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I am the owner of a 17-year-old TB gelding. He’s my first horse and is wonderful except for one thing… he has low/under run heels in his front hooves. (His back feet are barefoot and seem to be in reasonable condition). I believe I’m his third owner. His second owner told me that his first owner (who I never knew) raced him and then put him in a field for several years after he was unsuccessful at racing. During that time, he received no hoof care at all. His second owner (who owns the place where I board him) had him shod regularly, but left any and all decisions about his feet to be made by the farrier since she had 13-15 other horses that also needed shoeing or trimming and so she didn't have time to give each of her horses customized care. I’ve owned him for a little less than three years now. He still gets shod regularly (6-7 weeks), and by the same farrier as before, but I am trying to be more involved in what happens to his feet. This farrier has put him in wedge pads for years (I’m not sure how long) to “correct” his low heels. Because I am so inexperienced in proper hoof management, I thought that was just how my horse was going to have to be shod and so I went with it. But now I’m starting to question this method for various reasons. After doing research on low heels and wedge pads, I’m starting to think that the pads aren’t actually helping my horse. I think that the pads mask or possibly worsen his problem, rather than actually fixing it. I’ve talked to my farrier about this and he’s basically said that my horse has no heels, that my horse grows no heels, and that the best option is to put some sort of wedge pad on my horse. I disagree, but my inexperience makes me hesitate in having the pads removed. I have little to no knowledge on proper hoof care and management, whereas my farrier has lived his whole life shoeing horses and currently has many clients. He’s told me that he has a QH with the same problem as my TB, and that he shoes his QH the same way he shoes my TB. He’s also told me that the pads decrease the chance of my horse getting bowed tendons, which is one experience I'd prefer not to have. Because of these things, I have been begrudgingly keeping the wedge pads on my horse for months, although I would really like to get rid of them. However, I’m a little nervous in doing so because I don’t want anything worse to happen to my horse. I do trust this farrier. I don’t believe that he would purposefully keep me uninformed about my horse’s condition. I do wonder, though, if he doesn’t know how to fix low heels and so he just throws on wedge pads whenever he comes across a low heeled horse. Anyway, I’m obviously looking for ideas of what I can do to help my horse. Are there any suggestions? I’ve read a little about going barefoot. Would it help my horse to go barefoot for a few months? Is there any way to encourage heel growth? Would supplements, like SmartHoof from SmartPak, help heel growth? Should I try to get my horse trimmed more often (4-5 weeks)? Any help is greatly appreciated! I don’t know if pictures would help, but let me know if they would and I’ll try to get some up quickly. Thanks in advance!