Usually she has no problem walking/trotting and even cantering over that. I don't let her canter or trot on the asphalt for obvious reasons, but over the gravel and dirt areas, she doesn't think twice (and she's the type that if something is hurting, she WILL let you know).
However, yesterday she was having huuuuge issues with the gravel, even just at a walk. She kept stumbling when she'd step on a larger piece of gravel so I didn't ask her to trot since I didn't want to die if she hit an ouchy rock at that greater speed. I did ask her to trot on the dirt section, just to make sure she wasn't head bobbing (since she was having these issues with her front hooves, her back ones seemed fine) and she wasn't bobbing her head at all. She was even trying to walk on the grass by the edge of the trail which she never does, so that tells me that she was hurting enough that she "had" to find a solution.
The only thing I can think of that might have caused this is that she just got trimmed on Friday after not being trimmed for about 9 weeks (we had to reschedule her trim which had been scheduled for 8 weeks) and her hooves had been a little long, to me. The trimmer said that she didn't feel that they were very long when I commented on how long I felt like they were (Lacey is kept rather short so I'm used to that, but to the average horse person they were probably short to normal).
I got off to check her hooves at least three times and every time they looked fine... She was perfectly sound on the dirt, the asphalt and in her pasture, her legs/hooves didn't have any heat, and they didn't have a pulse (I was a little worried that she was foundering or something since she has had slight issues with that before, she's very svelte right now so I'm not too worried and her pasture is good, but it was something to consider)...so I'm thinking maybe it was just the trim? I hadn't taken her on a ride down that trail since her trim...
I pressed on her hooves/frogs/heels all over and didn't get a reaction at all other than "Hey! What are you doing checking my hooves on the trail? We were going places!", but her frogs did feel soft. My trimmer says that she just has naturally soft frogs and that as long as she's happy (which she is, usually) we don't need to worry about it.
Should I be worried? Or is this pretty normal, even for a horse that's never been significantly ouchy on gravel before, and I've just never experienced it?