This morning, when I finally dragged my weary body to the ranch, Dink jerked his head up at my approach and walked quickly to me.
He shoved his head into the halter I held out, and walked briskly with me to the tack area. There he shifted from foot to foot until I sprayed him with fly spray, and then offered to give me a little bitey-witey when I was within reach.
Back to his old self.
His dapper demeanor dissipated most of my weariness, and in minutes we were headed out the gate. Today, he really took close notice of everything: a farmer inspecting his sprinklers in the orchards, a kid on a quad, a horde of crows congregating for mischief. His pace was back to his usual soldier march, and we even trotted for a while, with lots of enthusiasm in his step.
On the way home, my hat blew off onto the road. Dink didn't care, seeing it fly off behind him. And he was perfect as I bent down from the saddle and picked the hat up with the tip of my riding crop ... which I appreciated because getting up in the saddle is a major effort these days. What a good horse.
When we were done, I gave him a dose of SandClear and a few cups of sweet feed. He gobbled avidly, which is just what I wanted to see. Dink with no appetite is definitely ill.
I did note, however, that when he was eating the feed, bits of it were falling from his mouth. That probably means that his teeth need to be floated -- filed down so that he can chew evenly. Wonderful, a whopping vet bill. Still, it beats the hell out of having a vet come out because he's sick.
Thank God for his great improvement.