According to the owner and trainer, it is a problem with how the western saddles are hitting her shoulders, which caused muscle atrophy??????
She was lame for a long time until they figured out it was a saddle issue. She doesn't have a sway back and her withers are almost non existent..i was using a foam shim when I rode to keep the saddle from leaning forward.
She is 27 years old and is a retired champion barrel racer so she has some arthritis issues too. She is a sweet girl and I don't mind riding her bareback around the farm. I could definitely continue to ride her if I could get a saddle to fit properly but I still think I would like to find a horse a few years younger.
The only other horse at the farm that is available for me to ride is Jerry..who is between 30 and 32 years old. He is a grumpy old man but we won first place in novice barrels at a fun show in October. He is a very smooth ride and a great confidence builder under saddle but is a holy terror on the ground. I guess if I was a 32 year old horse and someone was still riding me, I would be grumpy too. I looked at the fun show in October as his "swan song" and feel he should only be used for very light riding from here on out.