Thursday, October 06, 2016

November Hill farm journal, 20

Fall is finally here, temperature wise - our highs are mostly in the 70s now, I see lows next week down to 48, and the horses are no longer fussing about my having kicked them out of the barn during the day, which means the heat and the horseflies have faded.

Leaves are slowly falling, the sound of acorns dropping ranges from quiet clicks to loud ringing gunshot -like sounds when they hit the horse trailer. I see lots of chores to be done but until our mower gets back from the shop we're just enjoying the start of the seasonal show.

Starting last week I've been doing groundwork with the herd. I did a couple of days where they all came in the arena together. The pony and Keil Bay had a grand buck-fest while the donkeys sprinted around and Cody stayed off to the side as he continues to heal from his hoof abscess.

Keil looks pretty good to me right now, both in his movement and his weight, so we will resume a riding schedule this weekend. Meanwhile I have cleaned out the treat bag, readied the clicker, and we've been having individual clicker free lunging sessions. Keil is the king of working for treats so I don't really use the clicker much for him. He's moving well, tracking up/over-tracking, and still has that big powerful movement I love so much. He also got his chiropractic work done yesterday so after 48 hours off he's ready to go for a ride!

The pony adores the clicker. I've been working with him on very specific free lunging work (since I can't really ride him). He is terrific going to the right but for some reason doesn't want to go to the left. With the clicker we had success in a couple of days. He's now walking well to the left but still wants to trot off and turn to the right at the trot. I'm not sure if he's feeling stiff to the left or if possibly he has some vision changes that make him want to avoid that direction. But we'll get there. He can be spunky - we have had a few of those double-barreled hoof kicks in the distance - although I see them all doing this when they play together I really discourage it when they're with me. A smack on the ground with the tip of the whip is my reminder to move on, please. 

The donkeys are reviewing their work on the halter and we have them going over poles in the arena now. They are fun to work with too - they really enjoy the clicker. Dear daughter is taking over the donkeys' work - Redford is especially happy partnering with her.

Cody is finally getting sound enough to do some halter work and I hope we can get him back under saddle in the next week or so. 

This past weekend was my time to finish painting the porch screens but a big bucket of water spilled in the feed/tack room when the bucket handle broke, so I got sidetracked cleaning that up and ended up going ahead to the fall cleaning of the entire room. It badly needed it, and the tack needed to be cleaned up before any riding could be done, so while I was sad not to finish the screens, it's now a pleasure walking into the feed room!

This is often how things go on November Hill. Something pops up that requires immediate attention and my other chores get pushed down the list. I can get frustrated with this but had to admit it was nice being in the gorgeous weather out at the barn working on tack and organizing all the stuff. We did a big purge of the junk that tends to accumulate in the barn. I love walking in and seeing everything clean and tidy again.

I hope to get the screens done between now and Sunday, assuming Hurricane Matthew turns out to sea and doesn't bring lots of rain our way.

I think I've finally selected the porch light fixture. 

I'm tempted to go for one of their very bright colors but I think on the porch the classic white will look best. 

Today I'm enjoying the very pleasant weather, the sound of the breeze blowing, crows chatting, and the glimpse I just got of Keil Bay sauntering down the paddock. It's autumn! My favorite time of the year. 

Stay safe all who are in the path of Hurricane Matthew. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

I hope you are safe where you are from the hurricane. It would be nice to get the porch done. Like that fixture too.

I've got to get the tack room cleaned too. It always feels so good to have all the tack cleaned and the room organized. I just have so much piled on me right now that I don't know when I can get to that. We had a pipe burst in the basement and flood the whole thing. So I've been working on cleaning the whole thing out and into a dumpster. Ugh! It never ends.

Sounds like the whole herd is getting back into the swing of things on November Hill. Hope you get to ride this weekend. Wish I was working with the horses instead of being on clean up duty.

billie said...

Oh, no - I am sorry to hear about the pipe and flooded basement. What a mess to have to clean up! I hope it is done soon so you can get back to enjoying the fall and the horses. And go treat yourself to some Talenti ice cream (my new favorite). If I lived nearby I'd bring some over tomorrow!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Thanks I'd be up for some ice cream! Never heard of Talenti but I'll definitely look for some.

My son came over today and we got the whole basement cleaned out and the water is gone. It was a big job and we filled a 40 yard dumpster to overflowing. He's a good kid and a big help.

billie said...

Oh, so happy to hear you got help and the water is gone. And that you have such a great son! :)