Back problem or hock problem
I have a ten year old TB who is acting strange about his back. He is very cranky and mean. This just started about a week ago. If I run my fingers along his back on either side of his withers he pins his ears and dances around. I have noticed the right side is worse he actually turns and tries to bite me. He also is always resting his right hind leg. He has been off work for about two weeks due to the holidays. He is not lame at all. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts?
Thanks in advance
Don't make the puzzle harder than it is
Yes, back pain-- perhaps being muscular in this case-- can come from joint pain in the hocks.
If this were my horse, I'd pretend I was treating either one or the other and see what happened.
I'd start with back pain since that's the presenting problem. I'd evaluate my saddle's fit. Then I'd try a course of robaxin and some free lunging, free lunging in side reins followed by some good, old fashioned rolling opportunities. If I really loved him, I'd buy him a massage from a pro and be there to watch and learn. I'd also get out an anatomy book and figure out which muscles hurt and learn to feel their size and texture. If I only kind of loved the horse or was the broke, do-it-yourselfer that I am, I'd try my hand at the massaging without the pro.
If I saw some improvement, or was still curious, I'd try a course of bute to try and cut down on hock pain. If I was sure my saddle fit, I'd keep the horse in work. I'd do long-n-low to help him out, perhaps go outside and walk up and down some hills to work his butt, but give him something other than pain to think about while at the gym.
To me, it's a question of taking the kinds of pain apart as best you can, and then discovering which is primary.