Horse dropping nose to ground when asked to trot
I'm brand new to the forum and seeking some advice. I'm a fairly green horse owner - rode a bunch as a kid at relatives farm, but never owned my own horse. We've had a horse for about 2 years now.
My horse is a 12 year old Gelding who is athletic and a very nice mover. We've been doing some light riding this year as he needs to be worked up slowly each Spring. We think he was mistreated for most of his life. He's super spooky to new people, headshy and needs a really quiet existence - otherwise under saddle he's usually flawless and really likes to work.
But, the other night, out of the blue, while we were trotting he started to drop his head a bit. As we continued to ride it got lower and lower until he was dragging his nose on the ground.
I got off and lunged him without the bridle and he did the same thing, only he seemed as though he couldn't even bring himself out of a walk. As soon as I began to cluck him up, his head would drop way down.
I took the saddle off and tried lunging again and the same thing. He's been doing this now for about 3 days, but I haven't rode as I am worried something is bothering or hurting him.
There has been no change in tack and he does not show any lameness or stiffness. Just the behavior. And, it's not an aggressive lowering of the head, like he's going to buck or anything.
The only thing I can think of is that his hooves aren't in great shape and I've been waiting for the farrier to show up for a good week. But, his hooves have been left for much longer than this - and he's never been bothered.
Anyone familiar with this behavior or have any advice on what may be bothering him?