God is so kind! And he makes amazing people! So... Liz and I met for a trail ride at Harbins because I had told her about Fleck and how I was worried. She and I both looked at him and between the two of us, we were able to figure some stuff out. Liz is talented! She can really see "energy". She felt like his front end was pretty good. She said he wasn't tight and just felt good. He did have a little tight spot on his front right shoulder line, but I can work that out. So then we went to his back end. Sigh... Liz agrees with me. She thinks it's his hips too. And I'll be honest, Kathryn mentioned it first. And awhile ago. I wish I had listened to her earlier. Fleck just feels really tight and painful at his hip. Both hips! I was able to adjust his back and we looked at his lines and energy and stance. I then adjusted his hips again, but differently this time. He looked like an old man trying to hold his pee in. He's always been narrow behind but he was super narrow and cow hocked. And he was almost standing with his hind legs up underneath himself. Almost like he was stuck in lumbosacral flexion, which is odd.. because he tends to be stuck in extension. So... I showed Liz how he won't let me pull his right leg laterally. So we palpated his hip and again looked at anatomy... We pulled his hip/hind leg back, behind his other hock, and then medially. Fleck got into it and seemed much more comfy. Then we did the other hip. Rather than pushing it cranially, I went more cranial and pushed it more caudodorsally. And that seemed more helpful to him too. So then Liz showed me how to open up Fleck's hips. Basically I put my fist in between his butt cheeks and slowly push. He was tight! Then once I get "in", I can turn my first and essentially be a "thigh master" and help him push his thighs apart. It was not easy and Fleck was a little pissy at first. But after doing that a few times we noticed that he started to stand with his hind legs more spread and with his back legs more behind him. And he just seemed more comfortable.
So we went for a ride and Glory Be!! He seemed HAPPY! He was more outgoing again and more happy and forward and happy to be moving! He even kept breaking into the trot! And the other day, as soon as I took my leg off, he'd break to the walk. He seemed to be moving out better and more evenly and smoothly. Liz agreed. YAY!! So... I don't know what his issue is, but I'm embracing the fact that he feels good today :)
Happy Flecky = Happy Mommy!