Trailer practice made my horse sore!
I learned a good lesson about how a new exercise like trailer loading and unloading can make your horse sore. I read another poster saying his chiro said backing up wasn't good for his horse's back. Now, I believe I'm seeing the same kind of discomfort.
I'd been trailer practicing load/unload to get my horse to back up more calmly. He is doing that, though not taking alot of steps into the trailer. In the past he would run out. So I gave the trailer practicing a rest due to an upcoming show we had (today). My horse had both chiro and massage in the last week and he looked good to go. Yesterday he tripped behind in the canter, a first for him. I thought it was because he was strung out and it didn't happen again.
After my ride yesterday I felt that his back was tight at the loin area, and gave him a little rub. Today in the show during warm up he left his hindquarters behind again. My coach was not present and I had no eyes on the ground. We did ok for 2 classes (placed 2nd and 1st) but I think he must have been moving quite badly for the 3rd and 4th classes - I wish I could have seen him move-he felt ok but I noticed he wasn't getting his right lead.
So long story short, I pulled him from his last class and got him home. I felt his back and it feels tight...this is not usually him. So, I guess being an older horse the loading practices over time has made him tight. I feel like a bad mom, but now know. This is another reason why I wanted to begin unloading him walking forward but everyone says to have him back up.