Little touches of fall are in the air. On the 11th we had our first morning below 60°. The evenings and nights now have a cool edge that is really quite pleasant but bodes of things to come. Soon the deep green of the trees that has invited us to sit in their shade (and invited the horses to a snack) will be replaced with the reds and yellows and browns of autumn (and the horses will still snack). The mornings will begin to sound like "school mornings". As the air grows colder in the mornings sounds carry father and are crisper and the mornings sound different. Ever since I was a kid, it is a difference I have always noticed most pointedly at the beginning of school year. The girls start back next week, Kumi as a Sophomore and Kira in her first year of middle school (7th grade). It wont be long until a light jacket is appreciated as you go out the door in the morning yet you can still ride in short sleeves in the afternoon. It is a interesting time of year as our little slice of the world prepares for it winter slumber.
Sunday was a good day. I got to ride Mariah by myself. I love riding with my daughters but I don't get to do a lot of drills with Mariah when I'm having fun with the girls. So it was just Mariah and me. We started with drills to work on collection and maintaining a gate. She is doing much better and feeling much more controlled. We were trotting in a nice controlled slow trot in a straight line and she was doing a fair job of holding her pace. So I urged her up into a lope and away we went. She is fast! It was a blast. I still need to work on her breaks. But once I did get her stopped we went up and down the steep banks of an empty pond. We argued over stepping on the concrete bridge (I won). We argued over snacks. With the grass being as high as it is, she figured out that she only needed to drop her head a little to get at the seeds on the top of the grass so she won as often as she lost. And maybe best of all, when we were working on or circles, she cued off of my seat for the direction I wanted her to go. That is a pretty cool feeling!
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Christmas is 131 days from today.