When we got Magic and Tanner, their front hooves were in pretty shoddy condition.... between the two of them, they had six cracks, five of which went all the way to the hairline, and their hooves looked like they hadn't been trimmed in years.
Since I've gotten them (a little over a year ago), I've kept them barefoot and well trimmed, and their farrier (Matt) even filed across the worst of the cracks to keep it getting worse and recommended a good hoof conditioner for her. Recently, Matt suggested that I put front shoes on Magic with little clips that help hold the hoof together a little more, and I agreed that that sounded like a good idea, because she kept chipping off her toes on one hoof (the one with two cracks down the front), so Magic is now shod. Tanner's hooves have actually grown out pretty nicely, and she just has one crack left that isn't causing her any trouble.
Now, just today, I had a speed show with Magic, and towards the end of the show, I noticed that the worst of the cracks on her hooves had actually spread, and I'm pretty sure there's a new crack in her other hoof, right in the middle (and well away from the horseshoe nails), that I actually picked a tiny stone out of!
Matt is coming back out tomorrow if he can find time to check her hooves and decide if we should pull the shoes or not, and I'm going to ask his opinion on if there's anything else I can be doing to help her hooves heal up, but I'd like some second opinions.
Any comments, anyone?