Stiff front shoulder
Hi! I have a 18 year old quarter horse mare who has developed a stiff front shoulder. I ride her on a regular basis and we do a number of different things from games shows (just barely beyond novice) to team penning to trail riding. About two months ago while I was warming her up for a fun show, she seemed off. She seemed stiff in her left front shoulder at the walk and trot, more so at the walk. However, she seemed to work out of it after about ten minutes and we did four events with out incident. Then about two weeks later she did the same thing at the end of a team penning session. I got off her right away, massaged her shoulder and walked her for about ten minutes and she seemed okay again. But I decided to give her a two week break. I took her out on a short trail ride and at first she was fine. Then about 30 minutes into the ride she started acting stiff again. Everytime this happens, she doesn't refuse to move or even hesitate, she just gets an odd hitch in her gate. The most confusing part for me is that she'll lope in either lead and not show the stiffness at all (I only asked for it for a short distance, trying to figure out what was going on). And in the pasture, she'll tear around like always and only show anything when she's walking or trotting. I'm looking for suggestions from anyone who's seen anything similar. I've got an equine chiropractor coming out this week and I'm pretty confident it's not my sadde since we've used the same saddle all summer and this just now showed up. Though I am wondering if I may have cinched it too tight towards the end of the summer - she's not a big horse (14h 2") and has always had a tendency to puff out during saddling, so I'm always adjusting the cinches in the beginning of any ride. Anyone have any ideas? By the way, this is my first post so I'm sorry if it got a little wordy!