Horse hops during the trot on lunge line - pain?
Hi everyone! There is a 23-year old saddlebred at the barn I work at. He had terrible hooves when he came to us, terrible white line and thrush, quickly popped two abscesses in his back right hoof and two in his front left. He was out of work during that time because he was incredibly lame, and now, several months later, his hooves are healthy again and we have been doing groundwork to get him strong again. He lost a lot of muscle in his back, topline, and hind legs. The vet and farrier approved him for work a few months ago. He has been doing an incredible job, and lunging beautifully at W/T/C. Today though, he seemed to be in pain during the trot at times. He looked great walking and trotting then (especially going to the left) at times he would tuck his head to his chest, hop, and come out of the trot, sometimes making a little noise like he was hurt. His right side is always a little tight and we do a lot of warming up and stretching after the work out to loosen out, but he has never hopped like this before. His hooves are sound, need a trim but not long at all, and he has no swelling or heat anywhere.
I’m thinking back, stifle, or hip tightness or soreness. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Thank you in advance!