I guess I never considered this before. I have horses that are creaky starting out and need good solid warm ups, but Max's lower back was really sore coming out of the pasture today. Our riding schedule has been ride 5-6 days/ week with only one day rest in between, not two. Only exception was earlier this year for a surgery.
Unfortunately, due to some newborn kittens that needed tending to this weekend we didn't have a work out for 3 days in a row. He's on full pasture.
I know he could have easily done something out in the pasture, but he's normally pretty quiet. I checked for kick marks and none but today he was so sore that he would bring his back leg up in protest of me barely brushing his lower lumbar area, poor guy.
Could horses become sore from a lack of work, or that plus an overly big romp in the pasture? Could the muscles become that static in just a few days to be more unforgiving in the event of a bucking spree in the pasture? I could also just be over thinking it, I was just so surprised as in the ten years I've had him he has never had muscle soreness. I've only seen a horse react as badly as he did today one other time, and that poor girl had quite the ill fitting saddle and bumpy rider for years to make her react that way.
We do really good warm ups before rides and ground work stretches. I use a roller stick and a chamomile/ lavender massage mix that he goes crazy for, and in all the time I've had him never had a problem with these.