Well, if it's not one thing, it's another. About three weeks ago, Willow started this funny stomping thing in the walk. She'd stomp with her front left, without breaking stride, just as if a fly was biting her fetlock. She'd do it a few times at the start of the ride, and then once she'd trotted and cantered a bit, she'd get back to normal in the walk. She showed not one iota of lameness.
I didn't think too much of it at first, but when it kept cropping up over the course of a week, I decided to switch to lungeing for awhile. Concurrently, Willow started acting very cold-backed in the cross ties, which is not normal for her. Cold-backed to the point of actually freaking out and pulling back in the cross ties on a few different occasions. (I started dropping the cross ties as I was tacking up, so she could freak out safely.) She'd flip out, I'd settle her down, and then she was fine.
Last weekend it occurred to me: did Willow have an ulcer? It might explain both the random stomping and the girthiness. I gave her a course of ulcer treatment, and I do think she's better. The stomping has disappeared, and while she's still acting a little grumpy in the cross ties, the freakouts have stopped. (I'm also going to switch to a girth with elastic to see if she likes that better.) I'm going to get back on her tomorrow and see how she goes. I ordered a digestive supplement that's mainly aloe vera, too. Several people at my barn swear by it.
We also had a horrible cold snap last week, with highs in the twenties and lows in the lower teens. It lasted five days. Crazy weather for this part of the country. Willow had frosty whiskers when I finished lungeing on those cold evenings.