Author Archives: Frances

Swimming at Lyradale

There is a lovely warm shallow loch at Lyradale.

It is perfect for dogs.

And perfect for teaching a deaf little Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (or Toller, for short) puppy, how to enjoy swimming in a safe environment with her friends.

Little Zee needed to learn this special skill.

The others are all very good at it, but Zee has been reluctant to learn.

But learn she did and, after a slight tentative start, she loved it.

It was great to watch her gain her confidence in the water.

Her dog family already know what to do.  They swim and retrieve beautifully. You just chuck the dummy and it is brought back.  If it is missed, you point to it and they go and find it.


But, it really was BeAnne who helped Zee the most.

BeAnne was transfixed by the plastic floating water dummy.

She wanted it more than anything.

And openly covetting the dummy made Zee want it too!


BeAnne would steal it, if she could.

Others were better at sharing!

After lots of swimming, retrieving and best behaviour from everyone (which was lovely to see – I was very proud of BeAnne;  she was a star, no filthy language), we walked the dogs past the ponies and back to the cars.

The little deaf puppy was on a lead as certain Shetland ponies have been known to take advantage.

But, again, everyone behaved beautifully.

It was a lovely afternoon.  We must swim again. I will not be teaching the ponies, though.

First Named

We are struggling with names but after much discussion and research, we have come up with one – for Brá’s black colt.

Meet Dreki from Thordale.

Dreki means dragon.


He will be our Dragon.

So there it is, sorted.  He will grow into his name.

Today, Dreki was the other side of the burn, trying hard to work out how to get over to join his mother.

He didn’t panic.  He thought about his problem.  His little brain was working overtime.

But he made his decision…..

… some of his legs cooperated….

And then he was happily back with his loving mother, Brá.

Meanwhile, we still don’t have a name for Dreki’s elder half-sister.

It will come.  Her name will find her.

But Dreki it is for the colt.  He is our beautiful black dragon.

We think it suits him.

And Another Arrival

I woke up at 02:00 this morning.  I had a feeling.

Looking out of the window, I could see one dark coloured horse on the horizon standing up with possibly another.

So, wellies on, a coat over my Minion jimjams and, armed with a torch, I went out to check on Brá.  The birds were singing beautifully and it was just starting to get light.

She had her foal and they were both up and running.  Perfect.

I found the afterbirth – it looked fine.  So I left them all to it.  Hetja and her little one were one end of the field and Brá and her new bebbie were at the other.

I would find out more in the morning.

And so, this morning, after all chores were done, Daisy and I went to see who the storks had brought.

Brá is a shy mare. Over the past months, I have spent many hours working with her gaining her trust.  We have an understanding.

So, leaving Daisy and my camera behind, I approached, talking her language, gave her a carrot and had a quick check of her foal.

A beautiful colt and he is gorgeous.

We are truly blessed.

Little one does not have “The Ears” but he does have “The Legs” and moves like a dream.  Again, it is likely he is five-gaited and he is very, very black in colour.  Much darker than Hetja’s bebbie girl.

A certain someone is desperate to talk to her new half-brother.

I can’t wait for them to meet.  It won’t be long.

Any Minute Now!

Brá is ready to burst now.

Any minute now.

My money is on either tonight or first thing tomorrow morning there will be an new set of hooves arriving.

She says her foal could not come a day too soon now, please, thank you!

Meanwhile, in the Maternity Unit, all is very well.

Hetja looks like a supermodel.

And Bebbie’s ears are ridiculous!

They are very out of proportion and rather noticeable.

As someone who spent her childhood worrying about very sticky-out ears (my own), I can totally relate to bebbie!  Loving the in-between-ear tuft too.

Perhaps Bebbie will grow into them!

Mother and daughter obviously adore each other.

Little one is stretching out now and working out what her legs do.

Methinks she has some kind of pace (very exciting to see, this early).

I love the way she copies her mother as they go up the hill.

Step for step.

In perfect synchronisation.

So, the “midwives” are on hand.  Ready, waiting and always helpful.

I doubt I will get much sleep tonight.

(I’ll keep you posted!)

Welcome to the World…..

So, I check the ladies every couple of hours while it gradually gets lighter in the morning (02:00, 04:00, 06:00 and then when we get up).

Daisy was out at 08:30 to muck out and saw nothing.  I followed shortly and saw an extra four legs!

So, I screamed around the house that we had a foal, went to find Daisy (she was dutifully mucking out her boys) and, armed with my camera, we went out to investigate and hopefully meet our new arrival.

Love at first sight from us all.

Hetja did this last time with Hjalti.  No evidence of an imminent baby arrival and then, suddenly, an extra little person in the field.

And look, look at her ears!  (Yes, she is a filly)

They are lined with chestnut fur.

I really hope this stays. She is special.

Clever, clever Hetja.  She managed everything on her own.

The others were well aware something had happened. Taktur raced up and down the fence occasionally (well electrified now!)

A few hours later, Bjørn, our trainer and neighbour, came over.

And this is how lovely Hetja is.  The communication is huge between her and her bebbie.

She is the best Mum ever and bebbie trusts us.

A sweetheart.

Brá is due any minute.  Hetja keeps her near by but has an eye on her all the time.  Poor Brá has that look.  The one of someone who is very bored of being very, very pregnant!  Any minute now, I think.

Hetja’s little one is showing her gaits already.

(photo overload)

The woolly babysitters have introduced themselves.

I probably don’t have to tell you just how much we are all in love with our new little filly foal.

She is the very definition of divine and Hetja is the best mother (I am still trying to get my head around those ears – they are truly wonderful)