Yesterday and today for the first time my wonderful, part-leased warm blood put his nose practically to the ground when asked to do anything more than walk. And he did it with strength, practically pulling my arms out of the sockets. Normally he will stretch at the end of a ride but this was not a relaxed stretch, and he even did it at a standstill and at the walk. And, he just seems not himself. He is eating well and alert and there have been no tack changes. It has gotten colder. I don’t want to force his head up, he knows much more than I do, really a schoolmaster, but clearly something is off. My trainer hasn’t been able to figure it out either. Suggestions?
Horses use their necks as a balancing beam. Something must be off with his balance. I would have a vet check him. Have you tried lunging him before you get on to see if he does the same thing? Sometimes you can see things from the ground much better than when you are riding.
Did you or your trainer check his back for soreness? There is a correlation between the neck and the last vertebrae in the spine.
He may be stretching his neck to say he needs to release or fix his back.
Another possibility is irritation in his larynx. He could have eaten something that caused his throat to be inflamed. Horses will stretch to avoid a closed feeling in his throat. Did you give him new hay? Different turnout? It can also be molds and late pollen in the cup hanging season.
Hope that helps.
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