Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Atlantis Schooling with Sara

Today I had the chance to get one of my students on Atlantis.  She is a dressage rider, and I knew she would love his thoughtful mind, forward springy gaits, and she would enjoy the loft in his stride.  Kimberly Hale Photography took some pictures for us and in a happy accident we ended up with matching shirt, saddle pad, and sky!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Saxon is For Sale!



DOB 5/6/2007
Registered with American Drum Horse Association as OMF's Encore
Gypsy:12.5%, Shire: 25%, Clydesdale: 62.5% 
Lifetime registration with Rocky Mountain Dressage Society #5423
Skewbald, chestnut/white tobiano
17.0 hands


Solid training level dressage mount, has competed through Training Test 3
Vaulting experience as a walk/trot mount, could easily do canter work
Trail riding experience, ground driving experience, has taught many children's riding lessons
Loads, ties, bathes, clips, good for farrier and vet, 
Extremely gentle and friendly personality, temperament 2
Has always been barefoot with excellent hooves
Current on deworming, coggins, vaccinations, farrier, dental work, etc. 

Video of Saxon riding in the arena can be seen here:

Video of Saxon opening the gate, riding out in the field with the dogs, and walking over logs can be seen here:

Saxon arrived at Bit of Honey Training in mid-November 2018.  He is an absolute pleasure to have around the barn and catches everyone's eye!  With his kind temperament and gentle ways he is absolutely the unicorn you are looking for.  He has had the same owner since he was a yearling and she unfortunately has had life get in the way, which is the only reason he is for sale as he was her dream horse.  He is completely sound and is easy, quiet, and uncomplicated to ride. He has given many riding lessons to children, and he is careful and a wonderful confidence booster for any rider.

Saxon has vaulting training and is steady as a walk/trot horse, comfortable with moving mounts and even back flips off him!  It would not take much to finish him as a vaulting horse with canter work.  He rides out quietly alone or in a group on the trails, and has shown at training level dressage through Training Level Test 3 with positive comments from the judges on what a nice mover he is.

Saxon will remain at Bit of Honey in training until sold, and will resume competing in dressage in the spring.

Video to come!  Contact Kim for more details or to schedule a time to come meet him.  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Raven Gymastic Jumping

Raven and I have been working on some gymnastics in the arena, and I've been teaching variations on this coursework for a couple weeks with the riding lessons.  Raven does these at taller heights, but I still keep her work under 3' to minimize strain on her body with this type of repetitive workout.  The riding lessons do this anywhere from ground poles to 2' fences.

There was a moment of badness at the beginning as she was figuring out her footwork and decided to ad-lib her own additional airborne moment....

But Raven does love her job, and the more technical the coursework the more she enjoys it.  Here is a video of her rocking the course.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Strolling in the Back

Now that the horses are covered with their winter woolies, after we get done working in the arena I have to take them for long walks in the back forty so that they can cool out and dry off completely before I put them away.  Atlantis's first ride to the back was a combination of exciting and boring.  We began by riding over to the fence line that we share with our neighbors' llamas.  He was concerned about them, the suspicious noodle-necks.  Miles and Forrest went along the fence to show him that it wasn't a big deal, but the rustling of tall dry grass didn't do much to assuage his fears.  He spooked a couple times, so we just walked back and forth until it wasn't a big deal anymore.

Once he had gotten over the llama drama we headed out to the back.  As usual Miles was leading the way.  When we got to the top of the hill Forrest caught up with us from behind, which startled Atlantis and I got another spook out of him.  As soon as he realized it was his friend the dog he sheepishly went back to walking on a loose rein for the rest of our ride.

Saxon has had some lovely rides in the arena, and has also taken some long walks in the back forty to cool out.  Most recently we have been working on getting him softer and rounder through his topline, and asking him to take some contact with the bit.  He does this most easily when we come down from a canter into the trot.  It's a striking gait change, and he flows forward lightly and in a very round frame.  With a little bit of cheering and praise from me and he will sustain the posture as long as he can, and his core muscling will develop better the more we do it. 

One of the rides in the front field before a big storm moved in gave me these dramatic shots of the sky and impending weather.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Introducing Saxon

I'd like to introduce Saxon, he is one tall gorgeous unicorn of a horse!  I'm waiting on a warmer day to get him washed and sparkly for his conformation photos for his sale ad which is coming, but I did get a stick on him today and he measures at 17hands high. He also had his first ride with me, and wow is this gelding a nice mover. He has vaulting training too, and was such a gentleman on the lunge line!

I rode him in the arena today and cooled him out by walking in the front field.  The arena ride was a bit of a conversation as he asked me why on earth we were riding with two predators? I answered that my border collies are "helping" and he would get used to them.  Once we were out in the field, though, he grew to appreciate their supervision as they proved that the neighbor's llamas weren't as scary as they could have been.  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Before the Storm

We have a storm moving in, so tonight I got all the horses into pajamas who needed them.  Among them is a gorgeous new horse named Saxon.  He is a Drum Horse, which is cross between a Gypsy Vanner and a draft.  He arrived this afternoon for training and to be sold, so keep an eye out for more details to come on this stunning boy!

In other (smaller) news, Dancer and Walsh had beautiful lighting on them this evening so I got a shot of them, too.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Atlantis at the Dressage Show

Today Atlantis and I headed to Triple Creek Ranch for the dressage show.  This was the last one of the year, and I really wanted to get Atlantis some good scores at a show before the winter truly sets in.

Fortunately we left with enough time to get to the show, even though we got stuck very close behind an accident on the freeway.  We sat on I-25 at a literal standstill for about twenty minutes, in two lanes with cement blockades on either side of us.  This made it so when the emergency vehicles tried to pass, there was honestly nowhere for them to drive by.  Eventually we did make it up the short hill and past the five car accident.  It looked like no one was seriously hurt, though a couple of the cars had been seriously crunched.  There was also a woman sitting on the side of the road with her kids, so we hope that everyone was ok.

When we got to the show we were a little pressed for time because of the traffic holdup, but Atlantis unloaded nicely and we got tacked up.  We were parked in the field next to a turnout field for the boarders' horses, and when they all came running along the fence Atlantis said that looked like fun!  He hopped up and down a little at the trailer while I was getting my boots on, but quickly gave it up when he realized we were going to go ride.

We warmed up in the outdoor arena, and there was some wind to contend with.  It was a pleasant surprise to have Atlantis be a little tense, but he gave me absolutely no nonsense.  Such a refreshing change from my own personal silly horses who take colder weather and wind to be an open invitation for shenanigans.

We rode Training Level test 3 first.  It was Atlantis' first time seeing the indoor arena with all the people along the sides, the judge's table, and the flowers lurking ominously at the in-gate.  He was tense in this first test, but still gave me a very nice stretchy trot and lovely free-walk which earned a 7.5!  There were a few things that I wasn't super thrilled with during the test, but it was only because he was distracted and not listening to me like I had come to expect with his rides at home.

We went back to the outdoor and schooled our trot-canter transitions, and practiced getting a better bend to the right without him pushing his shoulder out.  That little bit of focused work was enough to get him listening better to me and my aids, and we returned to the indoor arena to ride First Level test 1, which went much better!

Here is his video from his second test which was First Level Test 1.

Atlantis ended up with two pretty red ribbons, and a good score of 60.37% on his First level test!  Best of all, he left the arena feeling proud of himself and with a happy look on his face.  

I also love the shots Kimberly Hale Photography got of his custom browband and my stock tie.  Over the years I've collected some great matches in beadwork.

A fun and satisfactory day, with a great experience for Atlantis!  I'm enjoying him a great deal, and he is for sale.  Someone is going to get an incredible dressage horse with such a friendly and sociable personality.  For more information his sale ad can be viewed here:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Atlantis Horseshow Preparations

Atlantis is getting ready to go to his first show tomorrow.  We've been doing some work over cavalletti to help him with his self-carriage and balance, which is good work for any horse.  I'm excited to see how he does at Triple Creek Ranch in Longmont, keep an eye out for his video and photos.  I plan to braid him and hopefully we'll get some great photos of him looking fancy!

Jumping at 19

Last weekend Rain's owner, Kim H., asked me to jump Rain through the walk-through exercise I do with horses to help teach them to rock back on their haunches.  It starts with a ground pole, and I walk the horse over it once each direction.  Then my ground crew raises the jump to a vertical by one hole in the standard.  I walk the horse over it once each direction.  We raise it another hole, and walk over again both ways.  This continues until the we reach the maximum height the horse is able to do from a walk. 

I'd never done this particular exercise with Rain before, so Kim asked me to take her through it.  Rain is 19 years old now, and totally sound.  She loves her job teaching riding lessons with me, and takes such good care of her riders.  She was started under saddle around age ten, which is later in life than the average horse.  She'd spent her early years as a broodmare on a paint breeding farm. 

I actually prefer to start horses later, for several reasons.  When I teach them to be riding horses as adults, they are more mature mentally and have a much longer attentions span than youngsters.  They are also finished developing physically, so they are more likely to stay sound into old age than a horse who has had a lot of work as a baby whose body isn't ready for that kind of exertion.  Rain is a perfect example of this, as she is 19 and still happily jumping. 

In this ride I took her over a 3' vertical which she cleared nicely.  After she did that we changed the fence back to a crossrail to boost her confidence, and look at the amazing jumping form she showed! 

I love this photo of Rain standing and facing the jump with Miles looking on.  You can see in this photo how she has stepped well up underneath herself with her hind foot, lifting her back and collecting her frame.  This exercise is wonderful for getting a horse to really use their haunches and back, and it improves the bascule over fences.

For example, this is the 2' jump Rain went over.  She basically lifted her front feet, placed them on the other side, then lifted her back feet, but there wasn't much suspension or lift in her back. 

Then, after working the exercise a little, look at Rain's form over this fence, just 6" taller.  She is actually jumping, not just lifting her feet, rounding her back and stretching her neck out. 

I always tell people that I'm proud of my sporthorses, but I'm REALLY proud of my senior horses.  For Rain to be sound at age 19 and able to ride like this, while still enjoying her job is truly an accomplishment.