Yes, I agree with you both. When he told me she bit, my first question was, "did you get her back?" He said he did- but again, I wasn't there to see any of it. But I do trust his horse handling skills generally.
I think I need to get tougher about the ear pinning/girthy stuff. I think she sees the blanket coming over her back the same way she sees the saddle pad. Of course if she's allowed to get away with ear pinning at the saddle pad, she assumes it's ok with the blanket.
So maybe that's what I really need advice on. When tacking up, she's on crossties. We have no tie post where I could tie her and make her move if she gets nasty faces while saddling. The only thing I've ever come up with about the saddling is just to growl "quuuuit"- but obviously that has been ineffective.