Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: secret mountain valley
one last possibility to throw out, though it doesn't quite sound like it- fibrotic myopathy? It is more commonly seen in OTTB's and basically is a big knot of scar tissue that forms in the "ham string" muscle following an injury/tear. My guy has it and he does warm out of it for the most part. It is considered a "mechanical" lameness as it doesn't really hurt, it is just that the scar tissue forms around tendons and within the muscle so they can't physically use it properly.
It is a pretty characteristic movement and once you have seen it you won't miss it again. I describe it as his "nazi stomp" (not intending any offense here, it just really looks like a goose step and this is something a lot of people can get a mental picture of). He kind of drags it as he swings the leg forward and there is a distinctly louder "thud" as that foot is placed. There is a lot less motion than normal in the pastern due to the way the upper muscles interact with that joint.
If you do think this might be it, there isn't a lot that can be done. There's a surgery but it isn't super successful BUT then these horses can also be used normally for the most part. For my TB I am careful to stretch him and warm up thoroughly and after each ride we stretch a little more and I massage the area (it feels like there is a rock in the muscle, easy to find it) and he absolutely loves it. Good luck!