Well, certainly not the result I was expecting from the vet check this morning!
My vet and I got to the farm bright and early to grab Cash. He was less than thrilled at getting on the trailer instead of eating breakfast, but we got him on within 10 minutes without a ton of drama. Once there he was actually pretty chill, he unloaded, looked around and walked right into the building and into the stocks without fuss.
THREE shots of sedative later (yeah, I know)... we had a scope down him and the vet, Dr. Jergens, spent several minutes thoroughly looking around. The result? NO ulcers. At all. Just lots and lots of saliva! Which is why he's ulcer free. The vet actually really liked how his stomach looked. Well, ok then. That rules that out.
He's got a weird little swelling on his belly, a very small amount of puffiness on the inside of his left stifle, and a thickened medial suspensory branch on his front right (he's had residual swelling there since I got him from what I've presumed was an old injury, and that was confirmed today). Also, he is slightly asymmetrical in his SI joint. It's oh so slightly higher on the left side (which is the side he reacts more to in response to leg pressure). When palpated a normal horse should dip their lower back down. He however, would not do that, instead he was very tense and resisting.
We are going to give him a PowerPac dewormer to rule out any possibility of encrusted strongyles causing intestinal discomfort (which is what could be causing that belly swelling). Then I'll plan a time with my vet to do a full lameness/soundness workup on him and likely we'll just treat the SI by injecting the joint instead of doing a block. Also, chiropractic body work might be in the works as well.
The long and short of it is that I'm REALLY glad I took him in, it was well worth the money and we got some good routes to pursue and was able to rule out the ulcers without wasting money trying to treat them.
So, back to work he goes, just lots of good stretchy exercises to keep his whole body limber and we'll go on from here!