Needs Must

Another day of grot.

Everyone had a hard feed (Stardust fed by himself).

While they were eating, I rode Taktur for his 20 minute 80’s disco workout and re-educated Klængur on the necessities of half-halts.  After that, I brought the little boys into the school to let them run round, warm up and play.

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I think Stardust is looking less wormy-bellied.

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A new set of toys today including a very good little cardboard box, which was conveniently just the right shape for nose-wearing. Yellow brushes were carried about and Silver practiced his circus tricks.

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There was some rolling in the sand – ugh!

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Hay was out in different places so everyone could have a pile without hassle.

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And there was even some “lovely sharing”.

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This photo speaks volumes to me.

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Stardust, feeling full, went to sleep and was quickly joined by Silver and the revolting Waffle.

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Storm, on the other hoof, did not feel sleepy, so made it his life’s mission to annoy.

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He spent his time trying to work out what constituted acceptable nibbling rather than biting while I sat on my bucket.  We had words.  In the end he curled himself round the back of me, munched hay and draped it gently on BeAnne.

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I had put a call out for a 34″ rug yesterday and Jo had come round with Toggle’s old rug.  Toggle was my ancient Toggenburg goat.

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While too big for Stardust it will do until his own rug arrives (ordered yesterday).  He didn’t seem to mind and it will keep the worst of the rain off for the time being.  The rug is not as tight as it looks – the straps are elasticated held on with velcro.

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And then, as they were getting bored, I put them all outside again for some fresh air.

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Little Steps

First up when I called this morning.

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Followed by the others.

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I gave the big Minions their food separately outside.

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(So there would be no hassling)

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Poor little Stardust started to whinny while I was mucking out their shed so I moved him, leaving the door slightly ajar so he could see his friends and continue to eat in peace.  By the way, he is not fat – far from it, he has worms and I am worming him gently rather than shocking his alarmingly low system.

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Afterwards, as it was a day of grot, I opened the doors wide, opened the toy box and let everyone in to play.

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Of course Waffle, Storm and Silver knew exactly what to do and I watched from a distance.

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Stardust took his time but carefully and quietly went about investigating all the “toys”.

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No one was horrid or chased him off.  There was no foal chewing and he seemed to be part of the herd, although still very much in the background.

The playing was not rough or chasing, just shoving plastic boxes about and making noises, like kids with a drum set.

And suddenly, full of food, they all stopped playing, went to sleep, leaving me to sit on a bucket with BeAnne at my feet on Tiger Watch.

So, being a good mother, I turned out the lights, put on some soothing music and they all slept for 30 minutes.  I continued to sit on my bucket and played an iPad game.

Interestingly, when they woke up, each one came separately up to me for a nose kissey.  Stardust was the first.

As they were awake, and I was feeling stiff and cold, I pushed them outside to eat and went to find some lunch for myself.

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Most interesting.

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Little steps but definitely steps.

Pot Pourri or Pol Potterie?

Today Silver was desperate to meet the newbie.  He stood by the gate, waited and whinnied.  So I thought “why not”.

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I expected a bit of chasing and hierarchy establishment.

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But this was totally unacceptable and my heart bled when I saw what was going on.  We had words and a few reminders.  I brought Loki out who is Silver’s worst enemy and he slunk off in a disintegrating heap.  I thought it would do Stardust good to see that Silver had an Achilles heel.

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I fed everyone and Stardust wandered about saying he couldn’t find his food.  I had put out five bowls between four of them and still he was lost.

After a while, I led him to the shed so he could eat his food unhassled or bullied.  He had a good pile and I hope it made him stronger.

I introduced him to carrots, kisses, hugs and talking.  He liked all of that and was following me about by the end, rather than walking away.

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As a friend said this afternoon “He needs to feel worthy” and it is very obvious that he doesn’t.

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I hope this is his “hatching a cunning plan” face.

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The others were a bit boisterous so I ran them round for a while to get it out of their systems and to stop them from involving Stardust. After that, they ignored Stardust and he had a quiet afternoon with them all.

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But it is still Storm he follows and loves.

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Anyway, tonight, I went to check on them in their little paddock and shed.  Stardust seemed to be the main shed occupant and he was not budging for anyone.  Good for Stardust.  I am going to measure him tomorrow and buy him a rug.

Pol Pot

When you read fairy stories, it always ends “and they all lived happily after”.  It never reads “and then Cindarella decided Prince Charming was a spoilt brat who liked his own way and they had to resort to relationship counselling to make their marriage work”.

***** sigh *****

It started well.  Storm and Stardust were obviously friends, well so I thought as they came cantering up to me this morning.

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I brought food, in two bowls and watched Storm being rude, aggressive and generally very nippy.  He had a go at nipping me (bad idea) and Stardust.  Then he decided Stardust’s food was obviously much nicer than his so swung his bum and kicked him off his food.  Of course Stardust never retaliated and I split the bowls up to be further away.  Stardust is not the brightest and once Storm had stolen his food, he didn’t have the wit to go and look for Storm’s bowl.

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Storm was furious with me for taking away the others who suddenly had become his bestest friends ever.

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Storm does not want to be a nanny.  He has told Stardust that he rules The World.

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And Stardust needs a friend right now, not Pol Pot.

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But despite this shameful behaviour, Stardust does worship his new friend.

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I decided to let Waffle out to see if he could temper the situation a little and he did his best.

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He wanted to play with Stardust but could see there was no reaction.

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I left them eating together.  Silver had gone off and I will see about introducing him tomorrow, all being well.

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It is very early days, I know, but I wanted an instant happy ending.  Not a despot showing me up.

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On a plus side, I did catch Stardust, had a long tickly conversation with him and he began to groom me back.  When I asked him to walk, he bucked about an inch off the ground so that shows there might be a spark of spirit deep deep down.

A New Recruit

Recently, I have noticed that Storm is not really one of the boys.  It worries me.  Silver and Waffle have perfected the art of leaving Storm behind with the boring big boys.  He doesn’t say anything but I can tell, as his mother, that he minds.  Also, Storm would like to live in his shed, but the other two want to go and play with the others.

Storm is the Tiny Tim (Dickens’ Christmas Carol) of the Shetland pony world and that makes me worry even more.

I was thinking about finding Storm a friend, when I was offered Stardust – one of this year’s foal who was given away by his breeders as he had a blue eye and was due to be put to sleep.

Stardust is a mini.  Apparently, he has always been very subdued and never plays.  So who better than Storm for company?  Storm plays a little but usually falls over when it gets too rough.  He prefers a quiet life and no one really gives him that.

So, today, they were introduced to each other for the first time.

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Suddenly Storm stopped looking like Tiny Tim and instantly appeared bigger, fitter and healthier both mentally and physically.

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I led Storm to his shed and Stardust automatically followed without being asked.

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It was interesting to watch them together.  Storm shot into his shed where a huge pile of hay was waiting and vanished from Stardust’s view.  Stardust whinnied, as if lost, and Storm came out of the shed, buffed Stardust on the side and shot back indoors.  Stardust followed and I left them both eating hay together.

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We will see what happens.  I want Stardust to start trusting people through watching Storm, who would follow me to the ends of the earth.

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Early days, I know, but Stardust is very cute!  A new recruit and a project for me this winter.  I want him to look up to Storm and I want Storm to rise to the challenge.