I noticed last week that Keil was tracking out slightly with his left hind and am now seeing that is no longer true, so I think our decision to do a lot of walking and a little trotting was the right one.
This week we added the big forward trot work back in, a bit more each ride, and yesterday it felt so good Keil decided he wanted to do more than I asked for. It's always nice when he tells me it's not time to stop. :)
I'm happy to report that whatever scary things were in the woods the last 5 or so rides we had prior to the snow and ice have departed. I think I've written here that there is a huge amount of logging being done on the other side of the 102-acre wood and many deer have migrated our way. Most days when I'm out I'm seeing large herds traveling on both sides of November Hill and at night they're often right up near the house. The horses and donkeys aren't afraid of them when they're close, but I think hearing them run but not quite seeing them move is unnerving. Or at least it is some of the time. We tend to have a lot of selective spooking around here, meaning sometimes I suspect it's just fun to make something out of ... not very much.
But last week and this the alertness to the back forest has disappeared and it's making the rides a lot more relaxed than they were. Yesterday Keil's big swinging walk massaged my back and by the end of the ride and then by the end of the day, it felt like I had a lot of good endorphins going.
Today some rain is moving through so we'll have a break. Right now it's gray outside and through the back window from my seat here on the living room sofa I see a red-headed woodpecker and a cardinal in the hickory tree, a little morning gift while I write. The bold red against the gray barn makes me think how lovely it would be to have a red door on the house.