Saturday and Monday I had two positive rides in H's majikal saddle of bliss. Swoon.
I kept the rides super short and easy - just w/t on Saturday and w/t + a few canter transitions on Monday. My whole focus on the ride was just to keep Boca happy, and that was acheived. No ear pinning, kicking out, gaping mouth, running, etc. He actually just bopped around, ears up, kind of pokey. I felt like his hindquarters were trailing out behind him, and it probably wasn't much to look at, but two rides without dramatics and a happy pony were the objective.
His back also seems less reactive in general - less reaction upon palpation, and no longer in the spots under where my saddle panels sit.
What the hell does this all mean?
I have two theories.
1) My saddle does not fit, causing back soreness.
2) Back soreness is secondary/compensatory to some other issue (arthritis, hocks, stifles, hip) etc. And my saddle could be exacerbating things.
Our appointment with the sports medicine vet is tomorrow. I also have the contact info for a local saddle rep dealing in high-end used saddles, y'know, just in case. :)
I'm feeling much more positive, and like we're closer to figuring things out.