My opinion is “it depends!” Every horse and situation is different. Our OTTB came to us at age 9 right off the track. He was sound, correct, and other than hoof problems has never had a lame day and he’s now 24. He cannot go without shoes. Can’t. We tried multiple farriers and supplements and for him, this is what works — Biotin Plus every day. Keratex as needed (haven’t needed it for years but we did in the beginning) A horseshoe that is broader to give his hooves more support and clips on each shoe. He is shod all the way around and has been for years. He’s sound. He’s happy. He moves well. We used to have terrible problems with shoes tearing off…and taking hoof wall with them, cracks, abscesses, thin soles and hoof walls… Our farrier is thrilled that he now has a normal, tough, hoof wall. At his age, we are not messing with success. It may have been his age. A younger horse might be easier to transition to barefoot. For ours it didn’t work.