Something is up...
For the past week or so, my horse has been a little aggravated during grooming. He is fine with his neck and legs, nothing unusual there, but when I start brushing his ribs and belly, he swishes his tail a lot. Today when I was grooming him, he was even picking up his back feet on either side and holding them there, like he was warning me. I didn't reprimand him at all, just talked to him, tried to soothe him a bit. When I was done, I walked around to his head and his expression was just not normal. He looked unhappy, uninterested, just grouchy. This isn't like him, he usually loves being groomed.
Instead of going for a ride today, I decided to just do some free lunging in the arena to kind of further assess this situation. He didn't want to leave my side, he followed me around like a scared little puppy. Once I got him to start working, he looked the same as he did in the aisle, just not happy at all. I asked him to trot and he only made a few laps before I stopped him. He was so tense, something is not right, he looks like he is in pain.
He is eating and drinking normally, grazing normally, he isn't being disrespectful or aggressive, he's just not himself though. The bugs are getting bad here, but there aren't many in the barn where I was grooming him. Could it be bites that are causing him to be irritated? But the that wouldn't explain the tense trotting... Also, his winter fur is still hanging out on his ribs, does it cause irritation if it isn't brushed out by a certain time? I try to get as much as I can when I groom, but it's really on there. I just don't know... I called my vet and he told me to keep an eye on him for a few more days and if he doesn't improve, to call back and make an appointment.
So what now? I board outside of town, so it's not far, but I have to work all day for the rest of the week and I can only be there a few hours a day. I let my barn owner know, but I can't expect her to check in on him several times a day, can I? He is in a huge pasture on the back of the property, he isn't exactly within view of the barn.
I feel like I should have the vet out anyway, just to be safe, but he didn't seem overly concerned... I'm just scared to wait and see, what if it's something serious?
What do you guys think? What would you do?
"A rider who would trade partnership for obedience
will have to settle for neither."