Over the past fall and winter, I had great success leaving Blue barefoot. As I rode, his feet toughened up; it worked out great for both of us. Even gravel didn't seem to hurt his feet.
Unfortunately, during the past month or so, his feet were wearing away drastically, and he was getting very tender-footed.
So yesterday I called Randy, my farrier, and had him put shoes on Blue to the tune of $85..
The past two summers it seems Blue's feet refused to grow. The shoes would fall off, but there was no new hoof to nail them back onto for a re-set; so Randy would have to do the best he could. Before long, Blue's feet would more or less crumble from all the nail-holes; then I'd have to simply ride him unshod at home in the pasture.
We'll see if this summer is a repeat of the previous two.