Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Kimberly Hale Photography Proofs

 Here are proofs of photos of some of the other riders that were at the Sunrise Pair Pace last weekend.

Contact Kim at Bitofhoneytraining@gmail.com to order full resolution image files for $30 each.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dewey at the Pair Pace


Today we went into Fort Collins to Sunrise Equestrian for their pair pace, and Dewey and I enjoyed dressing up in our costume!  My helmet cover is one I got at a snowboarding store in Utah in August several years ago, it fits on my riding helmet great and it's super fun to gallop in.  

The folks at Sunrise opened up a couple new fields we hadn't ridden in before, and extended their cross country course to be twenty five fences at a variety of levels.  I took Dewey through the course twice, the first time to let him trot through and look at everything, the second time going at a faster pace to help him get the idea that we're cantering AND jumping.  I rode him as a single, since I had a very specific mission for him and I didn't want to worry about other riders.  The day originally was going to be several Bit of Honey horses and riders, but the rain and cold got the best of everybody else.  Sara did take some video and Kimberly Hale Photography did the pictures.

Dewey's first time through he was just figuring out what exactly we were up to today.  He took a couple hard looks at some fences, but everything was a very manageable size so he could walk over them once he was done looking.  It is a good example of why we take a deeper seat when jumping cross country than in show jumping - Dewey had to pause and look but I didn't go off over the top!

The second time through Dewey was really starting to "get it".  It is immensely satisfying when I can feel the horse's brain click into gear, and suddenly he's a steady machine on course.  Even though we were doing a very slow pace on course (herd of turtles style) I still asked Dewey to lengthen his canter in the straightaways, and then half halt and come back to me in preparation for jumps.  It doesn't matter a ton at this low level, but I want Dewey to have the idea that he is allowed to go faster when we're galloping to cover distance, but that when I sit deep and exhale, he needs to shift his weight back onto his haunches and prepare to jump something, no matter how small.  This helps to create the all-important "rate-able canter" you hear about so much.  Basically I want to be able to easily adjust his stride length and speed with just my weight shifts and breathing.  

It was such a fun day, even if a bit cold.  I think Kimberly and Sara were popsicles by the time we headed home, but at least Dewey had a good run!  I'm so grateful to have this facility close by to enjoy so close to home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Trip to Fort Robinson


Owen and I took a quick trip to Fort Robinson to escape the smoke.  We went with some old friends, who we've known for over twenty years now....  Hard to believe it's been that long!  We rented one of the houses at the fort for the humans and the dogs, while Dancer and Raven stayed in the old brick cavalry stables.

The first day we all went for a ride to a cool viewing spot with picnic tables up in the buttes.  I'd never been there before, but Owen had run it on a previous trip and knew the dirt road was suitable for horses.  So Phoenix and I rode Dancer and Raven, respectively, while the others hiked.  Rizzo ran with me and the horses, and Pascal was on a leash so the younger girls could pretend they had a dog.

Raven looks so good in her rainbow beaded tack.

I love riding with Rizzo.  She stays right with me, taking short trips into the tall grass on each side in search of interesting smells, but she always comes right back.  The only hiccup was when we were headed into the trailhead, and there was a minivan with a family in it that had lots of kids.  Rizzo really loves kids and we don't have many at my place.  She actually ran up to the family, gave each kid a snuggle, and then hopped into their minivan!  I had to call her back and she did come, but she clearly enjoyed living with kids in her previous homes.

Another indicator that Rizzo loved living with kids in previous homes was how much she enjoyed my friends' daughters.  There was so much snuggling and kisses and playing with Rizzo's toes and lips and generally adoring Rizzo.  Rizzo was even granted a stuffed animal and a pillow on an extra bottom bunk bed so the girls could appropriately adore her.

Sleeping in bed with the people is also a highlight of traveling for Rizzo.  Pascal was sleeping in his crate, because he still has enough puppy brain that he would go to sleep for a couple hours, then wake up and want to wrestle.  The crate gives him a clear indicator that this is night-time and we are quiet during the hours of darkness and not bouncing around on the bed trying to play.  I feel a little bit bad, since Pascal was so well behaved on this trip, and somehow we made it home without a single photo of him! 

The second ride was on Sunday, and we did in in pretty awful wind.  Owen ran, I rode Raven, and both Pascal and Rizzo came with me.  We did a fast loop around the hills by the river, and then headed back to the barn to go hide from the wind in the trailer.   So no photos from that ride, though Raven was awesome trotting and cantering the four miles and the dogs enjoyed themselves tremendously.

Our last ride of the trip Owen had to sit out due to an upset stomach.  I rode Raven, ponied Dancer, and had both dogs with me.  I did the previous day's loop in reverse, and just walked.  It felt so good to be out in the gorgeous setting with all the trees at the height of changing color with some of my favorite animals.  This type of ride is spiritual for me.  It's quiet, it's just me and my animals, and I really do feel the spirit when I'm enjoying the creatures who taught me everything I know about God.

Because I only have two hands and I was riding Raven while leading Dancer it was hard to get photos.  I got this one (with both dogs in the distance though they weren't actually that far away) with at least both mare's heads in a shot with the trees.  Owen took the one of the three of us before we started the ride.

I love Fort Robinson and can't wait to go back.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

More Drawings: Horses and Dogs

With the smoke so bad around here I've been spending more time in the house, which means more drawing.  It makes me so happy that I can do this!

This is Sam, done from a photo of him free jumping shortly after he arrived at Bit of Honey.  I've drawn this photo of Sam twice, once with only pencils/graphite and once with graphite and conte crayon to get the dark parts blacker.

The up-close puppy nose is Pascal when he arrived just over a year ago and was only eight weeks old.

This one is a work in progress.  A photo of Elle, a warmblood mare owned by one of my clients, with her first foal just an hour after she was born.  Such a cute little chestnut filly!  I picked up some different types of charcoal and then came across some charcoal paper, so I'm playing with those new materials.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Raven Schools Cross Country at Archer


This morning the smoke looked less thick in Cheyenne than at home, so I took Raven to Archer to school cross country.  Kimberly Hale Photography came and documented for me, and Sara got came and took videos.

In this photo you can see just how much overstride Raven has, and how much she really reaches underneath herself.  Another good reason to wear bell boots!  Even though she's barefoot, she could still hit her front hoof with her hind, so I'd rather be safe than sorry especially with that kind of overstride.

During our warmup there was a little bit of playing around - all in good fun.

Once she had warmed up we started over some of the larger jumps with more difficult questions (like landing then cantering downhill). 


I love this photo of Raven "loading her springs" to jump up and over the rock wall.


Once we'd gone down the hill we worked over some of the training and preliminary level jumps.

After we got home and I was going through photos, I was impressed at Raven's ability to jump this blue table, considering it's pretty much as long as she is!

I love the water splashing in this shot.

I don't think Raven has jumped down into water before, but she certainly has done all kinds of work in water while trail riding.  She wasn't phased at all by this jump into the water, and she even did the combination of the hanging logs, a few strides, and then hopping into the water.


We finished up by jumping over the red ramped fence (at shows these are decorated to be super cute red mushrooms), cantered down the hill, over the ditch, and then up the hill and over the corner.  Raven is so handy and adjustable both when she's jumping and when she's galloping.  We had a great time hopping around the course!  My favorite thing about Raven is how much she loves her job.  She has a happy, eager, look on her face in just about every one of these photos.  It's such fun to have a horse who enjoys her purpose!