Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Horse Blankets

A friend of mine needed some photos of horses in Weatherbeeta blankets, and the Bit of Honey horses were happy to oblige this afternoon!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kim's Art Progress

As the weather hasn't cooperated much for riding actual horses outdoors, I've continued to spend time in the house hiding from the wind and bright snow by drawing.  I've made some good progress, and I'm really happy with the improvements I'm making!  I still use the graph to get the image onto larger paper, but I find I'm using it less and less as I'm able to look at the drawings as merely light and dark areas rather than "eyes" or "nostrils".

I went back to the art supply store and picked up something called a Conte Crayon, which gives me much darker darks than I get even with my variety of pencils.  I also got some charcoal and a blending stick, which looks like a wadded up stick of paper for smudging things.

My first experiment with using a color other than black was adding yellow to the jump rails in this one.

 I love how this horse jumping at liberty turned out, mostly because it reminds me of Thai, my old OTTB who loved to jump.  If animals come back in reincarnation, Thai came back as Highboy.

I've found that eyes are difficult for me, so I picked out a few images that were close-ups of horse eyes and worked on them.  I'm really happy with this one of a racehorse wearing blinders  .

One of my goals is to be able to draw from photos, not just draw from other people's drawings.  This is a photo of One For Nothing, or "Note" around the barn.  I'm happy with it, and feel pleased that it actually looks like him!

This was my second photo attempt, me with Fason.   I haven't tried drawing humans much, just jockeys in the saddle.  Fason looks like himself, but I'm not sure that I look like myself!

I also picked up some brown Conte Crayons and a few brown pastel pencils.  This is how my first sepia horse eye turned out. 

I really enjoy doing these, and my attempts at working from photos are coming along.  Eventually I'll have to figure out what to do with all these drawings, right now I just like making them.  Perhaps some of them will find their way to being displayed on some of our walls.  I tried for years to be draw horses, as my childhood best friend, Whitney, can testify.  She saw these on facebook and was super impressed and surprised, probably because despite years and years of trying, AT BEST my drawings looked like cartoons.  My suspicion is that the brain injury jogged loose something artistic in my head, and now I can do it, because I sure couldn't before.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Colorado State University - EAAT Clinic and Show

Several weeks ago I taught a clinic and judged a show at CSU for the therapeutic riders. Before everyone mounted I spoke with each rider and asked them what they are currently working on in their riding, what they wanted to work on today, anything they wanted me to know about them or their horses, and if there is anything specific with which they have difficulties or pain issues.  I took notes in my green book to make sure I had everyone's names right, and jotted down the details for each rider to make sure I was able to address their specific needs.

Once everyone was mounted, in the morning I worked with the group on equitation.  This included full seat, two point, and half seat, and we used Edwina the human skeleton, as well as Audrey, the horse skeleton to demonstrate the different positions

After we had reviewed the basics, I sent the riders out to the rail to show me how their current positions looked so I could get a baseline for how they ride. 

Then the riders came into the center of the arena again, and I made adjustments to their positions from there. 

We also went through how the trail obstacles should be ridden, with an emphasis on going slowly and being very accurate with steering.  By the time we were done practicing the trail obstacles it was time to break for lunch. 

After everyone had eaten, the riders mounted up again and we did a series of rides that were run more like a therapeutic riding horse show.  Each rider performed in an equitation class on the rail, and then had their turn riding through the trail class obstacles. 

It was a very fun day, and the riders seemed to feel like it was helpful.  I received lots of positive feedback from the riders and their family members, many of whom said this was their rider's first experience in a clinic setting.  Everyone was safe, the horses were quiet and steady gems, and we called it a great success!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Jumping at CSU

This weekend we bundled up in 18 deg weather and headed to CSU for their winter schooling jumping show.  Thankfully we were showing in a heated indoor arena, because even with being in a nice indoor we all felt cold.  There's just something about getting up at o-dark-thirty, hearing the wind howling, and making the mistake of glancing at the weather report for the day that made us all cringe at the thought of putting on breeches and high boots.

We toughed it out, though.  Carol rode Rain, on whom she's been taking jumping lessons for a few weeks.  Jasi and Miss Pea have been making good progress and so they came too.  I had planned to ride Highboy in the 3' division so he came along as well, but I left him in the trailer in his winter blanket so I could coach the other two in the morning without having to worry about him.  By the time Carol and Jasi's gigantic cross-rail division was over I was tired and my vision was starting to get wonky (leftovers from the brain injury), so I decided not to ride after all.  The result was Highboy, with a mouthful of hay from the bag, pressing his eye up to the window of the trailer and asking me, "Why have I been standing in a refrigerator wearing my pajamas for hours?"

Despite the cold and snowy weather, both horses and riders had a great day.  I was so proud of  Carol and Jasi and the rides they gave the horses. I couldn't help but be proud of my horses, too.  Rain took excellent care Carol, and Miss Pea really gave it her best effort.

At times it felt a little like we were from two different barns. Miss Pea becomes very psychologically attached to whichever horse she travels with.  This is a leftover from her track days, needing a pony horse as a calming influence.  It's time that she learns to look to her human for help and support instead of another horse, though, so we kept Miss Pea and Rain completely separate throughout the day.  This helped Miss Pea focus on Jasi instead of Rain.  It worked well.  Whenever Miss Pea would get distracted or start calling for Rain, Jasi would wisely ask her to bend or walk in circles.  This redirected her attention back to Jasi instead of the search for her friend Rain.

Miss Pea was a little strong in the flat classes (why are we all going the same direction if it's not a race?), but was listened well to Jasi's aids in the over fences classes.

Miss Pea politely asked for some of Jasi's protein bar as well as other snacks during the breaks between classes!  "Hey, whatcha got there?  Can I have a bite?"

My only regret is that we didn't remember to take a group photo of everyone who came to the show from the Bit of Honey Crew.  In addition to Carol, Jasi, and me, we had Sara, Joyce, Rebecca, and of course Kimberly Hale Photography who took these amazing photos.