I had a conversation with a fellow Centenary College Equine Studies alumnus about her horse and his rocky transition out of metal shoes to "going barefoot". She had a well respected trimmer come out to evaluate, pull shoes and trim and while the trim looks fine, the horse is extremely sore. The worst part is that the trimmer told her to just "give it a few days" and said they would come back in a few weeks to fit for boots. We have all been there and made horses sore but not coming back ASAP to fix the problem is not acceptable. There isn't a farrier or trimmer who hasn't ever made a mistake. But you can put some stop gaps in place to make sure that the horse is comfortable if nothing else, at least until you can get back to them to take further steps to fixing it!
The transition stage going from a metal shoe to being completely barefoot is a precarious one to make. At this stage in my practice, I will NEVER (and I never say never) will pull a horse's shoes and leave it without any protection. This could be the glue on and or/casting varieties that I'll write a whole separate post about or it can be the temporary kind that you can take on and off as you (or the horse) chooses. Which option you go with really depends on a lot of factors, the health of the hoof, the horse's job, the horse's breed/size, the owner's willingness to take boots on and off for turnout or riding, the owner's budget, etc.
When you have shoes pulled off of your horse, make sure to discuss the transition plan with your farrier or trimmer and be sure that the plan is followed through. (My friend who I mentioned earlier had a plan with her trimmer ready to go and then they just showed up and pulled the shoes and trimmed the horse without her knowing when it was going to happen... and needless to say the plan was not followed) I'm not trying to out other trimmers or make anyone feel bad, but it's just playing with fire if you go into the hoof care business and don't utilize some forms of hoof protection. I understand that boots are an investment and sometimes the glue on options are more expensive than metal shoes, but these are things you need to consider BEFORE you decide to pull your horse's shoes.
Once you understand what it will entail, proceed with caution and be ready to change the plan if it doesn't go as you planned. And we know that anything related to horses definitely has the potential to not go as planned...