Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Note's Improvements

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when training horses fast is slow and slow is fast. I've been so meticulous with Note's training and getting him to respond appropriately, for MONTHS. Thursday last week he started real grid work. Apparently he then spent the weekend thinking about it.

When Note and I did it again today I had a different horse under me. Incidentally, he also must have discussed it with Highboy over the weekend, because Note had a couple Highboy-esque celebratory hops after each well done round today, too.

For comparison's sake, here's the best photo we had from his jumping session Thurs, side by side with his best photo from today.  This horse is SMART, it's his best quality and his worst.  He truly must have spent the weekend pondering the jump grid to have such a marked difference in his form today.

I've had other horses that were this smart, who would take their time off to improve their game.  It's a blessing and a curse.  Today his flat work was mediocre at best, he was bored and wanted to get back to the fun stuff.  Now that he's getting the idea of how to play the jumping game he's starting to really enjoy it.

Here is some video from his work today:

Highboy Jumping

Highboy was feeling desperate again today as he waited his turn watching me take out the other horses to ride and jump.  Highboy stood attentively at the fence or at his gate, staring deep into my soul and shouting, "Pick me!  Pick me!  I'm READY!"

Of course I had to pull him out and take him for a spin through the grids.  The distances were set for the normal-sized horses and it was very awkward for him to get his big body through it, but crummy distances didn't quell his enthusiasm for leaping over obstacles.  He just left out entire strides.

I look at photos like these where he takes off from such a long spot, and I ponder how well he might have done as a steeplechase horse.  Since running on the flat wasn't his thing, maybe he would have been a great steeplechaser?

He got a little frustrated with the corner jump I'd set up, and the challenging distance it presented.  He resolved it by leaping over, then kicking in the air.

His videos can be seen here:


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Green Horse Jumping Day!

I played with both Note and Raven in the arena over a gymnastic grid today.  The first few times through were rough, but both horses figured it out and ended confident with good footwork.

Raven's natural form over fences makes her a super fun ride.  She and I are communicating well, she understands what I want from her, and we have tack that fits her.  The sky is the limit, now!

Here is a video of Raven's best run through the grid:

I particularly love how relaxed she is going into it.  No rushing, just thoughtful footwork.

Note also did a great job today.  He is so smart that each time through the grid was noticeably better than the previous time.  He went from this:

To this:

In just a few runs!  He of course needs work on his jumping form, his footwork, and his speed, but you have to start somewhere, and I was really pleased with how this brilliant horse thought his way through the puzzle.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Smiley Jumping

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Mahatma Gandhi

Today I wore the biggest smile I've enjoyed in a long time.  I was jumping Highboy, my favorite thing to do, after nearly a week of sleeping and feeling terrible.  Since the head injury nearly ten years ago, I have several brain chemistry medications I must take regularly in order to function.  With insurance changing because of my husband's recent job switch I haven't been able to take them like I'm supposed to.  Fortunately we do HAVE health insurance through my husband's employer, and I am now able to take the medications as directed by my physician.  I am feeling immeasurably better.  I decided to celebrate my newfound energy with jumping Highboy this morning, and Jasi captured it in photographs.

Highboy had a great time jumping, and enjoyed his touchdown celebrations after he finished jumping through the grid.

What can I do but laugh?  He really enjoys his escapades and I enjoy riding him.

We did have some awkward jumps over the oxer with the barrels in the beginning.  The distance wasn't set quite right when we started through (much shorter horses had been doing it yesterday), and Highboy tried to run out a few times.  I corrected this by halting him as soon as I knew he was going off course, backing him up to where he had veered, then sending him forward over the fence.  I've taught Highboy how to jump very large fences even out of a walk, so it's not a problem for him to clear 3' or so from a springy walk or easy jog.  I had the ground crew (bless the ground crew!) alter the distance so it would ride better, and then Highboy did just fine.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Horsin' Around in the Arena

Over the past week or so we have been painting the arena jumps, and today they were all set up to play with.  We did a riding lesson using them, but Highboy wasn't part of it.  This made him terribly sour grapes, so when we were done teaching we put him and Tao the Haflinger out in the arena to play together and do some weed control.

I love Tao's face in some of these shots.  You can almost hear him shouting, "Highboy, LEAVE me ALONE!"

I do love my bay thoroughbreds and sunflowers.

Not to be outdone, Tao shook his mane and partied with the rest of them.

The dogs' favorite part of turnout time is the off chance that they will have an opportunity to chase the lunge whip.