I started riding a new mare this summer who I am fixing up for barrel racing. She was leased for around 1 year by a little girl who could not handle her at all- she was always tense, sweaty, and scared when she had her. She stopped leasing her and so I began doing some stuff with her. I noticed when I had her in the round pen that she was pretty stiff everywhere, but I figured she'd loosen up with some more exersize. Now, 2 months later, she is much more flexible everywhere except in her back legs. When I pick them up to clean her feet, they still feel stiff. She also keeps them fairly stiff while riding. I have been riding her almost every day for the past 2 months doing lots of walking, bending, jogging and some loping.
I sometimes hear some clicking in her back left, so I thought she may have some arthritis. She was also used as a cutting and was trained for barrels before the BO bought her. I have pushed along her back to see if she had some pain there, but she didn't react. She doesn't complain at all, she actually is very go-ey but she is the kind of horse who just wants to please you so could she maybe be hiding some pain? I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for what could be causing this or how I could get her to loosen up.