What is wrong with him?

Annagain

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Have a look at these photos of my and my boy at a hunter trial last weekend. If you click on the link and then hit next button you can see the different stages. He didn't feel right over quite a few of the jumps and when I saw these pictures I was horrified.

He's recently had everything checked - not because of a problem, but just because it was time. Although he often gets a bit close to fences (it just seems to be his way and he doesn't hit many so I've been told to let him do what he's happy with!) and usually dangles his front legs a bit (he jumps bigger to compensate), he never makes a shape like this. It felt pretty horrible as well (excuse the hands, they're not normally like that but he took me by surprise!). He also stopped at the second of the fences, which although not unheard of is quite unusual these days, although I was quite worried about it so might have contributed to that!
He seems to take off ok and then get upset in mid air - could it be a back problem? I'd be grateful for any thoughts.

http://www.markel-photography.co.uk/Sport/equestrian/090504_sunnybank/c5/_MG_7986.jpg.htm

http://www.markel-photography.co.uk/Sport/equestrian/090504_sunnybank/c5/_MG_8019.jpg.htm
 

eoe

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Not being an expert but from what you say and the pictures I would say that he is out on his offside, it may be his shoulder and/or his Sacriolacs behind the saddle. Can you try and do some carrot exercises with him whereby you stand at his flanks and encourage him to stretch back, you will probably hear some clicks in his neck if he can't reach all the way and his back goes up behind the saddle, its normally a good sign that there is a problem. I would get your saddle checked as it looks very low and restricting at the front and bouncy at the back so may need reflocking to bring it back up at the front.
 

Annagain

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He's very fit - ridden about 5 days a week, jumped at least once a week, and I was definitely riding him - he's not the sort of horse you can be a passenger on, the second you stop riding him he thinks well you're not making an effort so why should I?

Saddle was checked by a very reputable (winner of numerous saddler of the year awards) saddle fitter six weeks ago (same one I've used for years with no previous problems)
 

AmyMay

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He doesn't look terribly happy. And my first thoughts were - is he fit? and the second, were you actually riding him?

Low grade virus pehaps?
 

Annagain

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He's fine in himself - and wasn't even blowing when he finished, but the way he is there just isn't him. He has been a bit naughty recently but always is when he's on the spring grass so I've not paid much attention to it, but now I think there's something more to it than that?
 

Annagain

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Done 4 days before this and no problems, just routine maintenance. The only thing I can think is his back as it was checked about 5 weeks before but something could have been tweaked in the mean time. He's more than happy out hacking and no worse than usual(he's not a dressage star bless him!) on the flat. Lunged him last night with no problems but can only think there's something in his back, affecting him. These photos were just a few weeks before and as you can see he's much happier in them.
http://www.proeventpix.co.uk/r2kjtc4/r2kjt216_jpg.html
http://www.proeventpix.co.uk/r2kjtc4/r2kjt217_jpg.html
 

Shazzababs

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It could just be me (I'm no expert), but it does look like he is favouring his off fore\shoulder. In both sequences he has brought it off the ground first, but puts down with the left side first after doing a 'squiggle' in the air. I am assuming you were jumping in canter.

Maybe he has a lameness brewing in that leg\shoulder ?

My boy had a big abcess last autumn, and while he wasn't actually lame before he went lame (if you know what I mean), looking back it did explain some 'not quite right' behaviour for a few weeks before.
 
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