Initially, I think that something odd just spooked him, he pulled back, and hurt his poll but was fine other than being a little sore. After that, any time I would get near his poll/ears he would back up, afraid that I would touch and hurt him, hit the end of the rope, then, "something has my head again and NOW THE MAT IS ALIVE AND HAS MY TOE I'M going to DIE-oh, wait, I guess I'm okay but now my head kinda hurts..." *SNOOOORT*
So I tested touching his ears/poll untied very gently and calmly, and figured out that it was definitely not his ears (sore, earache, etc.) but his poll was definitely quite tender where the halter likely hit. Called the chiro, who will be out this Friday, switched him to a nylon web halter, and at least for now I am wrapping the lead. He tried to pull once with the new halter while wrapped after the initial few incidents, and startled slightly but didn't by any means freak out. Also he doesn't have a problem with bridling, but when I go to put the halter back on after the bridle is off he gets nervous...
I'm hesitant to ride him even in a snaffle, no curbs since they use poll pressure. Is there too much I can really do with him at the moment? He's been under saddle since the initial incident and been just fine, but that was before I figured out that he was in pain and now I feel bad since he is normally quite stoic in these instances so it's not always easy to figure out if he's hurting. There's a darn good chance that he suffered through it like the good boy he is and I feel terrible if that was the case. Going out to give him some watermelon rinds and love, maybe a short bareback ride in his halter out in pasture if he's up to it.
Since the chiro won't be out until Friday, does anyone have suggestions of what I can do to make him more comfortable or relieve the pain temporarily? May give him some butte today.