Last night I wasn't quite feeling it - it had been pouring rain all afternoon and I mostly wanted to go home and curl up with a book - but I headed out to the barn, tacked up, and got on.
We did 15 minutes of walking, then 5 of trot, and while it was stiff to start off with we really hit a nice rhythm by the end. I'm focusing hard on rhythm more than anything else, and in the last few rides we've really nailed it. This was the first ride we nailed it in the first trot.
Then we walked again, and about three minutes into the walk, he went lame. No funny step that I could feel. Literally from one step to the next he went from ambling along on a loose rein to stumbling drunkenly. I pushed him through a few strides, then got off and walked him in hand to watch, then put him on the longe line.
Definitely off, definitely left hind. His right front, his surgery foot, was totally fine, but his LH was not tracking up and was swinging to the outside. It was far worse tracking left, and he was head-bobbing. He looked alllllmost ok to the right. When I halted him he rested the LH.
I brought him back to the aisle, untacked him, and ran my hands down every inch of his leg, palpated all over, compared with the RH, did everything I could possibly think of to detect ANYTHING, and nothing. No heat, no swelling, no nothing. He kept picking up his foot when I poked at his fetlock but that is SOP for him (it's his favorite foot), and while it had some fill it matched the RH fill and again, not at all out of the ordinary for him. (Front legs were clean and tight all the way down.) I rubbed some Biofreeze into the fetlock because I had some samples and I wanted to do something, however likely useless it was.
Ok; I walked him up and down the barn aisle to see if something had resolved, and again, not quite tracking up, swinging a bit to the outside, and when I turned him in the aisle to the left to go back he stumbled - like when he put his weight on that LH to swivel he couldn't balance on it.
Hopefully he took a slightly funny step, tweaked a muscle, and just needs a few days of rest. All of our work has been focused on building up his hind end, so he may have been a bit overstressed. The barn manager will let me know how he walks out of his stall today, we'll keep an eye, and he'll have a massage on Monday that will help with assessment and possibly treatment. If there's no improvement or clear cause, we'll get re-acquainted with our vet next week.