So, after a little bit of thinking on the subject and connecting some dots, I have decided and somewhat self-diagnosed that Ice most likely has arthritis in his back legs. He is an 11 year old OTTB, who was raced for nine years. Today I went out to the barn just to groom him, so the most work he did was walking the ten or so feet from his stall to the cross ties. Not only were the inside of his fetlocks warm (not swollen, although they have been puffy previously) but the inside of his hocks were very warm. They were also swollen, and his right leg was slightly stocked up--I assume that's from him getting three days off from work, and it being a little chilly.
This is a new development, but almost as soon as I purchased him, even before riding him, I put him on joint supplements with HA. Recently I've not had the money to purchase the supplement online (the stuff I like is hard to find in my area) so he was taken off of it. When I first purchased him he was very creaky/cracky and then when I put him on the supplements, that went away. Now I do occasionally here a creak or a pop, but not like it was before. I had him on a pelleted substance:
Flex-Force with HA Corta-Flx (Equine - Horse Supplements - Joint - Powdered/Pellet)
Which I will obviously now be putting him back on (yay for holiday pay), but would a liquid substance do more for him? I've heard horses absorb more from liquids, but he seemed to fare very well with the pellets. Would a liquid be something I would have to graduate to, assuming this is arthritis and the condition worsened? Should I just give him a straight H/A supplement, or keep the all around one?
I'm still planning on getting those x-rays when money allows....I have to devise a plan to either pay down my credit card or save up quickly.