So I'm still rallying for farrier 1... trying to find every reason possible why I need to switch... I'm not trying to be difficult I just need to know for certain this farrier is doing more harm than good, before I got to farrier 2.
Sorry to be devil's advocate, but if we assume no.1 is doing harm, what makes you believe no.2 will do better anyway?
So if Farrier 1 is recognizing this hoof is not making contact with the ground (which he commented on), is beginning to trim the heels (which he said he was doing), but is trying to trim and shoe each foot individually (I understand trying to make the right-front shoe thinner in order to control flare is his plan...), does he need to be fired?
Not just on that note. Without knowing why/how much he wants to lower heels, what he's seeing/going off, who knows if it's wrong to do so. If he is purely trying to lower heels in order for the frog to have ground contact, without taking into consideration all factors - body issues as prev. mentioned for eg - then that will probably cause further probs.
I don't understand his reasoning really on the second count. Apart from thinner peripheral loading devices putting the base of the foot very marginally closer to the ground(assuming hard, flat ground), I can't think of any reason at all for this theory. Flares are happening because the hoof is not *trimmed* well, and because the horse is peripherally loaded - ie walls being forced into main weightbearing role with rigid rim shoes. A huge reason why I believe rim shoes are contraindicative in unhealthy hooves. Although I do also believe there are generally far better options than conventional steel rims anyway...
If new home is going to bring about new change, good change, how many cycles should I expect to see the left front frog expand? If it doesn't happen by that time, it's time to get a new farrier?
How long's a piece of string? Unfortunately there are too many factors to give a definite prognosis, let alone a time frame. For eg. it appears to be a chronic problem, don't know how old the horse is, how many years she's had the issue, been shod in rims, etc, etc, so even with best farriery, it's possible it will not EVER change. The other thing is, management, not just farriery & climate has a huge bearing - if she's kept stalled much(sounds like stalled full time?! - 'turnout stall
'), not getting heaps of free movement every day on firm
ground, then regardless of everything else, she will likely maintain contracted, weak heels.