Yesterday was cloudy with a stiff wind but Keil Bay and I tacked up and rode through it. Leaves flying, deer crashing, cats dashing in and out of hiding places, hay tent flap making periodic whoosh noises that sounded like silenced rounds from a hit man. (watching X-Files and Homeland lends to this kind of analogy), daughter dropping the muck barrow inside the barn with a bang.
Even when I reached up and grabbed a low-hanging dead oak branch, thinking the small part hitting my helmet would be all that broke off, and the whole three feet long branch cracked and fell on his hindquarters, he did not spook. He was alert and forward but he took care of me.
Yesterday we did more walking, shoulder-in, turns on forehand and haunches, 20m circles, and increased our trot time. Then more walking.
We've been avoiding the F area in the arena - not because of spookiness but due to the million and one acorns covering nearly every square inch of that corner. After our ride I spent a little time with the muck rake (oddly it works perfectly for acorns!) and the wheelbarrow and cleared them back a few feet. I'll do more tomorrow and that should do it (assuming more don't fall). I can't figure out if they are just weird to walk on or if he is unwilling to walk on a source of treats. Though this year they're not eating as many as they have in years past, thankfully!
Tomorrow I'm going to get on the three days on/two days off riding schedule, as I think it works best for Keil. We'll build on the trotting and see how it goes. He's muscling up and I'm getting ready to add a mid-day meal into his diet for extra calories.
Otherwise, the color here is starting to pop. It looks like the first week in November will be the peak - which is exactly where the name November Hill came from. We moved in October ten years ago and when we hit November here the color and beauty of the season blew us all away. It's the perfect name for our farm and our favorite season. Even in the rain!