Well, at my farm we have two horses, and two ponies; they all go barefoot. The two horses (Tornado and Zeph) had all 4 shoes when they came to us... Their previous owners weren't very knowledgeable with horses, and I guess they just figured "Oh horses need shoes; 'Hey horseshoe guy! Come put all four on 'em!'" - so they were on all four for a few years, before they came to my place (April 2009). We had our amazing farrier [Roy] came out, and we asked if they could go with out shoes. And he said as long as the hoof could take it.
- They were strong enough to handle it, and all the horses have been shoeless (the ponies never had shoes) - but is this uncommon? All we do is light trail riding on basic dirt/mud/leaves (lol). I know they don't need shoes but I hear so many people make a big deal over being barefoot. I'm just curious!
Oh! And while their hooves were getting used to being bare, we put special hoof 'stuff' (I forget its name! I just call it turpentine, similar substance..) and this helped the hoof. Total mind blank to what it is called.. It was bought from Tractor Supply .