Simon has his terrible feet that you guys are aware of, he has sweet itch very badly especially in the summer (his coat is finally grown in from last summer, but he is itching his mane and tail BAD now), he's a roarer so badly that when he is just resting in the stall you can hear his roaring standing outside his stall, he gets eye infections but we havent had one lately (i think the fly mask he has now is working really well for him), his hocks click when he walks sometimes and when i try to pick up his back feet (though im not sure what that could be)
Im probably missing something but thats all i can think of for right now
If he's not getting a proper nutritional diet, his immune system is going to bottom out, or did already. He will get infections. He may have arthritis , and the roaring may be better with maintenance.
You can actually see that his feet were a reflection of his diet. A dollar spent today will save you a hundred bucks in the future. If this is the care he's getting, he'd be better off tied to the telephone pole in front of my house.
My BO adds the supplements I buy without charge. If someone neglects their horse, they will take care of it, but they will charge for it. Still they will not have a horse on their property suffer whether it's theirs or not.
Looking at his "before" feet and what you've told about him, I'll bet he has white line disease all the way up his hoof and the farrier was probably praying that his hooves didn't just fall off. I'll bet there's not a whole lot holding those nails, but the farrier might think it's more important to get the protection and base of support with shoes. Because of the nutrition and the WLD and Gawd knows what else, I can only guess that the bigger sized shoes are giving the horse more of support base because the horse doesn't have anything at all. I would think that boots may make the problem worse with the WLD and any other bugs that are growing in there.
Your horse at some point may be fine with going barefoot, but it doesn't look to me like now is the time. I would let the farrier continue trying to salvage what little your horse has left, and in the meantime, your horse needs some really good nutrition. It's hard to say how good or not the farrier is right now after one visit. But you should see good improvement with the next few trims, and Then see if he's doing your horse well. But please get the heck out of that place. Your horse needs proper food, a dry stall and pasture, vitamins, a look at his teeth. And maybe a vet visit just for a check up. Oh, and worm that poor horse, and use Zimectrin Plus or Quest twice, a month apart , and that's how I cleared up sweet itch on several horses.
You're a brave girl with a big heart! And you have come here to the right spot for advice and help from these wonderful ladies.