I have a 16.3 appendix QH that seems to have developed a limp when I ride him. His head bobs up and down unevenly while he walks. It is less noticeable at the trot and unnoticable at the lope. I am pretty big... 6'0", 235 lbs... but at 16.3 I should think my size would not be a factor. Without a rider he does not appear to limp at all. I have reduced his riding time in the hopes that the limp wil go away, but it has been two weeks now and it is still there. I had a farrier look at him and he found no problems with his hooves. I am pretty inexperienced so I could use some advice.
If he does not do it at all when lunging then it will either have something to do with you or the tack. Make sure the saddle fits properly and isn't pinching his withers...that can cause lameness.
If it's not the saddle I'd get x-rays done of his feet to determine why he's limping. Do you have any videos of him doing it? Then we could determine what leg is actually limping, which can save money if you do want to get x-rays
Thank you all for the help and advice. I triple checked his tack before taking him for a short ride this morning and found no problems. The limp is still there, only less so. It is only when he walks. There is no sign of it when he trots or lopes. I will not take any chances though and will call a vet to check him out tomorrow.
Sounds like the beginnings of Navicular Syndrome. Head bobbing, more noticable with a rider, etc... make sure your horse is gettting proper hoof care to encourage a heel first landing to utilize the shock absorbing qualities of the back of the foot.
Make sure if your horse is shod (which in and of itself can encourage navicular problems) so that the heels are NOt being squeezed in and contracted. It may just be in the initial stages and the internal structures not actually compormised at this point, but removing shoes and a a balanced trim would probably do wonders. Of course, I'm guessing from a verbal description alone, but I see a lot of the same thing in my work.
Took Bugs for a short ride this morning to take photos and he showed no sign of a limp at all. Reading about Navicular Syndrome I realize that this does not mean that he is cured at all. I will continue to monitor him for any sign of a return of his limping. Thank you all for your help. What a great forum!
Here is a video of him taken this morning if you are interested...