Suddenly anxious in grooming
My TB gelding is usually a super calm dude. We had a couple weeks of very dry and cold weather and the nights were in the 28-30s, days a little higher (f).
One day 2 weeks ago I took him for a 40min walk with his winter blanket on; came back to the barn and thought I would do a massage since he'd been moving. Took off the blanket and began doing light strokes on the shoulder, and as I began doing a slightly deeper stroke he jerked and pulled away from me; snorting in anxiety. It was as if he had been shocked. There weren't any sparks or sounds of static, so I am not certain what happened. Since then, he has been super sensitive to being groomed. He does that snorting blowing thing as I groom him. I've been careful to use the softest brushes, begin at his hind and work up toward his seemingly more sensitive neck and shoulder. He is partially clipped.
I didn't see any evidence of bruising on his shoulders and he moves fine. Its just that anxious snorting as if he's expecting a shock. I've never seen him so edgey. Is it a cold dry weather thing, or are horses more sensitive to cold weather on their neck and shoulders?