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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there!

So, long story and kinda at a dead end. I have a 11 year old thoroughbred, never raced, who sat in the field for basically his whole life until two years ago. I bought him, and started him. He's a chestnut pinto with a lot of attitude, but we've gotten past most of the attitude issues. Anyways, he never showed a lame step for the past 2 years I've had him until this fall. He's extremely talented, with a lot of potential, which hopefully can be used soon. But, this fall, I worked as a working student in return for training. He was at my trainers for a month, in a "bootcamp situation", he was worked about 5-6 days a week, pretty hard work. Now, he was use to hard work, as for the past two years, I had been showing him almost every other weekend, went to a few rigorous clinics, etc. So about the 3rd week, he showed up with a slight head bobbing lameness. We gave him some rest, tried robaxan, previcox, and banimine at different times to see if anything worked, not much improvement. There was no longer a head bob, it was mainly just a slight visual lameness and something that I could feel when I rode him. We had the vet out, who put him on doxi for lymes(we did not pull blood, he was pretty sure it was lymes as when he ran the needle cap down his back, he almost fell in on both sides, after the acupuncture needle went into his foot, he was 10X better). He showed slight improvement, but still there. We had an acupuncturist come work on him, she stated that even after she worked on him, to have the chiropractor come out. She said he was in great pain, more on the right then the left(when the vet came out, he still showed soreness on the right side and not the left even after the needle was in his foot). So fast forward, a winter blizzard came, a month later I finally got the chiropractor to come out. He did wonderful work on him, even though my horse was awful to work with from his attitude. I got to flat him in a few inches of snow about 3 days after the chiro work, he showed good improvement, but I couldnt tell much as he was in the snow. Anyways, 2 weeks later(yesterday), I rode him yesterday. I was trying a new saddle on him, as I have very long legs and Im in need of something with a more forward flap. It was 60 degrees yesterday, and it has been in the 30's for the past 2 months. I wanted to see his reaction if i jumped him over a small vertical with the saddle. After I did that, he crowhopped, I expected that was because he wanted to do a lead change, as he is still learning and gets excited when he does one(yes, bad habit, hes still learning). Anyways, I put my regular saddle back on him to see if it was attitude, saddle fit or what it was. I got back on, and I couldn't even pick up the canter, he went directly to bucking and rounding his back with ears back.
SO! At this point, I stuck on what to do next. I have a feeling that his back is sore and the saddle did not fit him. BUT, he also has alot of attitude, and he has gone through phases of bad habits, whether it be stopping and not moving forward, walking into a arena and rearing and turning around to leave, or whatever. He got past those phases. But Im worried to push him past it and think it's attitude when there still could be an underlying problem. What do you guys think? Any experience with this? Like I said, he is extremely sturdy and never showed any lameness. He looks like a quarter horse, very stocky with big feet, not the typical thoroughbred at all.

I have videos of interested in him trotting
 

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So where were things left at after vet/chiro last came out? They cleared him for work or?

Are you positive this horse was sound before you got on him yesterday, as well as did you check the fit of the new saddle before hopping on or just go ahead and ride?

How does your regular tack fit him?
 

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I'd say it sounds like a very sore back. Many times when a horse is helped by a chiropractor, the muscles are still tight and used to holding the back in a certain position, so even after some body work the back may go back into that same position or muscle spasm. This can happen very quickly if your saddle doesn't fit and you put the same saddle back on the horse. This is often the case when a horse improves after chiropractic work but then becomes sore again.

Can you post pictures of your saddles on the horse? It might help to get some opinions about the fit.
 

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He was at my trainers for a month, in a "bootcamp situation", he was worked about 5-6 days a week, pretty hard work.

So about the 3rd week, he showed up with a slight head bobbing lameness. We gave him some rest, tried robaxan, previcox, and banimine at different times to see if anything worked, not much improvement.

We had the vet out, who put him on doxi for lymes(we did not pull blood, he was pretty sure it was lymes as when he ran the needle cap down his back, he almost fell in on both sides, after the acupuncture needle went into his foot, he was 10X better). He showed slight improvement, but still there.
Doxycycline is only 50% effective to treating Lyme Disease, as I understand it. (Not to mention doxy is poorly absorbed in horses.) Intravenous oxytetracycline is the better choice and better treatment.

What EXACTLY else did the vet do?
Flexion tests?
X-rays?
Nerve blocks?

What made him so sure it was Lyme? How does he know the sore back is from poor saddle fit?

I'm not sure the connection with the "acupunture needle in his foot"? Can you explain?

We had an acupuncturist come work on him

a month later I finally got the chiropractor to come out.

2 weeks later(yesterday), I rode him yesterday. I was trying a new saddle on him,
he crowhopped,

I put my regular saddle back on him,
he went directly to bucking and rounding his back with ears back.
I too would like to see pictures of your regular saddle on his back, as well as the new saddle (if you still have it). Could be you are simply dealing with poor saddle fit and he's had enough of it.

Or could be something else going on, since the symptoms started when he was at your trainers (who I assume was using a different saddle).

I have videos of interested in him trotting
Yes, would like to see this too.
 
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Sounds like maybe the saddle was a really bad fit and when you switched maybe it was just that he thought the old saddle would hurt him like the I'll fitted one did. Or he might have a serious back issue that got progressively worse when he had his break from him being lame. Or both.
 
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