Welcome to Bit of Honey Training LLC

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Blog and Website for Art

I've wanted to be able to draw for years.  On this blog I've chronicled the post-head injury journey, including discovering an ability to draw, and followed along as I've improved.  I'm now at the point where I've found a need for the art's own website and blog.  If you'd like to check out the new site and blog please head over to 


In the blog linked to that website I'll be regularly sharing the pieces I'm working on, and flashing back to drawings finished earlier in my art journey.  Information on ordering a custom portrait can be found on the website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tired Doggies

You know it was a long day when even the border collies are struggling to keep their eyes open by mid-afternoon.

Denny the smooth blue collie puppy belongs to a friend of mine, but he helps out for a couple hours every morning and afternoon.  He says he wants to be a border collie when he grows up.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Curio in the Round Pen

I picked up Curio on Friday this week and brought him back to Bit of Honey for the weekend.  He sure enjoyed playing with the dogs in the round pen this morning!


Ferriana Dressage in December


Ferriana and I wore our brights for dressage today, and got some video of her warmup (still photos are from the video).  The stretchy trot is coming along - she definitely needs to be warmed up and quiet before we can get it.  But such is the nature of dressage, fast is slow and slow is fast.



Ferriana is such a cool horse and I'm so grateful I've been able to really enjoy her over the past year and a half as she started under saddle.

Jumping Exercises Through the Y

 This weekend we worked on a Y shaped jump course set like this:

The red, orange, and yellow cross rails are set 9' apart so the horse will go through it without taking any strides in between, called a bounce.  The first time through the riders went through the bounces, then straight for four to five canter strides (depending on how big the horse was) to the green jump.  The second time through they turned to the blue jump, and the last time through they would go to the purple. 

This exercise teaches the horse a bunch of good things, but I used it this weekend because it challenges the rider to be thinking ahead while riding through something technical.  To get to each of the angled fences (purple or blue), you have to be looking at it while you're landing from the yellow one.  Otherwise the horse gets all the way through the bounces, and is already heading straight when they should have turned two strides ago.

We had Alice on Beauty, Sara on Dewey, Carol on Ladd, and I rode Daisy, Ladd (briefly) and Raven.  Here are some of the photos from the day.

Beauty and Alice:

 Carol and Ladd:

Sara and Dewey:

 I rode Daisy to school her a bit over fences while I taught this lesson:

After Carol and Ladd had worked through the gymnastic I hopped on him to give him a confidence building round, and he was so cute over the fences!

After the lesson was finished I rode Raven through the gymnastic.  She did a really nice job, and I did some trouble shooting as to why she was jumping to the left over the larger fences.  After watching video I discovered that the bounces' cross rails weren't exactly straight - the middle of each X wasn't in a a straight line.  Raven is so hyper-sensitive to little things like that, she would bounce through the first three changing her lead with each hop.  Then we ended up jumping the larger verticals (purple, green, blue) at an angle, with her listing to the left.  Once Rozie adjusted the distance to the vertical for me it went much better, but I really think the asymmetry of the bounce line affected her once she got to the 3'6" verticals.

I love these last few photos of Rizzo assisting me and Raven.  She looks like she's having a post-course coaching session with us.  If you look closely you can see a small bandage on her right hind leg.  Somehow she managed to get a laceration on the bottom of that foot, it looks like a slice from metal lawn edging.  We don't have any metal lawn edging, so I don't know on what she hurt it.  This dog has an incredible work ethic, she's a firm believer in the Rancher's Workman's Comp.  She compensates so she can keep working.  

This dog is so dedicated that even wounded she will continue.  To allow her to continue working comfortably, I've been keeping the foot clean and bandaging it.  The way the laceration is, there's unfortunately not a good way to suture it.  Rizzo is really an amazing dog, she just lies comfortably while I clean the wound, apply antibiotic ointment and gauze, then wrap it with vetrap and elasticon to cover it so she can walk on it.  She doesn't mess with the bandage unless sand gets inside, and by then it's the end of the day and time for a new wrap anyway.

I'm so fortunate to have such fun horses, students, and dogs!  

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Round Pen Fun

Sometimes it's good to get away from the structured training regimen and just take the horses to the round pen to play and free jump.  Today the wind got strong unexpectedly and so I wasn't able to ride my last two horses, Silver and Ferriana.  Instead, I took them to the round pen to do a little free jumping.

I start all my horses over fences at liberty, so that they learn how to use their bodies correctly at the beginning.  Then once I'm riding them over jumps they know what to do when I stay out of their way.  I haven't worked with Silver at liberty in a long time, but he remembered everything like we'd done it yesterday.  He sure looks good all muscled up and flying over fences with the dogs cheering him on.


I love this shot of his hind legs with the joints all bent, spring-loaded for air time.

Ferriana also enjoyed a little unstructured jumping time in the round pen.  She sure has hops.  It's always fun to do this and think back to just over a year ago when she was first learning how to jump and how to be a riding horse.  She sure has come a long way in a short period of time!