Scout passed her soundness exam yesterday. E moved her out while I stood with Dr. B. Scout was high as a kite. We had brought Gambler to the outdoor arena to keep her company, but Scout called over and over again to the other horses. They were all in their stalls, waiting for vaccines.
Oh, her scream can be deafening. She was jiggy and pissed off. E wrangled her on the longe line as if she were hauling in a swordfish. At one point, Dr. B went to Scout and spent a few moments flexing her at the neck to bring her back down to earth. I watched all of this silently, thinking, "There's the horse I know. Mm-hmm." Eventually, Scout settled enough to circle on the longe. Then she was comical, torn between moving forward, calling to her herd, and snaking her nose down to grab a bite of the new grass. Trying to handle all of those competing needs, she displayed astonishing flexibility.
Dr. B asked for canter. Oh, Scout took off. She exploded into a canter, dropping low to push off. She's a fast horse, and I often imagine there's a spoiler mounted over her rump to create better aerodynamics, like some gear head souped her up. Whoosh.
It took half an hour to get through the exam. There's a shortness of stride lingering in the left hind, but nothing else. Dr. B tracked the shortness of stride to Scout's hip. That problem first appeared in March 2009, and Scout subsequently received bilateral hock injections. It was a chicken and egg kind of thing: did the hip cause the hock or the hock cause the hip. We could see yesterday that the splint bone fracture and surgery had no impact on that. Doc B felt Scout was moving better now than she had since the subtle hip hitch first appeared.
I really had no expectations, and maybe not even any hopes either way. "She looks really good," said Dr. B, smiling. "Put her back to work." I was flooded with relief, I think. Relief for Scout. I felt the particular happiness of knowing that this animal that I love is all right. For the next few days, that's all I want to feel about her.