Juxtapoze, I haven't even thought of an abscess. Will ask the farrier.
Free lunged him in the round pen yesterday. He was super lazy and there were several distractions. He hopped both directions and nearly every trot transition. He didn't seem in pain, just didn't care. High head, hollow back. My friend who knows him well said he thinks he was just being lazy. He did get spooked at the very end and moved a LOT nicer. Makes me think that it's a top line or balance issue. When he isn't paying attention he moves poorly, when he is using himself nicely the hop disappears and he floats. Same thing under saddle, when its just flat work he sucks back and does just enough, when its time to jump he carries himself nicer, moves forward and his whole attitude changes. I've decided to take him off the bute and see if we notice any difference. I told the BM that I'd like to put shoes back on him, he was really sore for a while after I took them off in Sept. I'm not set on going barefoot, it just is easier in the winter on the turnouts, he isn't required to do any heavy work and it saves a little money. Plus, BM is kind of a barefoot fan. He was barefoot last winter but he pretty much had the winter off because the lack of an arena, I put shoes back on in the summer, figured I'd do the same but if he just isn't comfortable being barefoot, I don't mind keeping shoes on him. I also don't like the barn farrier. He doesn't seem to do a very even trim.