Honestly, I think the issue is your horse's rear end conformation that has him move like he does. I do see he has lost a LOT of condition over the winter. The earlier photos he is in excellent flesh. The photo with the lady in the red jacket is surely the worst. The next photo he looks much better.
I don't like feeding grain off the ground.. but the facility is the facility. I suggest that instead of all the stuff you are bringing your horse now, bring him 3-5 pounds of hay cubes (usually alfalfa) and feed him those in a bucket. I would do this at the start of winter. You may have to give more. He can eat this while you are grooming him.
Feeding off the ground in a herd like this is how horses get and stay wormy. I suspect your boy has a pile of worms and you may need to go to a very aggressive worming schedule.
Beyond that I will say some more. This is a pretty decent horse. I mean that. I have looked at a LOT of horses and yours is solid. He has good bone, good height for his hocks, solid feet, nice roomy joints, a good length of back, a steepish shoulder and a slightly low placement for his point of shoulder. His big weakness are his undersized hind quarters and the flat croup, which cause him to move behind the way he does. In the turn test, if his back was really dangerously bad, he would have not crossed his legs or recovered.. he would have staggered behind, wobbled behind or even gone down behind.
For a spavin test you take one hind leg and flex it to the max.. holding it in flexion for a minute (use a watch) and then let the foot down and immediately trot the horse off. If the horse is lame, it is typically a spavin. Your horse does not look spavined to me.
I really like your horse and obviously you do as well. I would not mind owning this horse (and a lot of horses I see on the Horse Forum I would not say this about). Does he need groceries? Yes. Coulld he be suffering a large parasite load? Yes.. he is in with a bunch of other horses who may not be as diligently wormed. Is he at the end of his career? Not from what I am seeing. I would run a fecal on him, get him some high end hay cubes and get him conditioned up and continue his training.
JMO. Nice horse.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Last edited by Elana; 05-03-2013 at 09:31 AM.