This is the page where Elizabeth and Barry will share training tips
and give updates on the horses currently in training at the farm.
Thoroughbreds Celebrate Independence Day Weekend
Each Sunday the boarders and the "Friends of Bits & Bytes
Farm" do a group training lesson. We grab every horse and rider
at the farm and work on our grids and jumping with Elizabeth as instructor,
June as jump crew and Jan as photographer.
This week we worked on grids to learn how to stop a horse from rushing.
A cross rail was set up with trot poles beyond. Each horse and rider
had to canter over the cross-rails and be trotting by the time they
reached the trot poles. It was a lot harder than it looked.
Joe Kelly's Tune is learning to jump and do
grids and courses.
The horses participating in the exercise included Joe Kelly's Tune,
Grayboo, Secret (wow what a jumper), Brewster, Ace's Angel, Baileysonthe
rocks, Fort Mason, Darcy and former Bits & Bytes Farm sale horses
Broadway Joe, MacTavish and Big Money. The riders learned that an
automatic release is better than a crest release to maintain straight-line
contact with their horses' mouths and allow for quicker response time
to changes of pace.
Speaking of change of pace. On Monday we loaded up seven former race
horses and took them for a trail ride at Dawson Forest. The day was
hot so we decided to work on teaching the horses to gallop through
a water obstacle. I don't know who had more fun the horses or the
Grayboo shows that even a horse right off-the-track
has what it takes to be an event horse. -- photo by Marie vanRoekel.
Brewster, Secret, Broadway Joe and Big Money
at the back. Photo by Elizabeth with tripod services by Grayboo.
Marie and camera tripod, Secret, captured
a lot of the action.
Grayboo lead the way with Fort Mason, Lucky,
Secret, Brewster, Big Money and Broadway Joe following the lead of
our newest horse off-the-track.
Lucky, Secret, Broadway Joe and Big Money
in the rear finishing up their trail ride.
Gertjan and Big Money just love getting wet.
Luckily, Marie has the camera this time.
-- photo by Marie vanRoekel.
Fox hunting season is fast approaching so we thought we would share
a photo of how we get the horses used to fox hounds. How many cur
dogs can you spot in this photo?
There are anywhere from two to ten dogs at the farm at anytime. They
include all shapes and sizes of dogs and one hound - a basset named
Cramer whose nose gets him into lots of trouble in the woods. Wizard
and Zulu are the resident doberman watch dogs that get assistance
from the vanRoekel dobermans -Jade and Jax. Apollo is Lise's Great
Dane who thinks he is a horse. They join us in the arena on trail
rides. The dogs love to run right at the horses' heels. Our horses
don't seem to mind them and no dog has ever been kicked - yet!