My guys are all barefoot and I wouldnt have it any other way. Even my tb who has typical flat, brittle tb feet is starting to get stronger, sturdier feet since going barefoot.
You do have to get a reputable barefoot farrier though as the hoof has to be cut and dealt with in a way that traditional farriers don't know. If you get a traditional farrier to to do a barefoot trim you will end up with a hoof cut in the exact same shape as if you were having shoes and this isnt the natural shape therefore cannot provide the natural workings of a hoof.
Barefoot is great but if you are going to go on a trail where there are a lot of big rocks etc I would suggest buying a pair of barefoot boots for the horse
My one boy is barefoot but he's a baby, the other during the winter is barefoot because of the snow and ice we get. I find more of a safety issue than anything. During the show season and summer I throw shoes on all 4 because we find ourselves riding in all sorts of footings and we go a lot of trail riding so it's better for him to have shoes because of rocks etc.
Generally speaking I prefer it if horses are barefoot. It's more natural for them and it helps keep there feet strong without the use of shoes. Also I find it repetitive shoeing there feet just start looking like a mess.
Our horses are in a sandy environment. You can't find a rock if you dug and dug and tried too. So no need for shoes down here.
However, Angel has a slight overstep - this time around we had her feet trimmed differently to see if it helps. If it doesnt, then next go round we will put 2 shoes (front) with a heel to make her lift her front feet sooner.
Almost every arena I ride in is sand and sand acts as sand paper expecially on front feet. It grinds the hoofs thin and it can be painful for a horse. A boot can't fix that problem unless the horse wears it everytime. Also almost every horse in my barn wears aluminum shoes
Poco is currently barefoot and I hate it. I cannot stand for him to be barefoot. He's flat footed with a low heel and its difficult to ride him anywhere. We usually put steel shoes on with heel cocks and no clips. Raises his heels up and he's alot better mover. Sure barefoot feet are great if your horse has healthy feet but right now Poco's are on the outs because he has quarter cracks on both his front feet. Shoes keep his feet in line and get his feet off the rocks.
My mare has shoes for safety reasons ! We get alot of ice on the trails so I have to have studs in her shoes so she doesn´t slip ! Well, she has shoes for about 6 months a year but the rest because she is in a field with a herd in the country so no shoes then!
So im kinda 50/50 on this subject !