My OTTB gelding gets really hot and spooky every Spring. This is the second year I've had him, and each year he just gets cold-backed and very nervous. His saddle fits (it is a Stubben, custom sized and flocked for him) so I've always just attributed it to the fact that he was a Steeplechase stallion until he was 10 (he is 12 now) and so probably has some hormones going. Lately though, I've noticed that he really loves to rub his nose on his leg when he is on a walk break. It's nothing new, and he does it in the winter too, especially when his mouth is all slobbery, but he also flips and shakes his head sometimes under saddle. He isn't exactly a docile horse, and tends to be rebellious and sometimes try to shake or root his nose in what is clearly a resistance effort, but the little flips are somewhat new. Also today I noticed that he has some odd small brown spots on the inside of his lower lip, which he often droops, even if he's not necessarily relaxed. It made me wonder if some of his head flips/nervousness in the Spring can be attributed to mild allergies? He wears a fly mask all day (an ear net when he's being ridden) so I don't think insects are a factor, at least not with his eyes or ears. Any/all input is appreciated!
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