Smrobs - My mum was observing me whilst I was riding, I said to her that something is wrong. She has only recently started doing this. It will be costly but I can't risk her having an injury of some sort..
Saddlebag - I did this whilst on her, Twice. The girth was loose. I'll google that though!
Welcome to the forum! I'm impressed with the time/patience/observations you're showing - at first I thought, "Oh yeah, the 'trying to get out of work routine'", and then later thought, "Oh no! Laminitis!" But if it were laminitis, you'd probably see her "pointing" on a regular basis.... Now, after reading your last post, I think she's been treated harshly in the past. ("Head shy, scared of water, and a chain link bit") I'm not an expert, but everything you describe gives me a feeling this poor girl was treated somewhat abusively. Even so, I would definitely have a vet come and give her a full examination to detect anything else going on. Keep up the good work, and the best of luck! :)
Northernstar - I'll have a chat with my mum about it. I live in the middle of nowhere and the only vets about are small animal vets. Equine vets are rare but I'll be on the lookout. She doesn't "point" at all in the paddock. She doesn't look at her stomach at all, or lean back like she does so that rules out anything like Colic and Laminitis. She was treated badly, and the woman who sold me her supposedly "rescued" her. That is if neglecting her in a field far from the house is rescuing her. She had no work done for over a year, when I got her, she was fine bar the bucking and rearing episodes. A couple of months later and she is being all silly. I have already made progress with her, I just hope that it is her trying to get out of work and nothing else. She is wary of whips but I prefer not to use them. Maybe it will just be an aid?
Crazy idea here but what if you put weight on the saddle (not necessarily another human but like a grain bag). That way she would have "rider" while you were on the ground to assess things. If could be that this mare is thinking that this is what is required if its a weight thing. If its a pain thing she would do it with the weight on the saddle. If she does not do it with the weight than you know its a behavioral thing.
How does she react to pressure? Is she easy to move or harder to move? I heard of a horse that was taught to yeild to pressure on the ground so well that when the person finally mounted the horse the horse yeilded to the pressure (weight) and laid down. I am wondering if this mare is doing something similar.