Everyone raised very valid points. Here's a few thoughts.
She probably doesn't want metal in her mouth (although she has had it for 16 years, so one has to wonder why now).
She definitely needs more consistent ground work, but what's a little weird is that we have been working more not less, so that this would come up now seems odd.
I have my suspicions about an emotional reason that's possible, but I may be projecting, so I'm going to mull that over a bit before trotting it out here.
The axis was an interesting suggestion - we have begun carrot stretches and they are very hard for her. I wonder if in one of those stretches she made herself sore, or out of whack. That really feels like a possibility.
I'm going to ride her tomorrow in the halter, she can definitely go bitless, but her brakes are not that great. Lots of go in that girl.
I'm also going to do some bit sweetening just to get it in to see how it sits in her mouth. Lily is a bit of a princess, and can become very stubborn given too much time off. So I can go back to square one. But if she's not going to be ridden, I'm not sure what to do with her. The not riding is definitely making her unhappy.
Fortunately the MSM seems to be helping too. When I was working her in my attempt to get an attitude adjustment, she was sound. So there's one bit of good news (pun intended).
Sierra and I had a terrific trail ride Saturday morning. I can't get over how far Smokey and I have come. We worked our circle under the power pole with no problem, we hit all the odd spots in the trail, came down hill in control, not in a "OMG, I'm Gonna Trot And Get This Over With" and we went across the ditch repeatedly without jumping it as if we were on some hunter jumper course.
It was like I was riding a grown up horse or something.
And since Smokey has shed out I thought it would be fun to do some shots - cuz the buckskin is back!
Smokey: Do I have to stand here?
Me: Just for a minute.
Smokey: Okay, but my nose itches.
Me: *skritch, skritch*
Smokey: I think we're suppose to be smiling at her.
Me: Oh, that's right.
And a hug for the photographer!