Originally Posted by Roxiandsplotch View Post
I don't have boots and don't really see the need if he has shoes on. I do thank y'all for your suggestions and will take them all into consideration :)
Depends on what surfaces you're on & what the shoes are for, as to the point of shoes, boots or pads. Boots protect the whole foot, namely the sole & frog. Conventional rims do not.
Rims protect the ground surface walls from wear, they lift the bottom of the foot slightly off the ground, which can reduce likelihood of stone bruises to soles from very small stones. Shoes can enhance grip in slippery situations. Shoes, due, I think mostly to peripheral loading & constant pressure on the coronary & circumflex arteries, reduce feeling to the feet. Shoes on hard surfaces without support of pads under the hooves can be problematic due to concussion and peripheral loading(walls bearing the load), allowing the foot to 'sink' within the capsule and the sole become thinner. They also restrict further development of the heels & soles, due to lack of good function.
So... don't think shoes are necessarily problematic, but in your situation, talking of working your horse on gravel roads, that your horse's hooves aren't up to coping with, I would absolutely be protecting the bottom of his hooves, and ensuring you also provide support under them, so they're not peripherally loaded if shod. So if not boots, which would be my choice if practical, he needs pads anyway.