I really appreciate the offer. I am actually very happy with my vet. I would love any sage old horsemanship advice though. I've often found that vets are superb at diagnosis and acute management but the long-term management always relies on the owner to try and work-out what seems to keep the horse comfortable.
My vet is coming out again next week to re-assess him after being on the NSAIDs and vasodilator, I'll try and ask management related questions then!
But your gelding has stayed sound then? If so, that's great!
Advice from an old horseman? Guess you're singing my song.
First, post the radiographs. I'd like to see the extent of the calcification and a palmar view of the distal interphalangeal joint position in the capsule.
You mentioned that your farrier applied barshoes. Not my first choice for sidebone. While a barshoe will provide caudal support, unless the shoe is heavily "safed", it will offer the same medial/lateral ground reaction force resistance as any plain keg shoe. The trick with sidebone related lameness is to reduce that m/l resistance.
While your farrier could fabricate a strong sidebone shoe, it's a lot easier and common practice to simply install a set of half-round shoes. Half-rounds ease breakover along the medial/lateral axis, reducing stress the ossified cartilages place on sensitive tissues. Since it's not considered "therapeutic" shoeing, the cost is typically the same as a standard half set of kegs.
A half-round will sharply reduce lateral breakover resistance through 50% of the shoe's web width. Your farrier can increase this value, if needed, by building a wider web shoe and safeing up to 3/4 of the web width.
Use care when selecting pre-manufactured (keg shoes) half-round shoes. Many are sold in web widths that, in my view, are not wide enough through the web dimension. Choose half-round shoes with at least a 3/4" web.
Personally, I really like the Kerckhaert Classic Roller. It provides solid support via a wide web and all the benefits of a half-round. The shoe also offers better support in the heel than most traditional half rounds. Kerckhaert - Classic Roller - Stockhoff's Horseshoes and Supplies
Best luck and, as always....
(Old guy, professional farrier and horseman)