Anyway, the short story behind all of that is that he's not getting shoes anytime soon. I was willing to spend the difference for the shoes since I'd be the one riding him, but I can't justify doubling that price just because she doesn't want to pay for the farrier at all. I was told that he will get sore when being worked without shoes, but he seems to be ok for now. His stride seems short, but I don't know if that is because he's tenderfooted, unbalanced, or just doesn't have particularly great movement, but he has not been lame. However, I don't know how long that will last with regular riding that will increase in intensity. I would also like to ultimately be able to ride him on the road out back and on the levee, and I don't want the gravel he would encounter to wear his feet down to nothing. Should I consider investing in a pair of boots for him to use on gravelly days, or if he becomes sore with increasing work? If so, what would you recommend?
Also, what other ideas do you have as far as maintaining/improving the quality of his feet? It was recommended to me to buy some venice turpentine to apply to his soles, so I got some of that. I am trying to stay under the price of adding shoes, so I am looking for ideas that aren't really expensive in combination! For example, boots may have a fair bit of expense upfront, but are a one time purchase. The turpentine is not too pricey, but a hoof supplement would be a fairly high monthly cost!
I'm open to any ideas! I want to keep him comfortable and in good shape, but don't want to break the bank for someone else's horse!