Agree with others that I'd give her a break. It could also be associated behaviour - eg. Habit - she's been so 'practiced' at doing this in pain that even in absence of pain, she keeps doing it. May need a bit of 'retraining' once you ensure there's no physical cause. I'd be doing this in a halter/hack rather than a bit, to begin with at least, & that she 'does horribly' in a halter implies to me she likely needs more training too. But as you say she does fine flexing on the ground, just not when you're on board, have you had her back/neck checked out?
Originally Posted by NotTheAverageCowgirl
back to working in a bit she is increasingly harder to bridle (nothing that I can't handle but its just getting annoying.). ...Now she is a Haflinger so I found the fact that she's lost weight very curious for her breed.
I'd say it's a little more 'annoying' for her than for you. There's obviously a problem there somewhere.
As for haffies & losing weight, they are horses & while people are too used to seeing fat horses, and heavier & pony breeds especially are generally obese & 'fat pads' & crests due to IR are hard to shift, perhaps giving people the idea these horses 'can't' lose weight, haffies, ponies, drafts... are still horses & should look like them, not hippos!
But if she's losing too much weight & getting skinny, have you discussed it with your vet? Have you considered stomach/hind gut ulcers & such? What are you feeding?
She did have a bit of a sore back when I rode her with a saddle (been riding bareback
How have you established her back isn't sore without a saddle? When choosing a saddle for her, especially being wider than average(tho regardless how wide, it seems like many saddles are too narrow to fit a labrador comfortably, let alone a horse!), ensure that you find one with a wide enough gullet AND wide enough channel AND wide enough angled forks/bars. Balance International have some great info on saddle fitting on their website.