One of the commonest concerns I hear regarding taking a horse barefoot is: 'I am worried my horse's feet would wear down too much'. As I was trimming Madam yesterday (it took a couple of hours and was very hot) both her owner and I were wishing 'if only!'.
Madam works most days, over a variety of terrain including lots of rough stuff and roads, has lessons twice a week and does endurance. In just two weeks, despite all this work she had grown half a centimetre of foot.
If a horse is in good health and is worked correctly this amount of growth is typical and the more stimulation the foot gets, the more it grows. Wearing the feet out is the least of Madam's worries. If only her diet was as easy.