Two years ago a student bought this 7 year old bay paint - he is very English sporthorse like not western pleasure-ish. He always moved a little crooked. He acted out a lot - the previous owner was afraid of him and we considered him spoiled - when it came down to it - he did not do anything dangerous - he just acted up. Pawing big when groomed. Being a bully - that sort of thing.
So 3-4 months later he is better but I am still wondering why he still goes crooked especially in the canter to the right. So chiro - saddle fitter - massage - vet - we find his saddle is not a great fit - not particularly terrible but sits the rider wrong and is a little narrow. So new saddle and series of massage and time off....
A year later he is better but still bouts of temper - running in the canter - balking sometime - working through it - but it seems behavior to a degree - but something is not right as he still likes to go crooked.
On the lunge, he was a lot less crooked but his hind end still moves odd - paddles a bit. BUT he is very POWERFUL with his hind and sure footed.
SO prep for first show - we go to do WT - he has been in thi indoor before 3 times - he cant go more than 10 feet without rearing. It does get better in the warmup but not cured.
He goes to a dressage show with me - not to show - he is OK for him (relatively) - but at the end we are told he can school in dress arena. He goes in and every time he goes right - he wants to balk and rear.
NOW- first thing some say is 'have you checked the saddle' or 'have you seen a chiro or massage'? And it was a YES and YES. My vet had said he was not unsound - this was behavior.
Knowledgable friends said it was behavior. I did toughen up on him and got more strict but in my gut I still think something i bugging him.
SO a week ago a saddle fitter checked his saddle- said it was too narrow - its an adjustable gullet. I think he's beefed up so I dont think the previous saddle fit was wrong. He did go better for the saddlefitter but 2 rides later he was balking, rearing and not right. BUt no real lameness to put a finger on.
Then today we took him to a vet hospital and did a vet workup. She said he moves weird behind and had some response to tests - she wanted us to take blood for EPM test. I said ok. But upon reading all the EPM symptoms - he is weak in the tail pull test etc - but in general, this is a pretty sturdy strong horse sure on his feet. He is not fatigued or lethargic or anything like that at all.
So then next - pain in the hocks if test neg for EPM - she thinks he is in pain too as I do.
Problem is - I feel like (he had a chiro adjust also at the vet clinic) - its in the HIP. Like he mut be crooked in the hip or SOMETHING.
Anyone have any ideas?
I have gotten advice for the Whole Body thing from Texas. That is an option but the owner is 15 and not made of capability to take horse 2 states away.
Is Lyme disease check with a blood test? He is barefoot and has great feet. He is a reg paint. I think he's not related to Impressive in any way. I will ask her. We have an HYPP horse here - she is impressive bred and I amcaring for her - she is awesome but I do fear for her and I told the owner NOT to breed her. But his behavior doesnt coinside with anything I have read on HYPP. In general, he is better when I ride him but he still does it - she is a very good rider - other horses love him. She has learned to be a little defensive because of him. But we do a lot of stretchy trots and serpentines and he will be great to the left and then balk and rear to the right.
We have gone through 2 saddlefittersand fittings. Yes, the saddle he wasin when she bought him was ill fitted. The saddle she bought for him fit him (as I said in the first message) but we think he bulked up and the new saddlefitter said he needed to go to a wide. He is a wide but has prom withers so he is slightly challenging to find a saddle for. Her jumping saddle is a CAIR panel Bates and the dressage is a wide Passier.
Behavior might PLAY into it - I would be surprised if it didnt because if I was quacky, I would suggest he was slightly bipolar. When he is happy - he is very expressively happy and when he is a little sour about something - he is a total drama queen - this is about everything - getting shots - being wormed - being bathed - etc. But once he decides something is ok - he is gold. Like teaching him to load was a headache at first but the light clicked and now he might be the best loader on the farm.
Neurological is what the vet thinks. But he doesnt show any signs or symptoms I am familiar with. I am not a vet but I have been doing horses for 30 years. I trained a horse that ended up havign EPM - I worked with him 2 months and we figured out this was his problem and the rehab I worked for took him back to try to rehab him. I think he was too far along though to be cured.