Initial Evaluation Report
Major Complaint(s) from Owner
Buckley looks pretty, but he is "faking" it. He does not carry himself properly, and he has a very hard time relaxing through the back. He avoids contact with the bit a lot and has nasty refusals when jumping.
Past Injuries & Illnesses:
Buckley seems to have nice conformation! It was hard to get a picture of him from behind because of tail swishing. He was able to square up for his picture nicely.
Buckley's saddle is a little too wide, as noted by his primary rider. He did seem to have some built up tension around his withers and shoulders as a result. The saddle fit may be creating some of the tension that's being experienced under saddle. Otherwise, there were no glaring issues presented at the initial evaluation.
Observations from First Massage
Buckley obviously enjoyed his massage and was able to relax quickly and easily. I was able to physically feel him relieve much of the tension he was holding. He seemed to be particularly tense in his neck, chest, withers, shoulders, and obliques. From a behavioral standpoint, I would almost describe Buckley as "stoic." He did not show a lot of emotion when I found "tight" spots, whereas a lot of horses will provide some sort of signal that a particular area needs more work.
We will massage Buckley once per week for a few weeks and monitor progress.