Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC
Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dewey at the Pair Pace


Today we went into Fort Collins to Sunrise Equestrian for their pair pace, and Dewey and I enjoyed dressing up in our costume!  My helmet cover is one I got at a snowboarding store in Utah in August several years ago, it fits on my riding helmet great and it's super fun to gallop in.  

The folks at Sunrise opened up a couple new fields we hadn't ridden in before, and extended their cross country course to be twenty five fences at a variety of levels.  I took Dewey through the course twice, the first time to let him trot through and look at everything, the second time going at a faster pace to help him get the idea that we're cantering AND jumping.  I rode him as a single, since I had a very specific mission for him and I didn't want to worry about other riders.  The day originally was going to be several Bit of Honey horses and riders, but the rain and cold got the best of everybody else.  Sara did take some video and Kimberly Hale Photography did the pictures.

Dewey's first time through he was just figuring out what exactly we were up to today.  He took a couple hard looks at some fences, but everything was a very manageable size so he could walk over them once he was done looking.  It is a good example of why we take a deeper seat when jumping cross country than in show jumping - Dewey had to pause and look but I didn't go off over the top!

The second time through Dewey was really starting to "get it".  It is immensely satisfying when I can feel the horse's brain click into gear, and suddenly he's a steady machine on course.  Even though we were doing a very slow pace on course (herd of turtles style) I still asked Dewey to lengthen his canter in the straightaways, and then half halt and come back to me in preparation for jumps.  It doesn't matter a ton at this low level, but I want Dewey to have the idea that he is allowed to go faster when we're galloping to cover distance, but that when I sit deep and exhale, he needs to shift his weight back onto his haunches and prepare to jump something, no matter how small.  This helps to create the all-important "rate-able canter" you hear about so much.  Basically I want to be able to easily adjust his stride length and speed with just my weight shifts and breathing.  

It was such a fun day, even if a bit cold.  I think Kimberly and Sara were popsicles by the time we headed home, but at least Dewey had a good run!  I'm so grateful to have this facility close by to enjoy so close to home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

More Drawings: Horses and Dogs

With the smoke so bad around here I've been spending more time in the house, which means more drawing.  It makes me so happy that I can do this!

This is Sam, done from a photo of him free jumping shortly after he arrived at Bit of Honey.  I've drawn this photo of Sam twice, once with only pencils/graphite and once with graphite and conte crayon to get the dark parts blacker.

The up-close puppy nose is Pascal when he arrived just over a year ago and was only eight weeks old.

This one is a work in progress.  A photo of Elle, a warmblood mare owned by one of my clients, with her first foal just an hour after she was born.  Such a cute little chestnut filly!  I picked up some different types of charcoal and then came across some charcoal paper, so I'm playing with those new materials.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Raven Schools Cross Country at Archer


This morning the smoke looked less thick in Cheyenne than at home, so I took Raven to Archer to school cross country.  Kimberly Hale Photography came and documented for me, and Sara got came and took videos.

In this photo you can see just how much overstride Raven has, and how much she really reaches underneath herself.  Another good reason to wear bell boots!  Even though she's barefoot, she could still hit her front hoof with her hind, so I'd rather be safe than sorry especially with that kind of overstride.

During our warmup there was a little bit of playing around - all in good fun.

Once she had warmed up we started over some of the larger jumps with more difficult questions (like landing then cantering downhill). 


I love this photo of Raven "loading her springs" to jump up and over the rock wall.


Once we'd gone down the hill we worked over some of the training and preliminary level jumps.

After we got home and I was going through photos, I was impressed at Raven's ability to jump this blue table, considering it's pretty much as long as she is!

I love the water splashing in this shot.

I don't think Raven has jumped down into water before, but she certainly has done all kinds of work in water while trail riding.  She wasn't phased at all by this jump into the water, and she even did the combination of the hanging logs, a few strides, and then hopping into the water.


We finished up by jumping over the red ramped fence (at shows these are decorated to be super cute red mushrooms), cantered down the hill, over the ditch, and then up the hill and over the corner.  Raven is so handy and adjustable both when she's jumping and when she's galloping.  We had a great time hopping around the course!  My favorite thing about Raven is how much she loves her job.  She has a happy, eager, look on her face in just about every one of these photos.  It's such fun to have a horse who enjoys her purpose!