Newt’s Furtle

While we were offline, apart from learning another language, mastering the piano and cleaning the house from top to bottom, I also spent some time in the field with Albie and Newt only to discover, after a quick furtle, that Newt had grown up.  His errant testicle was sort of there.

I don’t really trust my own diagnosis or abilities and I like a second opinion so we went down and caught the two best friends.

They led nicely out of their field like good boys and we loaded them into the van.

As Albie and Newt were so small, we decided they could comfortably travel together. Apart they would panic as to where the other one was.

And then we drove to the vet’s surgery for a second opinion on my potential furtle discovery.

Albie, who knew he was not in the frame, so to speak, quickly introduced himself and offered his help.

And low and behold, my diagnosis was confirmed.  Newt’s second testicle was apparent, though not fully descended.

After a discussion, our vet agreed that he was prepared to castrate Newt so an appointment was made for the next week.

We drove home, triumphant, and opened the doors.  This is Albie’s talent – he wears a headcollar differently to others.  It’s his thing.

We led them out of the van.

And then home, back into their field.

(A few days later, the operation was a complete success – Huzzah!)

A Black and White Stroll around Lyradale

Every day, no matter what, someone goes over to Lyradale to check on the equine inhabitants.

Usually, that someone incorporates a dogwalk as well.

Today it was my turn, so I took Flossie (because she wanted to see her Whiffy Chicken (aka Fivla) and Loki.  Her Maj was on strike and refused to come.

No matter.  Floss, Loki and I happily walked the boundaries of the croft.

Lyradale really is a stunning special place.

Chock-full of unexplained history.

I have recently discovered an interesting artifact (? right word ?) of what I think is a quernstone (here is a link to a picture of one at Jarlshof, a Bronze Age settlement in South Shetland).  Ours’ is of similar dimensions.  I really need this place to be excavated. Any takers?

As they always said on TV’s “Time Team” just before the ad-break, “What is going on?”

After all the walking, the history and the trying to imagine living here in prehistoric, maybe neolithic, times – which apparently does not mean with the dinosaurs – we went to see some real live “woolly mammoths”!

Four of the Minions (Storm, Waffle, Silver and Tiddles) plus Les Girls (Vitamin, Delia and Fivla) now live at Lyradale.  Newt and Albie will join them soon.

Flossie and I sat down on our respective rocks and were quickly inundated.

This is pretty typical of what happens if you are with The Minions.  They want to come and talk.  I wish I had more hands.

Lots of nose kisseys were demanded.


Everyone was on splendid form.  Suddenly, Storm looked rather smart and, dare I say it, even sensible.

Sadly the wind did not change and so then he went back to normal.

Probably phew!

New Lessons

We will soon have to catch the foals to move them with their mothers over to new fields.

Earlier this year, we caught the foals to have them microchipped but, since then, we have mostly left them alone to be with their mothers and to be foals.

So today I made the decision to at least show the foals the headcollars so they get used to them, if only in their heads.  We did this with Efstur last year with absolutely no success but, having said that, when we actually started working with him properly, he quickly got used to the idea of having a headcollar put on so I think some of the preparation work we did before had some merit.

I am also an optimist.

We started off by showing the foals what we wanted.  Hetja was a very obliging volunteer.

We put one on the floor and Dreki investigated.

He stood on it.  Well, it’s a start.

Dreki was in a very receptive mood.

Lilja was not.

So Flossie, knowing the best way to approach Lilja is to be smaller than her, crouched in the field until Lilja’s curiousity got the better of her.

She had “helpers”.

And it didn’t take long.

With lots of encouragement and rewards (tickles)….

….. Lilja decided she might be able to think about possibly doing this.

Floss showed Lilja there was no point being a silly-billy.  Nothing horrid was going to happen.

Then it was my turn.

My two little foals were getting braver.

And of course, there was the statutory reward.

Floss and I will take two headcollars to the foals on a regular basis.  We will let them play with them and see there is nothing scary.  I doubt we will get to put them on but we will at least we may move along one step in their training.

And We’re Back!

Hello everyone.  We are now back from the Land of No Internet.

I could rant about my service provider but suffice it to say, having had the full gamut of emotions, I am now in a calm place.

What has been going on since my last proper blog?  Quite a bit.

Newt has been castrated – huzzah!  He is now a de-nutted Newt and that is a good way forward for our little boy.  It all went smoothly.

Flossie has been to a horse show (Houlls Horses and Hounds End of Season Show) with her Icelandic orange rocket, Klængur.

They won their first red rosette (1st) too.

First in Any Speed Tölt Class.

The weather started out revolting – wet and windy.

We came prepared and decided it was “a typical Shetland show day”.

It did clear up as the day went on

We were a tad nervous about travelling Klængur by himself but he loaded like a pro, travelled quietly and stood happily munching his hay taking it all in.

Another class – Four Gait – and, apart from no trot because Klængur was very excited and speedy, he managed a very credible canter, another awesome tölt and a good walk.

What can I say? Klængur and Floss made a great team.

Fourth for that effort.

Lunch and then onto the fun stuff.

The Beer Tölt. A traditional Icelandic horse pastime.

Yup, you’ve got it, you have to tölt around the arena carrying a full mug of beer.

This, perhaps, is not Klængur’s strongest class – he bombed round, while Floss giggled helplessly trying to ride him with one-hand and they ended up with no beer.

This is the winner and you may recognise Esja who has belonged to Lauren for a few years now.

Beer Tölt, however, is not all about the riding on both reins with a full glass of beer.

Afterwards the judge calls you in, makes all the drinks the same level and then you have to neck the lot as quickly as possible.


And stick the mug upside down on your head!

So, yes, we have been busy having fun!

(no cheating is allowed!)


(I will sort out the dvd’s and who sent what.

Postage costs are –

£3.80 to Europe
£5.05 to the Rest of the World)



Still Alive!

Sorry for the radio silence.   We are still alive just with no internet.

So far I have wormed all the ponies, brushed them all, learned another language, reconquered the piano.

I am currently working at the veg and blagging a signal off them.

Talk soon. One day.