About a month ago, my 12 year old pony came up very lame in his left front (head nod and visible short stride at the trot). No heat or swelling and didn't react to hoof testers when we called the farrier out. Note: the pony is and always has gone barefoot, even when consistently jumping 2'9"-3'. Three days on a gram of bute and he is perfectly fine and stays that way for two-ish weeks, even through two jumping lessons and a show.
10 days ago, his lameness reappeared following the same pattern as the previous lameness- head nod with left front even when jogging. Vet comes out for a lameness exam and he starts out slightly off in the front end with a very hitchy and short back end. Completely works out of the lameness and the vet is not able to block him out... we are left with no results. He has continued this pattern for 5 days: starting out with a stiff and hitchy back end and a slight head nod in the front. Everyone at the barn including my trainer is stumped.
Pony had his hocks done once in 2011, but we believe his issues then were an attitude problem (sassy ponies). He's had no previous injuries/extended lameness except for White Line Disease, which cleared up just about 2 years ago.
I'm hoping since it went away for a while and appears to work out of it that it's nothing serious. Maybe arthritis or needs injections? I'd love to hear what you brilliant COTHers have to say. Thanks!