My mind was whirling with next steps; take his temperature. Check his pulse and respiration. Call the vet. I walked out to him and immediately felt marginally better when he looked at me expectantly. He wasn't willing to walk over to get a cookie, but he was willing to check my hands and pockets for one. I breathed a sigh of relief when he contentedly chewed up his cookie and asked for more.
Instead of checking for soundness like I had planned, I brought Speedy up to the feed room and gave him a thorough grooming. Lunging could wait for another day. I worked the dirt out of his coat and pulled layer after layer of shedding hair. He stood with a leg cocked, and basked in the attention. He wasn't feeling great, but he appreciated the gentle strokes of my grooming glove. He rubbed his forehead against my hands and seemed to groan in pleasure.
The next morning, he was markedly perkier even whinnying at me when I pulled in. We walked up to the arena for that postponed soundness check. I put him on the lunge line and was delighted to see that he was sound both directions at all three gaits. I didn't ask for too much, just enough to encourage a big stretch down and a longer stride. He seemed happy to finally be back to some semblance of work.
Things may be changing for Speedy and me, but at least he's feeling better and looking like he's ready to get back to work.