Esja’s first ride out

Esja went for her first ride out.  She has been backed/trained in the indoor school and her 1/2 mile walk to Thordale.   Bjørn Roar Larsen, her trainer, has taken everything slowly and, totally based on Esja’s progress, today was considered an auspicious day.


I accompanied Esja/Bjørn on Haakon, who I chose carefully as the safest and calmest option, after careful thought and consideration.

Fool, that I was.  The ears tell a different story.


Esja was hoof-perfect.  The proof is Bjørn’s cheesey grin.  He said she felt incredibly safe and he trusted her completely.

IMG_0295 IMG_0299

Even Tiddles running up and down the fence, plus meeting Delia and Vitamin in their grazing field, had no effect on Esja.


She tölted beautifully when asked, trotted enthusiastically up the hill and enjoyed herself immensely.


Haakon, on the other hand, was horrible.  He bounced, threatened, wanted to go fast, refused to walk slowly or nicely, and we fought every inch of the way to the point I was jealous of Bjørn and the nice time he was obviously having.


We didn’t go far – a few miles in walk, trot and tölt (Esja) while Haakon did what is known as “indignant chicken”.


So, well done Esja and Bjørn.

Maybe I should sell Haakon and keep Esja as my riding horse.  At least I would have a nice peaceful ride without any histrionics keeping me on my toes.  I even told the old fool that I would prefer to get off and walk home than ride him and that is my ultimate threat.


Lyra’s Peer Group

See this electric fence?  Every single pony in the field (all 7) had broken through and were playing on the track.


It was our own fault.  The electric fence energiser was not working and we had taken it home to mend.  We stupidly thought that with all the grass being on one side, they wouldn’t bother crossing the fence.


Oh, but they did.  I received a phone call this morning telling me everyone was dancing around on the track.


By the time we arrived with the mended energiser, they had been put back into the field but we could see them thinking “ha, ha, not for long”.

And I am sorry but I inwardly smiled when there was the sound of “thwack” – nosey on fence. This mare was very unimpressed.  They each tried it out.


Lyra is in with this group. They are all about her age and it will do her good to be with these girls.

BN2A8744 BN2A8746

She hasn’t been with young mares/filles for a while so she is watching everyone and trying to find her place in the herd.

BN2A8748  BN2A8751

I tried to describe Lyra to a friend who is keeping an eye on her, and the best I could do was “well, she is black, with ringlet-like ends to her mane”.


I should’ve just said – “she is the one you will never get near because you aren’t Daisy”.


So now let’s hope all ideas of escape are gone as the girls realise that fence is on and I mean business.


All I have done today is run round after ponies.  The b****y Old Bats went and “come-hithered” to Taktur who ran up and down the fence screaming his head off.  They are now in the stable and I am covered in mud.  They can go out with Hetja tomorrow.


Fed up. I want to keep goldfish.

Total Dilemma

So I find these two urchins wandering around outside the house begging to go into the stable.  I must’ve not shut the gate properly at some time and they found out and exploited my error.


They dashed into the stable offering to clear up any leftovers.


I shut the gate on them and left them to it.


Next “The Old Bats”, as they are now known came rushing over from their 25 acre field to tell me they hated the rain, the mud and the grass was not long enough.  But mostly they hated their shed (ex-Minion) that is stuffed full of silage and hay,  from which they can come and go at choice.

So I directed them to the stable where the Minions were.  They side-stepped that idea completely and rushed off to hang around by the outside of the house.


This is not ideal as there is a stallion at the bottom of this hill.  To be fair, Taktur lifted his head, nodded and then went back to eating.


So, for the time being, the Old Bats are allowed here if they promise not to give Taktur any “come hither” looks.


And my dilemma?

Do I force the ladies into a stable despite their utter loathing of them?  Will their bodies work better if their internal furnaces are working and I let them stay outside where there is plenty of available shelter either in or out.  Delia gets a good feed twice a day.  Vitamin thinks she does!

I will get the others in, I think, tonight.  Hetja et al get the indoor school while Taktur and his lot get the stable. There will have to be much juggling to achieve this.

Why is my life so complicated?

The Old Girls Are Home

I totally forgot to take my camera with me today.  Sorry.  Today, of course, was absolutely stunning – calm, if freezing – the feeling in my toes is just beginning to return now.


Anyway, we went over to Sandness and constructed a good shelter for some young Shetland pony mares.  Moved 5 Shetland ponies (not mine) into the new field and added young Lyra to the mix.

It will do Lyra good to live in a herd of girls her own age.  She was getting very bratty (Daisy – sort it, please).

The old ladies came home to me.  Ok, I have not got long green grass for them but I have got an empty shed they can use when the weather is coarse and I can stop worrying quite so much about Delia.

L1190425  L1190429 L1190431

Once the Delia and Vitamin know there is shelter available, I will open up the field so they can go into the next 20 acres and hopefully find something to eat.


I will also feed Delia daily special putting-on-weight food while fighting Vitamin off it.  She needs WeightWatchers!


It is all very complicated at Thordale – but hopefully we will muddle through.  The only real rule is that Taktur cannot meet the girls, any of them.  He is two fields away and can gaze hopefully but nothing else.  Needs must I will turn his electric fence ON!

Snow and Bedrooms

The snow finally arrived yesterday evening.  It got colder and nastier by the minute all day until we had substantial flurries and it started to settle.

Knowing this was going to happen and the snow would be around for a few more days, I got the equine bedrooms ready.

I have a system which I put into place.

I shouted to the boys and put them in their stable.  I didn’t want Taktur screaming his head off at Hetja and distracting everyone with his obvious handsomeness.  Haakon and Iacs were in the little stall as Haakon gets very stressed living with Kappi.

(This is before I put in the hay and more sawdust down otherwise the chickens just wander in  and shit everywhere)


Then I opened the big shed doors, went out and caught Hetja in her field across the hill, mid blizzard, and hoped the others would follow.  Of course they did.  My theory was if they wanted to spend the night in a blizzard, then go them.

This morning, every cone had been played with, moved and/or thrown about.


After that, it was the Sheep’s turn.  This is their night-time quarters.


It is well ventilated and they share nicely.


OH made a sheep-door as the roof was beginning to lift in the last storm.  This has solved the problem and they happily hop in and out.


This morning, everyone was let out, fed I fed and then they all dispersed to find grazing.


Or annoy.


This time of year is always very beautiful.

If you look very carefully, you can see Fair Isle on the horizon in the photograph immediately below.

BN2A8689 BN2A8708 BN2A8722