Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Friday, June 26, 2020

Raven Rearing in a Lightning Storm

Raven has always been spunky.  She even has an engraved halter plate that says "Feisty McSassypants" on the right side of her halter while the left side says "Raven, Bit of Honey Training".

The video Jasi took from this evening accurately illustrates Raven's athleticism and likeness to the rearing horse at the Denver airport...

And this still captured from the video shows lightning striking the ground with my feisty mare rearing in the foreground.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Schooling at Archer and a Police Chase

This morning we headed up to Archer early again to school cross country.  We had the same group as as last time with Gillian on Silver, Jasi on Daisy, and me on Highboy.  Kimberly Hale Photography did our photos again, and Sara came to help out.  Additionally, Rozie joined us for her first time watching cross country schooling, and Linda rode Sidney with her husband Tim taking video and photos.

There was still some water left in the water jump from the previous weekend's schooling show, so we took advantage of it and schooled there first after warming up. 

Sidney and Linda had a great time.  Sidney is still a bit strong on a cross country course due to having competed for so many years before Linda got her.  They are going carefully together and slowly Sidney is realizing that we can do cross country jumping without too much worrying or speed.

Silver and Gillian made the whole thing look impossibly easy.  Silver enjoys this type of riding and Gillian handles him so well that they are really precise in their technique.  They usually get their lead changes and Silver jumps the fences quiet accurately in regards to height and distance.

 Here are some videos of Silver doing his short courses.

Daisy and Jasi did really well.  Daisy is still new to jumping, and specifically cross country jumping, but she remembered the water jump and the work she had done there last time. 

When we started schooling other jumps she overestimated a few fences at the beginning.  By the end she was jumping short courses of three jumps really nicely.

Here are some videos of Daisy

I enjoyed riding Highboy today too.  We spent the first part of the ride just walking around and coaching, sometimes stepping up and down over the elementary level jumps to show the other horses they were walk-able.

I did pop Highboy over a few of the novice, training, and prelim level jumps and lines to give him a reward for being such a good coach to the other horses.

At the very end of the course there were a couple prelim fences that were set as a line with two strides between them.  Highboy jumps stuff like this all the time at home with even more complicated footwork, so doing this combination was super fun for him and felt like an appropriate reward for being so good earlier in the ride.

If you zoom in on these last few photos and look at Jasi's face she has her mouth in a perfect "wow" as she watches my goofball gelding finally put it together and look like the upper level athlete I've known he could be.

Here are Highboy's videos:

Because we had Rozie the dogs got to come and hang out with us.  They were on leashes of course, but they totally knew when I was going to run and jump versus my students.  That's why there's so much more dog-talk during my runs with Highboy because they firmly believe they should have been let loose to run beside and help me like they do at home.

The other interesting occurrence during our ride was the police chase.  When we initially arrived and took the exit for the Archer complex, there was a car pulled over on I-80 with two police cars behind it with lights flashing.  An hour later while we were schooling around the water complex we saw a man in street clothes and a red ball cap and shoes.  He came running down the hill, through the field we were riding in, climbed through the barbed wire fence, and continued running up over the next hill, frequently looking back over his shoulder towards where he had come from.  It didn't much look like someone out for exercise or a casual run.  In jest someone in our group said, "just wait, a cop car will be here in a minute!" 

Sure enough, shortly after the man disappeared a black police car drove into the field.  It stopped when the driver saw us, he hopped out and shouted, "Which way did he go?!"  and everyone in our group pointed up the hill.  The policeman ducked through the wire fence and took off running after the guy.  When his partner arrived he followed suit.

Not long after that all three people reappeared over the hilltop, with the runner in handcuffs.  They made their way back to the police car, put the man inside, and then drove off.  Jasi thought she heard one of them say to the guy, "We were going to let you go, but then you had to run."  I guess the guy had been pulled over and then panicked (who knows what a guilty conscience can do?) and took off.  At least they caught him, and Kim H caught the whole thing on her camera.

It made for an interesting day.  Horses who jumped well, horses who learned new things, excited dogs watching the action, and a police chase.  Cross country is super exciting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Bounce Gymnastics

Highboy is a horse of extremes.  He either is exceptional and amazing, or ridiculous and catastrophic.  He really does nothing half-way.  For example, we have today's gymnastic jumping line with several bounces.  I began jumping Highboy through it as small fences, but he tried to go through it as FAST as possible to keep it interesting.  It looked like a tap dance down the center of the arena.  I decided to make the jumps bigger to give him something to think about, hopefully slow him down, and make him jump more carefully.  I ended up with this horrific run:

Then got this also horrible run:

Distances were adjusted and there was some jumping individual fences, and then I had this amazing line:

and also this one:

This ride perfectly illustrated that Highboy either is phenomenal or abysmal.  And he may have missed his calling as a steeplechase horse with that reach and aptitude for taking off from a long spot.

Silver also took a turn at the gymnastic line, set slightly lower and at closer distances.

I'm so pleased with how Silver is coming along.  He's super careful, thinks his way through the questions, and then tries his very hardest to do it right.  Such an honest horse!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Weekend Rides

This weekend Ferriana's owner was able to come over and watch her jump.  I really enjoy this mare and showing her off is a blast.  It's been a long time since her owner has been able to see her go in person, and we're all just delighted with how this horse loves her job and thinks through the questions.

Silver did some work on the gymnastic line as well.  I needed to loosen up my shoulder, so his warmup with me was mostly neck-reining. 

Dancer is back at Bit of Honey, too.  She's healing from a hoof abscess (this has been a bad year for them!) and is going to be in the lesson program again.  I call her my boomerang horse because I've leased her out to clients and I've sold her several times, but she always comes back.  I love her to pieces, and I'm always happy when she returns!