After working in barns and taking lessons for about 3 years now, I have found a new instructor who has this big AQH mare that I connected with.
She rode her without issue. I (I am a plus sized rider, about 250 more take than give) (and 6'0") rode her for about an hour with no problem. I went to dismount and she made that horsey shriek and pulled away from me. It was, what we think, to be a pain noise. We poked and prodded, but she was over it after I was on the ground. She dozed off as we pressed all over her trying to figure out the problem. We got nothing.
A time after that, my instructor got on her and she seemed a bit annoyed, but did not indicate she was in pain.
Next lesson, I went to get on her again, and she was fine. We rode around just fine for a while. She suddenly stopped and acted pained whenever I gently touched her with my heels. I went to dismount, and she was all over the place, making terrible noises and acting like I was really hurting her. I got to the point where I had to get off of her as fast as possible. She turned her backside toward me, but did not kick out at me once she saw me. She just went back to being calm and dozing with her head against my shoulder.
So, there are definitely some red flags. I have never owned a horse before. I can tell you that she is a little over 10 years old. She is well over 16hh and very big built. She was received from a starvation case. She is now putting on weight, and being happy and shiny and all seems well in the world.
So, I do feel a bond with her. The instructor was saying she wanted to sell her. (It's a small price, honestly. ) but I want to have a vet come out and evaluate what might be up with her back. If I do that, I'm out the cost of the vet.
Do you think this is a behavior, or is there pain?
What does an x-ray cost?
Do you think all signs point to "pass!" on this horse?
Any and all opinions/insights/limericks helpful and appreciated! Thank you.