Or his lifestyle & living environment may not be suitable for him to do the work you require him to bare, period.