Dawn has been very braced lately - lots of attempts to brace at the walk and trot, and also lots of pushing on the bit and attempts to root. Today I did some experimenting to see what it was that was bothering her. First I tried riding her in the sidepull - it made no difference - it's not how her mouth feels now that's the problem. She's eating and chewing very well and putting on weight, and there's no sign of infection - today was her last day of antibiotics. When I put the bridle on her, with the Mylar single-jointed snaffle, I lowered the bit one hole to see what she'd think of that. Tracking to the right, she was fine - there was lots of nice, consistent softening and very little bracing. But tracking to the left was a different matter - there was intermittant softness but also a fair amount of bracing. I also tried switching diaganols down the long side (to be on the "wrong" diagonal) when tracking right to mimic tracking left, and in fact the bracing showed back up, and went away when I did the same thing tracking left. I suspect her TMJs and neck are stiff and sore from her tooth and chewing problems, and also that her left hind is a bit weaker from her EPM episode - hence the difficulties tracking left when I would be weighting the left hind as I was posting.
Our vet/chiropractor will be visiting to work on Dawn and Pie next Thursday - Dawn needs a tune-up, particularly for her neck and head, and Pie has been working hard for two months and will benefit as well.