She pranked me!
My mare has bone spavins in both her hocks; minor enough that the professionals I sought treatment from said she's good to work in novice levels for the moment while they're fusing, it's all about making her comfortable. Now, we've had a lot of things happen and a lot to learn with this spavin issue and working with discomfort, and just recently I found that her left hock had fused and didn't have any soreness, now her right hock is fusing and is the sore one. Things have been much better with one spavin to deal with, and the training/riding improvement...
I took her out today on the lunge because I had barely been able to see her, being completely crammed, for a week. She'd also been very upset and anxious that her closest horse buddies, two of my neighbor's boarders, left. Sadly she doesn't understand (or believe) me when I tell her she is getting some little donkey friends next month. So, I put her on the lunge with all her tack, figuring I should let her crow-hop her agitation out without me on board. She goes around fine, not as nutty as I thought she'd be, albeit definitely more reactive and flightier, and as she blew off some steam and got into the motion, she decided to canter, and I thought OK, if you're up to it, you can canter on the lunge. I put her on the other side for canter, she's fine, picks it up right away. Other side again, and she pins her ears and gives a crappy cross fire. I tell her to switch, she switches, then PLOWS onto her forehand barely using her hind legs with her nose as far down as the reins secured to the saddle will let her, and I think, HOLY SH I CRIPPLED HER! I KNEW I SHOUDN'T HAVE LET HER CANTER ON THE LUNGE!
Got her to drop the canter, had her pick the left lead up again--- same thing. Stopped her, mounted up, asked for it and got the same horrible thing. Walked. Asked. Same thing. Walked, went on the right lead instead, she goes fine and gives a few bursts of speed before going along steady for a few minutes, so I trot, and then ask for that left lead again--- she gives about four quick broncy crow hops. She's only bucked/bronced or given a kick under saddle I think five times in the two years I've owned her, and those all because of big changes. So I sit her, and give her a sharp one-two kick, to which she responds by, whaddya know, going forward on the left lead with no hitch in her stride at all and her head level. Apparently, she was screwing with me ;) Caught between broncing and not, she had been putting her head down to her front legs and giving that horrible forehand movement in anticipation to start broncing.
I checked her legs, her back, no problems, and had the session short to avoid loading her too much mentally and physically. Did the usual stretches, rubs, liniments, etc. afterward, turned her out, and decided to call her to me; she came as usual, I gave a few running steps and kissed at her so she would trot, she did and---look at that!----picked up the left lead canter uphill without any issue. Aha.... she got me good this time, she really did ;)
*Yes I'll certainly check her tomorrow to make sure this really isn't an issue and is just her being a booger.