Trying to figure out what is going on with my old retired guy. Here is the deal. He is free leased as a therapy horse to a facility about 2 hours away from me. He has been there since early last spring, and all reports have been great. They love him, want to keep him indefinitely, and I have a close friend who can keep an eye on him as needed, as well as being closely tied to one of the board members. So, we know this is a good place, and it came well recommended.
Because of life being what it is, I have only had time to email and call since he got there. So, yesterday I went to see him. He looks great, altho, a heavier than I like to see him. Well kept place, all the horses are happy......etc. Great. So, I stay to watch a lesson. As I am watching, one of the volunteers laughingly tells me that they sometimes have on issue with my guy not wanting to trot online. He breaks right into a canter. This is NOT like my horse. So, I watch, and sure enough, they ask him to trot (online) and he tries to canter. Hmmm. Looks like he may be sore, but they only ask them to trot less than 50 ft at a time, so hard to tell.
After the lesson, I get on him. Sure enough, he is sore. Hard for me to tell where, but I am thinking that on top of his usual hock arthritis, this seems to be front end. I show the instructor who was dealing with him what I am feeling and she now sees it. I then find out that, in spite of being told to feed him 1 CUP of feed (just to give his supplements) he is getting 1 SCOOP! Twice a day! YIKES! I tell them to immediately back off from that. His feet look good, I did not feel heat, but I am not infallible, for sure. I am also puzzled by this being intermittent since he got there. I have emailed the director of the program to find out when his feet were last done (hoping that maybe he was just trimmed to short??) and telling her to change the feed-like yesterday.
Long story not so short, I will be going back this week to meet with a vet and or farrier. Which shall I start with? I really would like to leave him there if possible.....he seems happy overall, and is doing great things....and they really do not ask much at all-the trotting 40 ft 3 times during the lesson is about as tough as it gets.
Thoughts? I am brainstorming as much as anything......trying to keep from total panic......