I set out this morning, after dishing out hay and extra feed for those that needed, with a wee bag of carrots to see the ponies that live outwith Thordale.
At their field gate, hoping I would offer carrots as I went past, were Iacs and Haakon.
Their message could not have been clearer.
So I gave them a small piece of carrot each (plus a broccoli stalk for Iacs as he loves them and I happened to have one about my person). Then I drove 2 miles down the road to Leradale to check on the Icelandic ladies.
They had a handful of “Mare and Foal” (hard feed) each and I did a quick individual leg pick up too to reinforce manners.
And then on to see the Minions, who live in the other direction. I was greeted enthusiastically.
And I duly distributed my largesse (bag of carrots).
There was, however, one small bouncy bottom (as in “I want all carrots and they are mine and I will do whatever it takes to have them all”), so I dealt with that appropriately and he apologised. Someone obviously forgot themselves. Luckily, no one was caught in the cross-fire and I doubt the certain someone will do it again.
It was a surprisingly calm day. Not a ripple.
And so I drove home, only to be greeted by these two again who obviously, one hour later, hadn’t moved an inch. So I rugged up Haakon and told the boys to both “go and get a job”.
Well, we had rather a night of it. The rain hurtled down while the wind viciously attacked. Indoors it sounded like a train was rushing past and the house shook and creaked. The old men (Haakon and Iacs) were in the stable for the night but in the morning, I threw them out to get some fresh air and we called the others, who had been outside all night, in to eat a bale of hay and get some probably much needed rest.
After lunch (human), I went out to move everyone around again. Haakon and Iacs were waiting to let themselves back indoors. They were not very impressed with outside, even though the weather was now calming down to being almost acceptable.
Floss and I led Kappi, Klaengur and Dreki out to their field leaving Taktur and Efstur in one part of the stable.
And the old men in the other.
These two make a wonderful double act.
You can tell they are related – cousins who have been together all their lives, bar a few early years when Haakon came to me and then Iacs followed later on.
Efstur (who loses weight if you look at him coldly) and Taktur (who loses weight because he is a stallion and he thinks “hot” stallion thoughts!) both had their daily food.
And then I spent the next half an hour trying all our rugs to find one that might be waterproof for Efstur. It was good practice who was as good as gold. I think this rug was originally his mother, Brá’s, one, when she first arrived in Shetland. A good fit, I think. Apparently it might stop raining next year some time.
Tonight, and tomorrow are not going to be pleasant. Rain and gusting Force 10 so this morning, Floss and I prepared for the onslaught and then got ready to batten down the hatches.
The Minions are fine living all fatly in a friend’s field with long ungrazed grass and a good range of buildings for shelter.
So I am not worried about them.
Ditto the rather well-built ladies at Leradale. They too have lots of long grass and the old house to hide behind if they want. Brá is happy where she is, too.
So it is just the boys at home. They are split into two groups. Taktur and the younger ones are now in the lower field which has shelter from three sides and I have been saving it for just this kind of weather.
Then there are the two oldies, Haakon and Iacs. As the sun was disappearing, I let them into the big stable and they didn’t need asking twice.
I have prepared haybags for the sheeple and they can do their own thing. It is not that cold but as I type, the rain is now hurling itself at the windows.
It was such a pretty evening, too, but we have been expecting this filthy weather so we know what to do. The front door is bolted (it can blow in) and there are lamps and candles ready if there is a powercut. Unfortunately, we ran out of oil last night so we have no heating or hot water but we do have a gas stove to cook on and a multi-fuel stove in the sitting room which has a kettle sitting on it.
Hopefully it won’t be too bad tonight.
After my chores of the horsey and pony variety, I went off to town to try and knock my Christmas shopping on the head. I tell myself that this year I will be organised. So I tidied myself up into clean clothes because apparently I can’t go in my wellies, old jeans and smell of horses!
This Christmas, I hae decided to buy local as much as I can. I don’t want to support Amazon.
I went in to town before the Christmas rush started. I think I did that fairly successfully today.
The light was appalling. The sun didn’t actually appeared today but shop I did, in a very determined fashion and I enjoyed myself passing the time of day with various local shop-keepers.
Eventually I trudged home with my sleigh pretty full of local lovely things which I will wrap up and distribute accordingly.
Mostly, it is mission accomplished. Just a few more little things to get and that’s me, feeling smug until the usual last minute panic!
This dreich Shetland afternoon saw me taking Efstur and Kappi to the vet for their injections.
Well, that was the theory.
A certain small orange thing, yes thing, decided he had never seen the horse-van before and certainly wasn’t going in it for anything.
Luckily, I had some assistance, in the form of my neighbour, Peter, and if it had been just left to me, I would’ve given up. After one failed attempt with me on Efstur’s lead-rope cajoling and offering tiny bits of carrot plus a lovely bucket of grub, we swapped places and Peter took over. He had the front end while I grabbed a dressage whip and together we convinced Efstur that the tapping on his bottom would stop if he walked up the ramp. So he did. Huzzah!
Kappi, of course, loaded like the professional he is and I asked our vet to give them their injections without anyone having to unload from the horsevan.
So that’s Kappi up-to-date (he had a booster) and Efstur now starts his lifetime course. We have to go return in a month so from henceforth Efstur will be fed his daily smidgen of hard feed in, (guess where?), the van! We are not playing that game again. No way.
The annoying thing is that this time a few years back Efstur was happily hopping in and out of the van without a care. He has obviously forgotten. Brain of a pea!