Hey Gottatrot, I think I just learned A LOT from your posts. (And Trinity, Loosie, et al, please feel free to chime in because I value your opinions as well!).
I have been doing the "barefoot thing" for many years now but never really understood why some folks were trimming the bars when the bars never really seemed to cause an issue (to me). But this speaks volumes:
I would bet money that if my Mustang's back feet were dissected that is exactly how they would look. Because they look that way from the outside and he has really deep collateral grooves and crappy frogs. I've been scared to lower the heels a lot of the back feet because he used to be a rope horse had has some wind puffs and old tendon issues back there and the vet advised me to keep those hinds a little more upright. But he has those badly slanted untrimmed bars on the lateral sides of his back feet.
The front feet I TRY to keep lowered and the heels down, but he never gets large healthy frogs like he should. But guess what? I never trimmed the bars because they never extend that much past the sole. Now I am picturing in my mind that if the bars are trimmed and jamming is the problem, then by trimming the bars it might allow the coffin bone to come closer to the ground and allow that frog to make contact like it should. Is that correct thinking?
I would guess that as long as person doesn't get carried away, jumping right in and trimming the bars somewhat assertively should do no harm?
I want to keep him sound and happy because he is at the moment. But his frogs certainly need help and if trimming the bars would do that, then I want to try it.
So will trimming the bars allow the boney column to come closer to the ground and improve the frog contact?
This might be the piece of the puzzle I have been missing in my trimming!