I've not been able to do much of anything with my boy this week, because he's been off. The problem is, we can't figure out exactly what the problem is. On Monday, he felt a bit different during our warm-up. Not lame or unwilling, just...different. He sometimes is a bit stiff through his back when I first get on, but I let him have a nice, long stretch, & then be loosens up & is fine. Monday was something different, though. He was kind of favouring his left hind leg a bit. Not limping, just not moving like usual. My trainer couldn't find any heat or swelling in his leg or foot, but said that this could sometimes be a sign of an impending hoof abcess. By Thursday, he had no physical signs that anything was wrong with him, & he seemed to be moving about in his paddock just fine. So I got on him, & again, he just didn't feel right. Smoke is a horse who loves his job & loves to GO, but this time he had no interest in doing anything but slowly shuffling along. He wasn't pinning his ears or refusing to move forward or anything, he just wasn't eager, & showed zero desire to open up his stride at all. This time, instead of looking off at all in his left hind, he just looked overall stiff.
Does anyone have any ideas what could be going on with him? My trainer has put in a call to the farrier to have him come out & hoof test him. If he can't find anything, the vet is going to come out. At this point, I can only get out to ride him twice a week - would this cause anything? He lives out in a large, dirt paddock 24/7 with one other horse. I really don't think it has anything to do with saddle fit, although I am getting a thinline pad for Christmas, so I'll be interested to see if that does anything for his occasional back stiffness.