Originally Posted by cebee
.................. I usually keep him shod on the fronts in the summer- has very under-run heels and he looks and feels better ... but come winter and the shoes come off he is back to flat and the ice is hard on his feet.
fix the under-run heels and the issues you are seeing should clear up. To me, a farrier that allows under-run heels is not a good farrier. I'd be looking for a new one.
An under-run heel also 'stretches' the whole hoof forward. This in turn 'stretches' the sole and gives a horse flat feet. A horse with an under-run heel and a stretched forward toe will have his leg and hoof angles all out of whack and this can cause lameness and other issues.
Taking a horse out of shoes and expecting them to quickly adapt to being barefoot, especially on ice, is not a good idea. I would think about getting some hoof boots for him.
Is there a reason he is shod in front for warmer weather?