Author Archives: Frances

Training Days

Photo by Elisabeth Jansen of Hólar University College

We are attending a two day training session in Burra, another island in Shetland about 45 minutes away.  Our trainer is Elisabeth Jansen of Hólar University College, Sauðárkrókur, Iceland.

Daisy is having lessons on Taktur and Kappi on both days.  As well as riding, we are attending a lecture on Icelandic horse bio-mechanics after a Chinese takeaway!  I will write the blog properly tomorrow when I have looked at my photos.  This is a photo from yesterday afternoon when the weather was lovely.  Today has been not as nice.

More tomorrow, I promise with a possible overload of photos.  I left OH with Cattie and BeAnne is with us, having a bit of a break and enjoying the attention.  She is still not herself.



While I have a rest

My back is not good today.  I woke up tired (I hate that) so I decided the best thing to do would be to have a rest this afternoon.

While I slept, Flossie went out in my stead to take photos of everyone enjoying the Spring sunshine. – a new weather phenomenon.   We had all been for a ride earlier in the morning, which had been lovely.

Here is Mr Bibble and his spectacular silly-frilly.

Floss went over to Clothie – the derelict house you can see behind Bibble which is situate in a 5 acre field.

Taktur generously greeted his new field guest.

And then she was spied by the others.

And was duly mugged.

These two maybe small but they are consummate in the art of mugging.

But in the nicest possible way.

(Taktur is a kind and patient baby-sitter)

Floss sat on one of the many rumbling drystone walls in the field,

Even Kappi came up for a chat.

So while I slept trying to regroup and get my back under control, Floss enjoyed the sunshine with her small, if slightly unusual, little herd.

There could be worse jobs in life.


Thinking and Worried

I have been thinking and worrying a bit about Brá recently.

Since Dreki was weaned, Brá has continued to drop weight.  I have also noticed she was kicking her belly while she eats, which can be a sign of abdominal colic.  Her teats are fine, small and pointing downwards – I don’t think it is mastitis or a temperature.  No diarrhoea either.

Brá was wormed at the beginning of April – everyone was.

Yesterday, with my waters churning, I decided to nuke her with Fasinex for possible liver fluke, which is rare in horses but on the up these days especially this time of year.  I am hoping it did the trick.

This morning, for the first time ever, Brá came galloping when we arrived, for her bucket.  She only kicked once, but it was more, I think, from being hassled by a hopeful Lilja on the scrounge.

I am keeping a close eye on Brá now.  Having said that, she is not helpful so it could just be learned behaviour from being fed up with Dreki and she will start putting on weight now the Spring grass is arriving.

Meanwhile Lilja remains with Hetja – she will be moved soon and weaned.

I have a plan.

(Note how Lilja loves hanging onto Hetja’s leadrope.  Her dad, Taktur, does this too – a terrible habit but awwww!)

Once the Spring grass is more evident, I will open the gates and let The Minions into Hetja’s field.

Hetja will eventually stop trying to kill them all and Lilja will get new friends.

Then, when Lilja is not looking, we will move Hetja and Brá while Lilja stays with her new herd.  Well, that’s the theory, anyway.

Mr Headcollar is an old friend and Lilja is now leading, going fairly well too.

Big phew!

Meanwhile, back at home, peace talks are in progress.

And Home, and Breathe

We are home now and I am just about getting back into my Shetland way of life again.

This is Daisy meeting Himself for the first time at the SSPCA Centre in Banchory.

Himself has been at the centre for a month.  As you can see, he didn’t mind.

We said yes and drove back into town to get some essential supplies.

And to laugh at the latest fashions.  I mean seriously – who, when, where would you ever wear that trouser suit?

We returned to collect the latest member of the family and back onto the boat for the return voyage.

Big Himself (oh fer cryin’ out is his name?) had BeAnne’s palace complete with litter tray, food and water.

We left him to his night in the back of the car. Thankfully, it was a calm crossing.  The night before had been a bit too bouncy.

Himself was a good car-traveller, saying the odd meow to himself but mostly quiet and calm in the car.

So we introduced Himself to his new home and toys (a catnip kickeroo which he adored)

BeAnne stayed close by but was cautious. We started off upstairs.

It didn’t take long before Himself came down to join the family.

He likes to explore.

And he is very affectionate with us.

BeAnne, however, is work-in-progress.

Himself is fine with her unless they meet face to face and then he attacks.  We have had words.

He has quickly made himself at home with us.

We are all a bit smitten, to be honest.

I had to turn my laptop off as it was starting to acquire artificial intelligence due to some reprogramming with a very large cat!

Himself has now established himself a bed on a comfortable low Shetland chair with a very fetching Pendleton blanket!

Names, so far – The Great Woz, Titus, Nero…… to be continued, no doubt.

Meet the Man!

In the back of the car in his palace. We are waiting in the car queue for the boat.

So now we need to think of a name, again. x

ps. If Little Cattie decides to come home, she will also be made most welcome. We won’t give up on her.