Ok, I posted a post a while ago thinking my horses hooves are bruised... and they weren't just saying that because this is now making me feel like a horsey hypochondriac!
Anyways, about three weeks ago my horse started acting a little strange. He was acting very stiff and did not want to canter, very similar to how he acts when he's sore. I dismissed it as nothing, and went on with my business, making sure to warm up and cool down well and just do some light work the next day. After about a week of this (don't think bad of me, I was sick for three days and was having my mom just go and feed) I noticed the symptoms hadn't gone away. He was still acting weird, and was now not wanting to trot while lunging, even if I gave him a smack with the whip to try and get him going (at this point I was thinking he was just being a stubborn butt, he does that sometimes). This was went I started getting worried, and upon inspection of his hooves (they smelled like he has been walking in a litter box) I thought he might have thrush. So, I went and started cleaning out his hooves with Dawn dish soap everyday, and after a couple days, the smell went away. The only problem is that he still had the stiffness & hesitation to move. I then called my 4-H leader, and she thought it could be an abscess or problems with his back, so she told me to go out and check for heat in his legs/hooves and put a little pressure in certain parts of his back to see how he reacts. I did both of these the next day, and I found no heat and he sat there doing nothing when I put pressure on his back. He's been like this ever since. I went out and lunged him yesterday, and he seemed a little stiff, but not as bad, almost like it was going away. Went out and lunged him today, and he's right back where he was a week ago.
I have absolutely no idea what is wrong with him, but something is wrong. He hangs his head real low when he walks, abnormally low. I don't know much about horses, but I know enough to know that something is off. I'm on a low low budget right now, and would really like to avoid a trip in from the vet, but I'm thinking about maybe a farrier if I can't get help from people around me. If this helps at all, he started showing signs of this when we switched his feed from oat hay to grass hay. He got into some gain about two weeks ago, although I don't think that has anything to do with it. He's UTD on hoof trimming and there are no cracks or anything in his hooves, they seem fine. I am really worried about him, and I've done some research trying to find something that describes his symptoms, but I've found nothing. Please help!