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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spring has sprung so now is the time to work on some of the bebbies necessary life skills.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
A day of shite (rain) so Jo and Fiona arrived with their girls in the trailer to play in the indoor school (so useful, no actually, so essential).
Jo rode Hetja, soon-to-be Taktur’s bride, and did some schooling. Hetja hasn’t been in the school for a while but she was calm, relaxed whilst trying her best to listen.
I realise that I show many photos of everyone going at speed everywhere, usually in tölt, but the majority of their training is lateral work first to free up the horse’s back before we start asking for the faster gaits. There is no point going faster if you haven’t got the foundations in place.
BeAnne of course maintained a soggy sulk throughout the morning as no one offered her a horse to ride. She has the look of abject misery down to perfection.
I went to get Taktur from his field as he was next up. The mares had finished their training and were waiting to be returned to their trailer. Taktur walked into the school, his eyes were on stalks at the laydeez and then stood next to me on a loose rope/headcollar waiting for any instructions. None came, I wanted him to stand nicely and he was not introduced but managed some sideways looks of love at Hetja. I was proud of him. Not many stallions would stand not 6 foot from two mares in spring and say absolutely nothing because no had asked his opinion.
After the mares had gone, Bjørn rode Taktur who has been having a rest this winter, trying to put on some weight (ha-bluddy-ha – it is like trying to force feed Ferdinand the Bull – he is just not interested and wants to smell the flowers in the ladies’ hats instead of eating.)
So that was my morning. I did manage to ride Haakon but of course no one was around with a camera. Obviously we looked like this, that goes without saying, only in buckskin dun and a little more fur, but the moves are scarily similar (in my dreams)!
This morning was spent in Gilbert Bain Hospital Out-Patients (or GBH as it is known locally) discussing the way forward with the Gynaecological team. So next it is an MRI in Aberdeen. I shall await my appointment letter with anticipation.
To make up for a morning in The Big L including a trip to The Temple of Tesco’s (or Lerwick as it is known locally), I spent the afternoon with my bebbies.
I walked into their park and yelled “Bebbies” once and then was galloped at by three little enthusiastic treasures who giggled and sniggered as they went.
They love their field. The huge proportions mean they can play and gallop their way round it forever with no fences to stop them. They are growing up to be normal Shetland colts.
So I found a safe spot and sat down to watch them. If they wanted to talk to me, I asked them to behave but watched out for any silly behaviour as I wanted to be safe rather than have my teeth kicked in.
They never really stopped and it was lovely to watch.
For some reason, probably due to the regular food buckets, they love their dear old Mum and I only have to appear, shout “Bebbies” and they run up to me expecting tickles, snogs and food (not necessarily in that order).
Watching them play does my heart good and is the best therapy. A trip to Hospital is put into perspective beautifully. Just what the doctor ordered (the NHS just doesn’t know that).