Out There

The rain, it has rained – quite a lot by the looks of things.

Everyone is doing well.  The grass bellies are going. It is a very slow process, though.

Unusual friendships are being forged.

The bigger ones are all being ridden regularly.

Little Albie is turning into bigger Albie.

We have dropped his afternoon feed but he still has milk and cereal in the morning.

He looks well on this.

Albie has developed into a sturdy independent Shetland pony.  Just what we wanted.  When he sees us, he just thinks food or love will come his way.  He relies on the rest of the herd to be his friends.

Tor is still very important in his life and come spring, we may wean him off her.   It is all in his head.  She doesn’t let him nurse.

This time last year, Delia was wearing a rug 24/7 but it has not been nearly as cold or rainy and she is maintaining her weight well.

  

Little Newt is putting on weight.

He has spread out a bit more.  His thick Shetland woolly foal coat is coping superbly with the rain. It just flattens down and he remains completely dry underneath.  Very efficient.  He has paint on his back from the auction (different colours indicate different destinations once sold).  This paint is solid and not budging.  I am not going to cut it out as that will interfere with the effectiveness of his winter coat.  It will brush out when his coat falls out in spring.

Newt likes carrots.  He is finding his place in the herd.

One of us. One of us!

My Christmas Tree

It’s a dreich day.  The horses and ponies are fine.   We left them to it.

I popped over to Sandness to check the others.

All good there.

Home again, to a mug of Parisian hot chocolate (it was delicious) for everyone.

I know it is early, but I am in a very Christmassy mood.  Last year was completely ruined for me by one of my spinal discs (L4-L5) prolapsing.  I spent most of the Christmas period in an analgesic fog.  Not nice.

So, as Floss is now home from University, the tree is up and it is beautiful.

As always, full of all my favourite Christmas ornaments – the tomte or nisse family, the angel, my silver Dala horse, the snow goose….They all mean a great deal to us all.

There is also a bit of a sheep theme.  Funny that.

This year, I bought three sheep and Daisy kindly “sheepified” them.

First, there is Lambie – accurately coloured in.

‘Bert in all his glory.

‘Ster, complete with precise markings.  I doubt there are any other Christmas trees in Shetland with a fleckit, moorit and katmoget sheep decorations.  But, then again, I could be wrong!

Then we started the difficult bit.  To make this year’s Christmas card.

I had to employ the help of the local elves.

Enjoy xx

(by the way, this is Wu’s happy face and no one was harmed in the making of this photo).

Friend or Foe?

Yesterday, having fed the chaps in Sandness, Flossie and I went on a little excursion.

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We drove down to Bousta (the other end of Sandness) to see if the seals were “sunbathing”.

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There was a nice little herd lounging around so, using the car as a very effective hide, we drove along the side of the beach and sat for a while watching them.

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We counted ten seals lying on the small sheltered shingle beach.

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I think they are common seals or harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), though I could be wrong as I am not a seal expert.

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I think, also, that they had their babies with them.

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I have a love-hate relationship with seals.

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There is the mysterious mythological side.

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In Shetland dialect, they are called Sylkies.

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But they are also killers and I don’t let the dogs swim in the sea when the seals are bobbing about.

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A few years ago, I read about a labrador being killed by a grey seal on Aberdeen beach – The Scottish Herald.

It was very distressing and made me realise that they are perhaps not the fluffy little loving chaps I want to cuddle.  If they could take on a labrador, a small swimming Patterdale terrier could be an appetiser.

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Anywho, they always remind me of bananas on the rocks.  I am not alone in thinking this!

 

Lots of Pony Photos

Floss and I walked the dogs on the beach first and then went to check on our Sandness herd.

We had to change the water – I don’t like stale water – and it takes a while.

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So I took photos, a few snaps, you know, like you do …..

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…. while Flossie gave out her carrots.

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Everyone was very pleased to see us.

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Even Lyra.

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She decided today was a day that she could be loved.

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It makes a change as she has been very stand-offish recently.  Perhaps it was from being in the other field, which is not nearly as nice, ie not good quality grass.

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Vitamin was on good form too.

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She enjoyed her summer away at Fat Camp and is looking absolutely fabularse now.  The phrase “a leg at each corner” springs to mind.  She is not fat.  She is a solid lady.

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I love taking photos like these.

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Trying to capture the special moments.

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Darling Silver is always special.

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He is a remote little chap. Always has been.

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He doesn’t force himself on people.

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Trust and space are hugely important to him.

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Once he knows, then he is your friend forever.  This is a Minion hug.

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He loves his special moments.

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I have a very soft spot for this little Foula pony.

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Waffle is as ever his usual happy little self.

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He has not achieved the huge heights of his parents.  More a midi than a standard.  What he lacks in stature, he makes up for with an enormous sense of humour.

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And then miraculously, I found another carrot.

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Must’ve fallen unnoticed out of a pocket and again everyone was happy!

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The sunset on the way home was mysterious.

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Boys are Annoying

The boys came up to the fence for a chat.

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Hetja came with them.

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She is a very good mother and step-mother.

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She keeps the little irritations in line.

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Efstur steers well clear when Hetja’s on the rampage.

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He just plays the cute card and hopes everyone around thinks so too.

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Hjalti is old enough to know better but still young enough to want to play but sometimes over-step the boundaries with his mother.

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Hjalti and Efstur are the best of friends and have been very good for each other these past months.

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They have a close relationship, which is lovely to see and will be very important when we wean Efstur in the New Year.

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The boys both adore Hetja.  Brá is a good mother but she is not an affectionate one.

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Hetja has always happily looked after Efstur on Brá ‘s behalf.  As boss mare of the herd, she sees it as her job.  Always has.

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And then Hjalti remembers that Hetja is his mother and not Hjalti’s so he has to tell him.

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You just know what Hetja is thinking don’t you?

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“Bloody children!”