The first obvious sign that should put your ear to the bug is if your horse is contracting, sagging or fidgeting when you run your hand over a particular area of its back.
For example, when grooming, he may start to have a back that suddenly widens. Likewise, if he shouts or folds his ears back when saddling, strapping or starting the work session. In this case, muscle contracture or lower back pain may be involved.
The horse doesn’t have a good stride
There is a clear difference in stride between a horse that suffers from the back, whether at the level of the spine, the sciatic nerve, the lumbar region or even the cervical, and a horse that does not suffer.
Indeed, the pace is more irregular, the stride less flexible, especially at a gallop. It can even happen to trip.
Worse, it may even refuse to jump over obstacles or shift while jumping. Or refuse to make tight turns.