Horse getting "stuck" when asked to go forward
I have a strange problem, and I'm hoping (okay, maybe not, haha. I wouldn't wish this on anyone!) that some people here have experience with this!
It started last fall, completely out of nowhere. My horse had been great up until then. No problems whatsoever. We were walking to the left, down the long side, and when I asked him to canter he just...stopped. He stopped, his head came up, and he swung his haunches way to the inside. It was baffling, especially since there was no prior warning or anything.
It kept happening from then on. It was always worse going left, but he would do the same thing both ways. And both ways when this happened he would swing his haunches LEFT. So when going right he'd swing his butt to the outside. We had the vet out to look at him, but she couldn't find anything wrong with him. She said it could be his hocks, so we tried legend/adequan for a few months. No change. We tried massage therapy. Nada. We checked his saddle fit. Nothing.
Then he fractured his left front coffin bone during the winter and was on stall rest for months. The fracture was a pain to diagnose, and he ended up needing a bone scan so we could figure out what was wrong with him. The bone scan showed there was inflammation in his fractured foot, and some in his neck. His hocks showed no inflammation.
We started bringing him back to work early this summer, just walking at first. He was fine. He stayed fine after we started trotting again. But once we got the green light to up his trot work...the weird haunches thing came back. He started stopping and swinging his haunches left even at the walk. Again, it was worse going left. Doing upwards from walk to trot was really difficult because of this. He would start doing this when he even SUSPECTED that I might ask him to go faster. Getting him to canter to the left was virtually impossible.
So, we had the vet back out. We decided to get his neck injected, because he had some arthritis there and it was the only thing we could find that was wrong with him. So we got that done, and it really helped him overall! He felt and acted so much better and happier. But the weird haunches problem didn't go away.
Next we tried an equine chiropractor. A lot of people I know have had great success with this guy, so I gave it shot. Again, my horse felt a lot better overall after getting worked on...but the problem is still here.
Also, to rule out an attitude problem, we put him on bute for a week. And what do you know? On painkillers he was a completely different horse. Didn't do the weird haunches thing once. He was great!
So I feel really bad about this whole thing, because I KNOW something is hurting him. I just can't figure out what the heck it is. I've spent so much time and money trying to figure this out, and I'm completely at a loss. My trainer is at a loss. All the vets I've talked to are at a loss.