^My farriers have alway provided honest opinions as to whether or not a horse needed shoes. I think most would take a loyal and happy customer (because that means repeated business) than shoes on every horse, when it may not be the best choice.
Sort of reminds me of a young lady some time back who wanted her horse to be like mine. Unshod and able to ride anywhere.
Her farrier advised her that unshod her horse would be lame.
And true enough, when the shoes were removed the horse limped and was "lame". It's not something new or uncommon to see when a horse that's been shod for so long suddenly has it's foot expanding and more blood flowing it's uncomfortable and even painful. It can often take a year to get the feet right again. I've even spent over a year before getting feet completely back to where they should have been.
Of course her farrier told her that the problem was her horse needed shoes and that it wouldn't be lame anymore once it was shod again. Of course when the shoes went on the horses feet no longer worked like nature designed and intended, but it was use to that and didn't limp. So of course I was wrong and her farrier was correct
. No problem. It doesn't cost me anything. She merrily went on her way convinced that her horse had to have shoes (and slightly constricted heels).
I really don't care if you shoe your horse or not. I was just putting out information for the OP so they could be a bit more educated on the subject and hopefully do more research to get the facts. If they feel that the horse needs shoes then no ones going to stop them
No one will stop anyone from shoeing their horse, or feeing it sweet feed
. There is no law against killing a horse with kindness. e.g No one will report you for cruelty for a shod horse with contracted heels or seedy toe, or a horse that's overweight and you're feeding it sweet feed (which will just keep it fat or fatter and lead to food issues). An emaciated horse can get you in trouble though. I guess that's the fortunate thing about a horse's weight. Most people can readily notice a horse that's too thin. But problems developing with the feet or getting overweight often just goes unnoticed. Look at Secretariat. Dead at 19...killed with kindness.