Starting Hjalti

Hjalti is 4 years old now.  Today Daisy and I started his proper big-boy training.  We took him, and Efstur as company, for a walk to the end of the track, just to confirm the basics that he already knows.  Stopping, starting using pressure-release as well as body language.

I had Efstur who was hoof-perfect and very happy to be going out and about.  He didn’ t know there was a Big Bad World waiting.

The others looked on, pointing and laughing, and I definitely heard sniggering too.

Hjalti works best with “negative reinforcement” training – “negative reinforcement relies on the use of pressure and timely release of pressure to train horses. It’s only called “negative” in a mathematical sense because something (pressure) is taken away during the training process to reward the horse for a correct behavioral response.” – The Horse.com

After our little walk, we moved onto more sophisticated stuff.  The bridle and bit.  We used Taktur’s bridle as it has a very soft bit and is easy to adjust.

Hjalti cooperated beautifully.

Obviously, he was a bit bewildered with this new thing in his mouth so we made it easier for him and fed him small bits of carrot so he thought it was worth it.

There was lots of praise and telling him what a clever, good boy he was being.

Meanwhile the side-kick and companion was being a bit of a tit.  He was learning himself how to stand quietly once tied up.

He can learn this special skill while Hjalti has his lessons.  Do him good.

As the training was going well, Daisy took Hjalti for a walk around the school wearing Daddy’s bridle.

Look at my little boy – all growed up now.

Such hard work deserves a bucket of grub.

I am so proud of my first home-bred Icelandic horse foal *** sniff ***.

A Bit Odd

Firstly, do not judge my filthy windows please. 

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Anywho, Monster has gone a bit odd.  He was always odd and now he is even odder.

He has taken up using his litter tray, which has remained untouched since he was first allowed out when he arrived back in April ’18 and now he wants to sit on the roof.   Very strange.

We’re not sure why and we spend many hours discussing theories to explain this strange behaviour.

My theory is that Monster thinks Spring is almost here (the odd snowdrop around and it is suddenly warmer) so he wants to go out more and explore.

OH reckons he got a gluff from a rabbit when hunting.

Daisy thinks he was startled while having a quiet little pee outside so now has decided to use the house litter-tray.

Oh my word – just look at the abysses of fat folds!  Squidgy-widgy.

Well, whatever, it is, Monster has changed.  He even quite likes me and followed me into my shudio this morning.

Of course, he wanted out.

He wanted in.

He wanted to explore.

He wanted to annoy.

Meanwhile, Her Maj  has comes to terms with her bed so that’s one good thing.

One odd, very odd cat, though.  He fits right in!

 

 

Another Bucket

*** sigh *** naughty, naughty chippie-chipmunk Minions /*** sigh ***.

It really is too much.

So dear Flossie did the lugging and took a left-over salt/mineral lick in a bucket into their field.

Storm was very optimistic that there was actually chocolate cake.

This is his best Smiley Face.

(don’t stick your tongue out, Storm – it’s not nice).

Yes, I saw you!

As you can see, it was slightly raining but it is warm and the grass is still growing, which is unheard of for this time of year.  We have much less mud than usual.

We took carrots as well and they were very fairly distributed.

Awww, Newt-the-Cute!

No one was missed out (look at Lilja trying hard to be included – she had already had her ration.)

Yin and Yang

Anywho, I don’t know why the Minions are eating the fences.  They have 50 acres of field with grass, a variety of plants and fresh water.  There really is no need.  I am holding out from giving them a feed bucket because it is full of sugar and that is one thing they don’t need.  I’ve just looked on ‘tnet and apparently it might be not enough dietary fibre – and that I cannot believe.  Fibre is is the one thing in an abundance.  I am at my wit’s end with this.  If they keep going, I am going to paint the fences with a concoction of chilli oil and Fairy Liquid (patent pending).

Musical Bed in the Shed

My shed/studio/shudio/whatever is finally finished.  The carpets are down and “lovely things” are coming in and filling it up fast.

But priorities of course – first to sort out Her Maj’s bed.  While I hoovered the new carpet tiles, I put her on the chair for safe-keeping.

Then I struggled outside in the increasing wind and rain to find Loki’s old dog bed which had been lovingly preserved until we might need it again.

BeAnne was not a huge fan and I sort of understood why – too big and smelled all wrong.

But she did try to like it while also making me feel guilty. A skill.

OH came in to put up my picture and Her Maj made her feelings very clear.

So OH kindly said he would swap Her Maj’s beds.  She has one under my desk in the house which she rarely uses.

You can see how popular that idea was.

So I shouted at her to bl**dy well get in her bed and stop this nonsence.

Daisy (my stylist) popped by and said the bed was obviously in the wrong place so I moved it.

BeAnne went once into her bed to mess it up and then sat on my knee with her head on the table so she could sulk at me.  Another skill.  Oh, we are full of them today.

I even added her blankie (my old Icelandic gansey).

And I have been adding things to my shed ever since.  No one goes in empty handed.

All my favourite stuff.

I love it.

 

I am going to have so much fun.  With or without BeAnne if she gets over herself.  I refuse to buy another ruddy dog bed (I type, looking at Amazon for something perfect).

 

 

In Search of Wool

A dentist appointment in town today meant we had to leave all the horses in Daisy’s capable hands.

I haven’t been to Lerwick for many weeks.  Truth be told is I can’t be arsed and so put off all my messages until the list is too long to ignore and the trip is worth the petrol.

One of the items on my list was more wool to felt with.

It is for needle-felting – a craft that I am trying to master.

And I found some – Messrs Jamieson & Smith Ltd, Shetland wool brokers.

The home of Shetland wool, indeed – natural combed tops (apparently – I am learning fast here).  I did ask if they had any dyed coloured ones but no, they don’t do that now which is a shame.  I would much rather buy local than hit the internet.

Every available wall had wool.  I could’ve spent a fortune in there and I don’t even knit!

For me, this is a different world but one I have a secret hankering for.  I think to myself “if only I could knit” but the realist in me remembers the hours of childhood knitting torture and so it is never going to happen. I have a panic-attack now just thinking about it.

But the needle-felting is my way forward.  I enjoy it very much and hopefully I will move on from bird/penguins to bigger beasties.