- Horse had never been lame or "off" since he has been in the barn (May of this year)
Last Saturday - Horse is dead lame undersaddle.
Sunday - very lame while on the lunge for a couple circles. Worse going to the right.
Monday - vet out treat told to treat it like an abscess. Nothing comes up with hoof testers and farrier does not think its an abscess. Nothing comes out so put shoe back on, on friday (vet out again - told to see how he was with the shoe on). However he has gotten much sounder throughout the week.
Yesterday and today - Looks normal to the left but just not quite the same going to the right. Not obvious lame but not how he was previous to all of this.
There are so many possible answers to this question it is impossible to answer. Time for a full lameness exam. If your local vet is not able to pinpoint, then it's time to go to a large animal hospital for a full work up.
Is it possible that horse kicked himself? This happened to my mare last fall. Came to barn, she is lame. No swelling, no heat. Called vet, had xrays, no response to hoof testers. Vet thought probably a bruise but said to treat for an abscess just in case, but nothing happened. 3 or 4 days later she was fine. She now goes out in front boots.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
From what you've seen wih him being very lame and then getting better throughout the week it seems like he may have pulled something and as the inflammation goes away you are seeing improvement, but obviously this doesn't mean he's good to go. I would have the ve do a thorough lameness exam with some nerve blocks to make sure you know where to look, then X-ray or ultrasound to see if the vet can find the exact cause. This will tell you how long to rest, rehab protocol, etc. If you find nothing but horse is still NQR, welcome to the story of my life In that case rest is still a good idea. You may not know what you're resting, but unlike chugging ahead with work, it can't hurt