Thanks for your input.
And yes, she is having a problem with food packing at the gumline.
SHe was in a horrible accident that took a quarter of her tongue, scarred her eye, etc long before I ownd her. And at just about a year from the time she is scheduled to have her teeth floated it is the worst.
My husband invented a horse water pick for her that we use intermittantly to get the stuff out when occassionally the hay might have a nasty stem in it.But now it is daily that we have to help her with this and she is scheduled for a float again.
She underwent training for 3 months to ready us for a group trail ride in some very capable hands and the trainer was astounded at what a sweet mare she truly is. She only needed lunging once thoughout the 3 months which was the first session following that, there was't any need for it. I rode her in a hack twice and then on to the eggbutt Doc Bristol. ABout two months into the training period I took her on a trailride with a friend and she was perfect. THe next time she went out, she started stretching her head, jigging and acting a bit out of sorts. I got off, readjusted the side buckles on her bridle and she was perfect. This is a horse that you need to give some heel to to get her to trot toward teh barn,...she has always been just that sweet kind of horse.
The next ride was the group trailride where she exploded at the trailhead and went nuts for 5 miles,..infact so much that I couldn't ride her, had another rider take over and we switched. Mind you, this is a horse that was safe for everyone and anyone and up till this point, was mostly ridden with leg cues.
Now, she acts a little depressed, and is constantly staring back down the pasture at mealtime which is out of character as well, and is quite anti-social. When my gelding finally herded her up the pasture for dinner last night, I noticed that one knee was dirty as in slobber. I had read that if they are having mouth discomfort they will often rub their head on the knee of the affected side of the mouth; left knee and left mouthside.
After all of this, is it possible that her actions could be from mouthpain alone? Dentist can't get to her till next week so we are trying to keep her comfortable with topical cloves and the use of her " water pick" and my husband's ability to reach in and clear that out for her.
If we are talking mouth pain, is there a bit that would be kinder than the Doc Bristol for her? After her actions, I do feel hesitant about using a hack on her but don't intend to try her out again till her mouth issue has been resolved.
Thanks again for your input.