I have a question for eveyone! (warning, this may be long but I want to be discriptive as possible because I would really like an answer!)
Alright, so I have a 17 year old arabian gelding named Showdown. I got him when he was fourteen I believe. He was a great show horse. He was shown hunt and saddleseat. I got him for free as my first horse because his original owners didnt want him and were going to send him to a rescue so my family took him in. I had a lot of work to do with him because he had been basically thrown out to pasture for a year. He is a great horse with a lot of attitude. What im getting at is im wondering if my horse has a sore back?
Right from the beginning when I adopted Showdown he always seemed to try and bite me when I saddled him. At first I bushed it off as him just being crabby, but he still does this to this day. I don't think it is his saddle because I did get a differnt saddle and he still bites at me. (In fact he bites at me when I just put the saddle pad or a bareback pad on.) Im not sure if this is a habit he picked up a while ago or he has a bad back...It doesnt help that he has high withers, but I use a pad between my saddle and saddle pad for added comfort and padding for him. Also sometimes when I cury/brush his back he flinches or every once in a while nips at me.
Another thing I first brushed off as his lack of being worked with was he could never get the right leads. Today he still can't get them right most of the time. His recently new thing is he likes to counter canter and switch his leads in the back every other stride. This is very uncomforable for me, and I have tried to sit deep and keep him from doing it, but he still manages. Another recent thing is he bucks a lot now. Before he bucked every once in a while, now its almost all the time. I can't canter him without him having a fit. He throws his head down and bucks. Almost like a rodeo horse. It just seems to be getting worse. (He loves to go fast, but of course this is because he is a saddleseat horse! )
Now I understand that horses get sore and more fragile as they age, but I feel like this is something more. I'm not sure if this is him just being himself because he can be a naughty and very sensitive horse, but I don't want to work this out of him if its because he's in pain.
If anyone managed to get through my novel I would LOVE some advice!
THANK you ALL SO MUCH! :)
P.S. I had a chircopractor look at him a few years ago and he said he was all inline.
I'm thinking I may want to have a vet look at his back, but I don't want to spend a ton of money when I think I know what the answer will be....
So yes any advice would be great...please no rude comments! I only want whats best for my horse. And my mom and I have owned horses our whole lives and now run a small boarding stable. We are very expericened horse people, I just really want some advice. Thanks! :)