Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Monday, May 22, 2023

Shiny Thoroughbreds

 I will never get tired of taking pics of these thoroughbreds and how round and shiny they are on pasture.  This has been an absolute blessing - maybe the best they’ve ever looked in the many years I’ve known them!

One of the nicest hidden places on our ranch is where the horses’ water tank is located in the biggest field.  There are wild pink roses growing all over, framing these pretty horse faces whenever they go to have a beverage.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Tuxedo Kittens New Names

The new kittens are both a tuxedo pattern for coloring, the male is grey and white and the female is black and white.  Because of their formal attire I'm trying out the names Ralph and Lauren!  Sabbath has been remarkably patient with the new kids.  I let them out of their crates to play for about a half hour in the morning and again in the evening, and it's pretty cute watching them carefully approach Uncle Sabbath.

Sabbath looks on as Ralph attempts to scale the markerboard in pursuit of snacks

Kittens playing with a wood pellet and then swatting each other.

Little Lauren
Ralph in his formal tuxedo with tie
Ralph likes to wrestle and gently play bite when I'm scratching him.  He's very gentle and mostly likes to try to catch my hand with his paws and bring it into his mouth.

Sabbath looks on with light disdain for the youngsters and their shenanigans.

Blu totally and completely ignores the kittens, as if in hopes that they will go away if he gives them zero attention.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

New Barn Kittens

Sabbath, at 18 years of age, has retired from mouse control in the barn and now is simply serving in a supervisory role.  Sadly, Orzo disappeared a bit over a month ago and so there was an opening for new barn cats.

Wednesday I got a text from a friend, who knew of two kittens dumped a neighbor’s place this week.  My friend knew I was in need of a cat or two and happily connected us.  The kittens arrived Wednesday evening and I set them up in a large dog crate in the tack room to get adjusted to the routine here.  They’ll be in the crate for a couple weeks to learn that the food arrives twice a day and get used to me, then they’ll be allowed loose in the tack room at night.  

I’ve begun the search for a low cost spay/neuter program in the area so that I can get them altered, ear tipped (a universal feral cat sign that they are altered) and vaccinated so that if they don’t stick around at least they are not out procreating.  They are quite small right now, and still have brand new kitten teeth, so are likely just weaned at about 8 -10 weeks old.  It will be a little while before they are old enough to get altered, but I do plan to get them fixed before the female is old enough to get pregnant. 

The grey tuxedo kitten is male, with a small grey patch under his chin. He has a loud and squeaky motorboat purr, and is outgoing and friendly.  The black one is also a tuxedo pattern, is female and a little more reserved, but is warming up to attention very quickly. Tonight I let them run around loose in the tack room while I cleaned their litter box and put kitten food into their bowl, and they were into EVERYTHING, including inspecting every corner of the cabinet under the sink where I keep the food. 

They don’t have names yet.  I was trying to come up with something general or non committal because I didn’t want to get too attached to them as barn cats sadly often disappear, as in Orzo’s case.  However, they have already won me over and it’s definitely too late, I think I love them.  

Sabbath is very tolerant of the new kids in the tack room.  Mostly he sits on the counter and surveys them from there. He does periodically get this look on his face which clearly says, “I’m getting too old for this…” 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Blu and Raven and Daffodils


Raven and I went for a short ride around the property to try out our newly altered girth with the aussie saddle. Success! Many thanks to George with Union Level Leather for altering an elasticized dressage girth by putting extra wide buckles on it, as well as changing my overgirth to be billets on both sides instead of a ring. He did a really thorough job and was careful to ensure the equipment was reassembled safely.  

When the ride was done I hosed off Raven and we were hand grazing while she dried. I didn’t want her to roll in the mud immediately!  Blu came to hang out with us. He’s remarkably brave around the horses considering how skittish he can be with people he doesn’t know. 

Just today all these daffodils popped up!  Spring is definitely here, with lows overnight in the 50s and a day in the 80s forecasted later this week. I’m so glad we moved here, I do not miss the terrible wind, breaking ice off water tanks, or bitter cold temps. I’ve only had to walk down the hoses to prevent them freezing a couple times all winter!

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Back at Occoneechee Park

Raven and I returned to Occoneechee park again this morning for a quick ride.  We were the only ones there when we arrived, and when we finished there were four other rigs there- each of them quite a bit larger than mine!  We briefly saw a group of four horses and riders heading out as we were coming back, but other than a brief whinny nothing exciting happened.

I forgot to start my app on my phone at the very beginning to track us, so the ride was actually 1.25 miles longer than this says, for a total 6.71 miles. We trotted a little bit but mostly walked, since Raven was a little tight from the previous ride.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Trailride with Raven


Raven and I went to Occoneechee park this morning for a conditioning ride. We went out the main trail, which is an out-and-back ride, but I knew the footing was good since it has gravel and it’s been kind of wet here the past couple weeks. I was aiming to mostly walk, but Raven was so eager to be out that we did do some trotting and even a little galloping. 

I’m very pleased to have discovered that my Australian saddle fits her really well.  I’ve had it a very long time, because it’s my favorite. If someone gave me a block of clay and had me sit on it to make an impression of my derrière, then created a saddle that perfectly fit that impression- you would have this saddle. I can do super long rides in it, I can do fast rides in it, I feel extremely secure in it, I love this saddle!  Thankfully, Raven does too. She has many opinions and does not hesitate to tell me if something is even slightly amiss with her equipment, but she really does like this saddle. 

The only thing I need to change is the girthing system. I either need to change the rigging to be regular English style billets so I can use a girth with elastic, or have a girth made with elastic that can accommodate the thick billets and overgirth.  The current girthing setup doesn’t have even contact with her barrel.  Fortunately a new friend in the art guild I joined has a husband who loves to do these kinds of custom projects, so I have a lead in that direction!

I don’t love these pics with the wonky helmet cover that doesn’t fit the helmet super well, but I’m trying to be extremely visible on the trails because of hunters.

We went just about 8 1/2 miles in an hour and 45 min. We are both a little stiff this evening, getting back to riding fitness together is a process!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Occoneechee Park

 Our annual parks pass covered this new park as well as our regular, Staunton, so Owen, Pascal, and I did a short hike today to check it out.  I like to investigate on foot first before I head into the wild with a horse and trailer to see what potential we have for trail rides there. 

At the end of our hike as we were headed back to the truck through the parking lot, some park rangers stopped us to ask if we had seen a pair of women with dogs.  We had, so explained which trail they were on, and they thanked us and then continued on to find them.  Hopefully everything was ok!  Owen had heard them jokingly (or so we thought) talking about being lost, but they didn’t seem worried so we didn’t think much of it as we passed them going the opposite direction.