Drifter is not comfy. It is not saddle related.
He was wearing plastic wedges under his ordinary back shoes. They were great in so many ways, until he got thrush under them. The farrier had to change them for metal wedge shoes which are a bit of a larger wedge.
It is not certain whether this is causing the pain in his withers. But he now has stiffness at the back end as well. Pretty much all the muscles that make up the great roundness of a horse’s butt are tight and uncomfortable for him right now. The physio saw him this week and said that it’s likely the shoeing that keeps him sound in other joints is tipping the stifle to an angle that doesn’t work for him.
He’s happy enough to have me on his back as long as I don’t do anything with the reins. And by anything, I mean holding them. Lay them on his neck and he’ll walk happily. Pick them up to even the longest warm-up length and he’s tense, hollow and unhappy.
I asked the physio what she recommended for his exercise and she suggested we keep on pootling without reins and wait 6 weeks. If he’s just having issues adjusting to the shoeing change, he should be over it by then. If not, time to convene the vet-farrier alliance again and see where we go with it. Unfortunately we’ll soon be coming up to the 12 month cut off on our lameness claim with the insurance, so this could start getting expensive. I need to check the dates…