Izzy has lost one too many shoes. We are now going barefoot. I am not an extremist either way: I like the sturdiness of shoes, but the convenience of going barefoot is hard to beat. Izzy just can't/won't keep that right front shoe in place.
I kept Speedy shod all the way around for many years. For the last couple of years though, he kept coming up lame without any apparent reason. I took him to Alamo Pintado, a premier equestrian medical center on the Central Coast where he was diagnosed with a possible suspensory ligament issue in the hoof. He had months off, and came back sound. When repeated the lameness a year or so later, my vet felt that we needed to change his shoeing. When he came up lame again, my current farrier posited that he was simply whacking himself with his own feet. He suggested we go barefoot. Speedy's been sound ever since.
While Izzy is sound, he keeps yanking that front right shoe off. He's pulled it twice now in the past week. My farrier isn't complaining about it, but I am tired of replacing chewed-up bell boots that aren't working anyway.
When I saw the shoeless foot on Saturday morning, I said screw it and saddled him up anyway. Dude was sound as a dollar. I called my farrier and asked if we could just pull the shoes and try going barefoot. Farrier said that it's a cheap and easy thing to do and certainly worth trying.
If Izzy gets sore being barefoot, we'll just stick the shoes back on. Given how sound he's been for the past few rides, I am hopeful that we can go barefoot permanently. He's already shoeless in the back and has been for more than a year, so I think this might be the cheapest fix in history!