My mom talked to the vet today and she said that we shouldn't really worry too much about the tenderness. Many many horses' soles are softening due to the incredible amount of water there is. Also, the previous farrier suggested that we use Keratex to help harden her hooves a little. The vet also agreed that it could definitely help.
I think I'm leaning towards the boots more at this moment. They seem relatively simple and if this is a one year thing I don't really see a problem with it. If I do go to a show I could simply have the boots on her until right before I enter the ring (I do Dressage) and put them back on as soon as I get out.
I read back and I think I should have worded what I said about her being fine on grass, dirt, etc. 90% of the time.
When Kitty (my mare) is in the pasture she shows no sign of tenderness. Once I've taken her out and walked her a little (about ten feet of grass) she's fine. If I run she'll willingly trot with me. However, I have to go from the grass to the gravel, which she seems to have difficulty in. When I said that she's fine 90% of the time on grass, dirt, etc. I meant instantly, once we've come off of the gravel and onto the new footing.
So, when I walk her on anything *before the gravel, she's absolutely fine. She shows no signs of tenderness at all. Sometimes when I come off the gravel she's instantly fine while others she still seems a little tender. Occasionally when she's tender if she stumbles or slips (the ground is really wet) the packed-in dirt, mud and rocks will come flying out and she'll be fine again. I personally think that it may be that she's picked up some rocks when walking across the gravel area and they have just stuck in the mud, thus bothering her.
I hope that makes sence.
"You know, for as long as I can remember, I've had memories." ~Colin Mochrie