Harley, longeline, saddled - HUGE bucks heading right as soon as he went into canter. Humpity hump hump. A few times, he kicked out behind, up & out. He stayed in canter without a lot of motivation on my part, and eventually settled down. When he stretched his neck long & low, I asked for a trot, which looked even. Down to walk, changed direction. One or two times in left-canter, he kicked up & out, but no huge bucking fits.
Added side reins - he tried to twist his face to the outside heading to the left, but gave walk, trot, canter, both ways, willingly. No fuss, no bucking, no kicking.
So I got on and rode a little. Walk both ways good. Trot both ways, good. Stiff in bending, but that's normal. I rode between rising trot and sitting, and noticed early in the ride, it felt like he was "butt-high", but later not as much. He gave to the contact, bend improved throughout the ride. One of the direction changes after some sitting trot, I saw what looked like "drag lines", suggesting he was not picking his back feet up all the way. Not sure if that's a sign of soreness, or laziness. *sigh*
I glanced at my watch. 30 minutes. Do I canter, or not ... I chickened. Chose to end it there, with some transitions from a connected walk to a long & free walk. When I did dismount, I noticed a LOT of slobber, licking, and chewing.
Maybe the bute is helping.
Maybe he self-adjusted something that was out in his back, bucking up a fit.
Maybe he's hiding the pain, and I need to ask for that canter to be sure.
I will call the vet this morning, with the updates, and see what the plan is from here.