I've had my gelding for 7 months now and during that time he has been barefoot, and for at least 9 months before I got him as well. He has been fine on gravel, dirt, bitumen (sp?) anything, and i've taken him to Pony Club twice (where there's lots of gravel) and he's been fine.
However... he had his feet trimmed on Saturday, and on Sunday I took him to Pony Club and he was REALLY footsore, I only rode him for about 40 mins on grass at mostly a walk and he went from just being a bit tender to almost limping. My instructor told me to put shoes on him, but I very much would like to keep him barefoot as I think it's better for them and more natural.
If shoeings what's best for him that's what I'll do, but are there any other options, such as boots like Old Mac's?
I'm going to rest him for a week or 2 and see how he goes, him feet might toughen up, but if they don't is there any alternative to shoeing?