I already have a vet appointment scheduled with my equine lameness specialist for next week, but I'm just curious what HF folks think.
Red is a 7-yr-old AQHA gelding, about 15.1 to 15.2 hands. I bought him the spring of his 6-yr-old year, essentially green broke. He got a good full year of riding last year, then October to April off. (Got a leg injury in January, so that's why no riding until April.) This was the leg injury (left hind) before and after.
Lameness vet had cleared him for riding in April, and the wound seemed to have caused no permanent damage besides a scar.
Fast forward to June, and I'm feeling this weird faint on-and-off lameness in his front end. Thought it was "just him" because he is rather short strided (he doesn't "flow" when he moves; never has) but my mother noticed it too when I was home to visit with him, so I took him to the lameness vet again. Best the vet could determine is that his joint spaces were crooked in the short pastern joint in both front feet, and I've been doing a 2 degree shoe and pad on his front feet since then. It has completely taken care of it. I was quite amazed how quickly that did resolve, and just with some simple corrective shoeing.
And now, the new issue. He's sore in his back end. This is the video of the last barrel run I made before realizing he is sore, and then a video I did a few days later at home to confirm what exactly he's doing with that back end. (Please excuse my rider pilot error on the barrels.)
I've always had some difficulty getting him to use his hind end properly in a barrel turn in the past, and I'll bet he's had this hind end issue longer than he's let on. Although it's so weird he never showed anything in his hind end at the lameness vet, because heavens knows we're on a first-name basis there we've been there so much this year! I've also never noticed anything on previous barrel videos I've taken.
Especially since his corrective shoeing, he sees the farrier every 5 weeks on the nose. And I am going to have the chiro check him this week too, just in case, although he's never had a major issue. Teeth were done last November with no major issues, and that's when I had planned to have them done again this year.
So just curious what you guys see, and where you think the problem may lie (hocks, stifles, both).
It could be its own separate issue, but I'm keeping it in the back of my mind that:
--his left hind injury could actually be hurting ... although it doesn't seem to matter which way he turns, so it just doesn't make sense.
--maybe he also has crooked joint spaces in his hind end, like his front end
I'm hoping it is something simple where he maybe just needs to be injected a time or two, and then he stays sound on his own, but who knows.
This horse has SO much potential for barrel racing, and he tries so hard for me, so it pains me that we keep having all these health issues setting us back. I told myself I will give him all of next year, but if soundness issues keep popping up like this and continue to be a problem, I will be finding him a new home that doesn't involve stressful-joint-sports like barrel racing.