I would really prefer not to put shoes on Aires. Not only is there the added expense, but he's not exactly the best for the farrier (he had his feet trimmed for the first time a few weeks ago and it was an adventure, to say that least). However, in order to go up the trails on Granite Mountain, I've been told by other boarders that our BO requires that the horses be shod. I can understand for the tenderfooted horses like my friend's arabs, but Aires has great naturally hard hooves (even the farrier was impressed by them). There is only one other trail that we could ride on without being shod and we actually might lose access to that trail because the person whose land we have to ride through to access the trailhead is being dumb and may deny us access through the ravine on her property.
So, are shoes really necessary for rougher trails (from what I've seen, mostly sandy riverbeds and trails with a few boulders thrown in for good measure)? Would something like these: EasyCare Easyboot Trail Hoof Boots - Horse.com work as an alternative to shoes? We wouldn't be doing nearly 25 miles a week. Also, are they sold in pairs (the BO only requires that only the front feet be shod) or singly?