Great question OP! Yeah, whether you choose a 'traditional' type farrier or a 'barefoot trimmer'... or anything in between, there are a few different paradigms people work to in each. There are also a wide range of skill and education levels(or lack of), in such an unregulated industry. So if you want what's best for the horse, it becomes a matter of learning for yourself, at least enough to understand hoof function & the 'pros & cons' of different approaches, and what is 'right' for your horse.
The main differences in paradigms between the 'barefoot mob' as I see it are the peripheral loading v's whole hoof loading. There are other differences, such as the ground parallel pedal bone & trimming to precise measurements v's trimming to balance the bones correctly, not trimming at all(or 'correcting' imbalance, flares, etc) but ensuring the horse has an adequate environment & lifestyle to do it - and 'condition' his feet - himself(that to me is the ideal, but unattainable for most IME).
What's going on with a & b? Well, either one of them may be great & the other 'wrong'. Or maybe they're both wrong & doing a bad job. Or maybe they're both great...
IME people's opinions about farriers aren't necessarily very objective. Even very experienced horse people may not understand enough about hoof function to know whether their 'expert of choice' is doing a good job, or is himself very knowledgeable. And then there's the rest of us, mostly going on recommendations from others. Is that a double blind?? People seem to choose farriers because they turn up on time(or turn up at all), they're a nice bloke(or at least not as bad as the others, doesn't belt the horse) their horse can keep his shoes on for x weeks, so-and-so swears by him, he doesn't charge the earth, he already comes to the area...
Those who believe the wall should be load bearing and those who believe the laminae should be load bearing. The question becomes, should the wall touch the ground all around the hoof or not? ...
trimmer who thought that to correct Cruiser's flares, he should take all the pressure off the wall. He was lame for nearly 3 weeks on both front feet.
I think that the 'wall vs laminae loadbearing' is a misunderstanding of the peripheral loading(wall and so
laminae as well
) bearing the entire load, v's the whole base of the foot - frog, walls and sole - supporting the horse. I'm of the 'whole hoof' camp and I don't believe the wall is designed to be a primary
weightbearing structure. It's 'plastic' and becomes distorted and the laminae(& bone even) strained under too much force. So keeping it under excess load and failing to support the rest of the foot makes it difficult/impossible to address flares, and the frog and sole will also distort and weaken.
Without more info, I respectfully don't know whether the farrier was in error in this instance, or whether there was other stuff going on. Eg on the surface, horse lame for 3 weeks, took entire wall out of commission sounds pretty bad, but it's possible(just speculating, not assuming either...) that the horse had a 'laminitis bout' that just coincided with the trim, or was stone bruised from hard riding, and/or that it was your perception of 'removed too much wall', not the actual case.
I think it can sometimes be a bit of a 'balancing act' with some horses, to adequately address problems if they're severe, without going overboard. Eg. it's all very well to bevel a 'stretched' toe, so that *when standing on flat, hard ground* it may be slightly off the ground, but what if the entire foot is flared & disconnected? Especially in an already weak foot, the sole & frog is not in any condition to bear the whole load either, without some help from the walls. It always pays, IMO to consider the horse's comfort over the principles you trim to, and those that approach 'relieving flares' etc with a 'by the book' approach are either unaware they may be causing discomfort or they think it's unavoidable or such - there are some trimmers who still tell people to expect 'transition soreness' or such, like there are farriers who tell you it's normal for the horse to be 'a bit off' for a day or few post shoeing. As a rule, the horse should be feeling at least the same, if not better, after a trim, with very few exceptions(unrecognised laminitis or such), and IMO without exception, if the horse wasn't lame before the trim, he shouldn't be after it.