Hand walking was part of Scout's discharge instructions after the surgery, but ice and snow have made it impossible. Instead, two weeks ago I began to leave her stall door open while I was cleaning the barn. The first time I did that, Scout didn't want to leave her window. She came out for half a second and then whirled back in. Little by little, though, my mare's nosy nature pushed her to go exploring. Yesterday, I left her door open for more than half an hour. Despite her anxiety about losing sight of the other horses, she just had to know what I was doing. Before long, she swung her nose into my back. Because the belly always wins with her. She suspected I had cookies or carrots, and she was right.
Still, she had doubts about leaving that TV window, from which she's watched the My Very Own Crew of Horses I Boss Around show every day for six weeks. It's amazing to me how all living creatures can become habituated to unnatural circumstances as long as they can find some way to meet their needs. She'll forget what she's been through as soon as she's out of it, though. That's where she's different from me.