Even though Boomer was trotting sound on he lunge, he is not sound to ride. I rode him yesterday and at the trot he feels uneven in the back. Now, it isn't head bobbing lame, and he doesn't seem to be in pain. But, he is uneven. I can't feel it when I'm posting, but the sitting trot kept pushing me up on the left diagonal. It was hard to sit and didn't feel even.
After much thought and discussion, we really feel that it is a rehab issue more than a lameness issue. So far, Boomer has healed and repaired himself as much as he needed for his work level (grazing in the pasture). Now that I am expecting more of him, the problem shows back up.
I think that if it was a pinched nerve or slipped disc, he would be lame all of the time, not just with an added workload. I think that he compensated and has had muscle atrophy which is making him uneven.
So, our solution is to have the chiropractor out for a few sessions and I will continue riding him at a walk only and work on exercises to build strength in the back end.
Exercise ideas are welcome, I am thinking he needs lots of lateral work. Leg yielding, haunches in, shoulder in, spirals, etc.
Yes, I am bummed. No, I don't know if this is the right solution. No, I don't know if he will ever be what he used to be. Yes, I will keep trying until I know.