Went Out

Jo cooked a delicious wabbit pie for lunch – her uncle was going back south so this was a good-bye lunch.  I had brought the dogs with me and requested that they went for a run in the field, which would save me a long dog walk later as my back is still very painful.

After the pie, we went out.  BeAnne was very taken with an old fishing float/football.

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Loki went off with the big lads, Snati and Beeble.

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He ran and ran everywhere, annoying everyone. He just lacks the necessary social dog skills.  They do become very fed up with him and I can’t blame them.

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BeAnne did her own thing, which included taking herself off for a little swim in the burn and then rolling in as many smelly things as she could find.  She even rolled back into the burn.  I’m sorry, but we laughed.

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When Loki jumped into the neighbour’s field after rabbits, Jo was very impressed to see he could easily be called off and would return – I felt rather smug at this stage.

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In this enormous field, as well as the four dogs, were the Icelandic horse mares and fillies plus Klaengur, my gelding.  Esja is 3 this year and grown into a lovely lady.  She is very inquisitive and gentle.

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Esja was a little too inquisitive about BeAnne so we popped her onto Klaengur’s back for safety.   He is used to her sitting there but it intrigued Esja, much to BeAnne’s disgust.

I did warn Esja.  I did try and then BeAnne told her exactly that she thought of her!

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Esja luckily got the plot and left her alone to sit on her “throne”.

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It was a beautiful spring day.  The horses are all looking very well and the grass is coming in slowly.

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A Perfect Ride

Flossie is returning south in the next few days and I wanted to go out riding with her one more time before she goes back.  Meanwhile my spine has seized up almost completely but I trusted Haakon to look after me.  I did initially think I would walk alongside Floss/Iacs but I couldn’t resist going on horseback too.

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Flossie rode Iacs and we took BeAnne with us for her daily walk.

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It was a stunningly gorgeous Shetland spring day.  The sea looked very inviting and green grass is beginning to appear on the scattald (open hill).

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Flossie and Iacs went along very well together.  I didn’t have to worry about her at all.

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We didn’t go far.  Just a couple of miles really along the road in walk.  I think Iacs broke into trot once to catch up but he is very used to doing his own thing.

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We were watched by the locals, as is usual.

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Flossie is turning into a nice little rider.

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This is my favourite view through Haakon’s ears.  If I am talking to him, the left ear goes back to listen to me, always.

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I think Flossie enjoyed herself.  She managed to tack up, untack, and lead Iacs back to his field perfectly on her own.  She then took Taktur, our ferocious stallion, by his chin hairs and led him back into the field.  I asked her if she wasn’t scared of him and she just shrugged and said no.  He is not a scary horse, he is just Taktur!

So now I have two horsey daughters.  So proud and so useful!

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Bebbie Training

Jo popped over with some eggs for The Thordale Summer Egg Shop (now up and running at the end of the gate) so I asked her to give me a hand with the bebbies’ education.

We led Waffle into the shed and Storm and Silver dutifully followed.

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There was a certain amount of pointing and laughing from his friends…..

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and they were very interested in his lesson – taking it all in.

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Each bebbie had a headcollar put on and were tied separately to a string round the edge of the school.  Waffle has a new skill.  He likes to eat his friend’s rope so we had to tie them a bit further away from each other or we will be getting through ropes.

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Next was the picking up of feet and using a hoofpick too.  Fronts and backs.  They all had to do it at least once nicely and calmly, without an argument or snatching back their feet.

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Storm got into a a bit of thing about this so I talked to his front end and told him how clever he was, while Jo did each foot.  He was much better then.

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Err…. me (oh dear).

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This is my preferred method of training – having a chat and kissing the nosey.

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Silver managed to get himself into a mess.  He was swiftly put right.  All part of his education.

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Storm got the hang of walking nicely (after my input obviously).

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They are very trusting little souls and respond well to positive training methods and kisses.

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(I bet Jo regrets visiting but at least I got to take photos this time)

 

School

My back appears to have seized up.  I am trying to gently mobilise and keep on the move before it rusts up forever.  I have a tens machine permanently zapping away which is helping, I think, or at least diverting my pea-like brain.

So bearing this in mind, I decided on an easy day by taking the bebbies into the indoor school.  I let them explore first so I would have their full attention later.

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I caught Torbjørn (aka Wafffle) first, put on his headcollar, did some brushing – mane, tail and a bit of body, picked up each foot and took him for a walk around the school.  He was a good boy. The leading and head collar lessons have been done by his original breeder, so I am just really reinforcing good behaviour and cooperation.

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Next up was Silver as Storm was being a bit precious about being caught.  I was surprised at how easy Silver was about everything.  I am sure he, again, is used to walking nicely, etc and he was happy to be brushed, pick up his feet, etc.  It is all about trust with him.  I have to earn it.

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Then Storm.  Although he didn’t want to be caught and tried to evade me, I quickly convinced him by scratching his backside (something he goes all gooey about) and working my way up to his head and popped on the headcollar.  He feigned complete stupidity about being led, which is rubbish since he was in the show ring last year.  We came to an agreement that if I tickled  his bum, he would walk nicely forwards – basically whatever it takes!   We can refine it later.

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I think they look a bit better now for the brushing  I didn’t do too much as I didn’t want to labour the point and will be trying to work with them as much as I can.

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Manners and Special Skills

Spring has sprung so now is the time to work on some of the bebbies necessary life skills.

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Special Skill No 1 - picking each hoof up, one at a time, upon my request of “up, up” without making a fuss or walking off.  I have started to do this in their field each day when I go for my chat. They have proved that they are strong enough to stand on three legs, or even two!

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Special Skill No 2 – having a head collar taken on and off.  I am going to start bringing the boys into the school to work with them and brush them so they will need to know about this.  (I might wait until I have help for this).

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Special Skill No 3 – being led, nicely.  At the moment I have not led them anywhere very much – they just tend to follow but I want them to learn to lead nicely.

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Special Skill No 4 – no biting people, not even nibbling please.  The bebbies are told this behaviour is not acceptable and seem to be learning that I don’t like it very much.  They can eat each other.

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Special Skill No 5 – no bouncy bottoms when folk are about.  The bebbies can be a very boisterous bunch and those little hooves would hurt.  So far we all remain unscathed!

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Half of me wants to put them out with the big boys where they will quickly learn their manners but I do not think they are really ready for this.  The big boys mostly have shoes on too, which can do damage.

The greatest fan of the bebbies is Taktur. Everyday, after his lunch, he goes to visit them and stands with his head over their gate talking to them.  They instantly lick and chew obeyance to him.  He is their King.

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