Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
"Get Shoes" with no rationale or alternatives is crappy advice. End of story. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't, but saying that isn't really very useful management long term. If she had said, "Hey, his problem is X, and shoes will fix it by doing Y," then okay, maybe it's worth a try.
My gelding is shod all the way around. I am not really a fan of shoes. Sound weird? Yeah, I know it does. My guy is fine barefoot 90% of the time, but is hesitant and tender over gravel. I tried front shoes. Made ZERO difference. Tried all around, and instantly, happy pony who will trot over gravel without hesitation, which I interpret to mean that the gravel made him sore on his back feet, and 'elevating' his soles so they didn't hit it made him comfortable. Unfortunately for my barefoot dreams, the 20+ miles or so we might ride in a week include a fair bit of gravel, so he's shod for now.
How long has your guy been sore? Two weeks? Somehow, shoeing him all around for life seems like a massive overreaction for what is probably just a stone bruise. The fact he was doing well in boots but bruised without says he probably does need some protection when you're on rough footing, but you can do that with or without shoes. And hey, people tell me if you condition properly, some (not all, but probably most) horses can acclimate even to very rough terrain barefoot. I believe them but don't have the time or inclination to try it on my guy quite yet. Might be worthwhile to look into.