Saturday, 9 November 2019

Bitless And Blinkerless

I do appreciate when bloggers share tips on items they like. And so, here is one thing that I find highly enjoyable. Namely, YouTube videos by British driving horse trainer, Barry Hook. He owns Horse Drawn Promotions in Hampshire, U.K. Most of his videos are driver views and you can certainly imagine yourself perched up in the driver's seat and enjoying England's countryside as his trainees clip-clop along.

His latest video is of him training a pair of Shetland pony mares. Because the near (left side) mare has teeth problems, the team is being driven without bits. As Barry says, one must have the confidence of your horse for it to obey your voice tones. Normally, he uses soft rubber bits of his own design rather than metal ones.

Barry trains all types of horses and in assorted hitch configurations.  His motto is, "the horses must be safe, confident and happy in their work". (Ideal for humans as well.)

*  *  *  *  *
Last winter was bitterly cold with no period of thaw until spring. One of my hives perished. So this year I'm adding more insulation. By mid-October, the bees in my most populated hive applied self-help to reduce their drafty top entrance. They had heartily gopped on propolis to reduce the opening.

 The honey bees tried to reduce their drafty top entrance with propolis.

To control drafts but still provide ventilation, I added a wee vestibule.

This reducer will also hold a wrapping clear of the bottom entrance.

In previous years I insulated the vent box under the roof with wood shavings. This year, as well as the shavings, I've also adding fiberglass insulation. In fact, I'm even wrapping the entire hive bodies with pink fiberglass insulation.

In each vent box, I've placed a wood shavings-stuffed pillow ...

... and placed pink fiberglass insulation over the pillow.

Perhaps overkill, I'm wrapping each hive with fiberglass insulation.

Before I could finish the job and wrap a final layer of tarp over the hives, the weather here turned inclement. I made a note on next year's calendar to complete this chore no later than mid-October! On a more positive note, I've already changed my car tires to winter ones. Oh, and the bird bath has it's winter de-icer element installed.

A jay enjoying a drink of tepid water on a frosty morning.


  1. We don't have to go to those lengths to get ready for winter, although in the very far south, some do change the tyres if they go skiing. Love the self help method the bees invented. And great insulation. We thought we were in spring here, then today torrential rain, and cold further south, maximum of 2C and 4C where friends and family are.

  2. We've got our tires on, bird bath heater in, we're ready! I have trouble keeping the bird bath heater plugged in. It tends to come undone. I have to rethink it this year.

    That's good work with the bees. I just wouldn't have the know-how. It's very interesting!

  3. You are such a thoughtful landlady. They do talk about an especially cold winter so you have prepared well for your tenants. I all ready have my birdbath heater in early also.

  4. I guess Florence, you aren't taking any chances this year with the warmth issue in the hives. They should be toasty with your new precautions that's for sure. The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a hard winter and we are already into it here in my area. Down to -24 overnight Tuesday and pretty nippy today.


Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm always glad to hear from you and appreciate the time you take to comment.