Brown horse (the mustang I ride during practice) has some serious stiffness on his left side. He won't bend, flex or anything. He hates side passing left, and when you try flexing under saddle, he braces and just goes in circles keeping his neck straight. He fights every step of the way. Yet he flexes easily to his right.
On the ground, he's the same. He will brace and rather go in circles all day than flex.
I have a very large hunch he's sore somewhere. I can speak from personal experience that when my back is out, there are sides my head won't turn because its just far too painful! But I'm loose enough to look the other way. Based on this, I'm betting he's hurting somewhere.
But the caveat is, I told his owner. Her response? Brown is not injured. I wrote about his stiffness and potential pain on the fb page we use as our main communication, after the one time he was behaving unlike himself completely.
My advice is generally shot down or ignored. Is there any way I can teouble-shoot/prove he is hurting? I doubt they will call the vet.
I say be patient. Hold the tail gently while you ask the neck to bend so he gets the idea that you don't want him to turn. Always reward for the slightest try.
Also, work on his left side from ground until he gets a little bit softer. I wouldn't work on the right for a while.
I don't think he's hurting, but I may be wrong. Sometimes horses aren't comfortable with one side, they've never worked on a side before, or something like that.
Is this something that has begun happening suddenly or has he been like this since you met him?
It sounds like he is out of alignment and needs to see a chiropractor. My horse's chiro has done wonders for him. Has the owner seen his behavior? If she thinks it's not that bad maybe you could talk her into letting you bring a chiropractor out. Tell her if there is nothing wrong with him, you will pay for it. Most likely there is something wrong.
I'm not sure how much the price on that would run in your area but here it's usually about 75 to 200 per horse depending on who you use.
I hope this helps!
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