Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Boulder, colorado
I would consider looking at his legs and seeing if he may have tweaked something somewhat unrelated to his back. For example, horses which experience bog spavins or other similar injuries (IE sprains) often are seen with back problems as well.
Obviously you should check and recheck all other more common reasons for sudden pain in the back.
Have you tried asking him to back up on the ground in halter and see how he responds? Does he seem to be reluctant to wanting to? Is he still sound? Does he have a particularly sensitive spot on his back, like, you touch it and he steps away? Where would you say it is located approx? He picks up his feet readily still and behavior is the same?
The thing about a horses back is there are hundreds of joint surfaces and hundreds of teeny tiny ligaments used for stablization of the horses back/body, ribons of vertebrae attached to one another the skull, and vertebrae column to the limbs then there are layers upon layers of muscle connective tissues nerves ligaments etc all intertwined in and around these vertabrae which protect the spine in some areas up to a foot in fact only the very top of the verte brae of a horse actually reaches the horses back but, like an iceburg a lot is below. That being said there is alot of potential for something to have become tweaked within the back of a horse.
... This makes it very difficult for vets to diagnose injuries which occur in the horses back without doing further scans (because theres so much 'stuff' in the way simply put) and injuries sustained within the more intimate structures of the horses back are nearly impossible to detect; furthermore this all becomes more complicated when the possibility of faulty back conformation on the part of the horse is thrown into the mixture... In each region of the four recgonized within the horses back are very specifically designed vertebrae which perform a specific purpose which has a specific muscle attached to it to allow for specific rotation and movement up down side to side etc... If this is skewed obviously your horses back will suffer to some degree. For a horse to perform at the higehst level with a rider on its back it needs appropriate back conformation.
Evaluate your horses back confo, evaluate what you can in regards to how your horse has developed muscle along his body and legs especially near the area of issue look for aysymetrical muscle shape, size, symmetry, and pain depending on where you may be looking on the horses back, try to evaluate your horse based on the four regions I touched on earlier and see if he has a specific aversion to movement or bend in a specific region, if this all comes back negative look for potential other problems which may induce lameness or back pain such as windgalls or bog spavins of the fetlock and tarsal joint region, examin the horse is motion in his gaits w/t/c if able, consider w/ or w/o rider finally evaluate your tack... if this all fails you're likely dealing with something more serious and beyond what medication or rest may be able to do and surgery my become an option...
Hope this helps some sorry it's so long pm me if this sounds like something that you'd like to talk more about
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