Each and every horse has directly descended from the wild horses. Do wild horses have shoes? No. Do you ever hear of people finding wild horses with cracks, founder, etc.? No. Although we humans have make things difficult for our horses (blacktop, etc.), they still have the tough hooves of their ancestors. I believed shoes was a good idea, until I read “The Soul of a Horse” by Joe Camp. WOW. He laid out everything in such simplicity. I learned a lot. I can’t explain it as well as he can. You should def read his book. He says that every time the horse lifts its foot, its fetlock (the joint just about the hoof) flexes and blood rushed throughout the horses hoof. But with shoes on, no blood can circulate. And that’s not good for the horse. I took my shoes off my pony and she is fine. Some people might say “Oh the horse will go lame.” Yes, it will, if you don’t give the hooves time to harden after having the shoes taken off. Other people say “Oh, the horses will slip.” Well, we ride on the road a lot, and my horse has only slipped a couple times, and that was because of me turning too sharp.
Horses have won shows, jumping/dressage/cross country, whatever, w/o wearing shoes. I would encourage you to go barefoot.
Best of luck!!
I love Clinton Anderson!!!!