Author Archives: Frances

In the Daffodils

BeAnne has always been a water dog so, as it was such a nice afternoon, we all went down to the burn in the field.  We even took some bits of wood to throw in.

Which she duly brought back.

She had a little swim and then a lovely roll.

Two of the Muscovy ducks had finally found the burn, which is quite an achievement in itself as it is a long walk down the hill and back.  They were very happy splashing around.

We heard some shouting and turned around to see who was following.

Monster is a very strange cat.

He did a lot of this sort of thing.

And we all laughed with him, not at him.

Monster and BeAnne are good friends, sometimes.

We asked Monster to sit in the daffodils and look pretty, so he did!

And then he looked weird again.

We asked BeAnne too.

So she just looked like not herself really.

Still, it was nice to sit on a rock in the Spring sunshine with our strange little family.


Today Daisy and I tackled the Minions the hooves.  I gave myself a break from rasping them down all winter as my back and I couldn’t face the endless mud and weather. I had decided to save up and get the farrier in when it was Spring to give the Shetlands one professional trim a year, and I would keep them tidy for the rest of the year.

Well, that was the plan until this – no farrier visiting until maybe next month.  It keeps being put off.

So armed with Daisy, some hoof clippers, a rasp and the axle stand, we went to work on Tiddles.  The photos don’t show how badly he needed trimming.

We went by the theory that we both know what we want a hoof to look like, so between us we would achieve it.  Daisy was on clippers while I did the rasping afterwards.  Then we would stand back, look at our handywork and decide if we needed to do any more.

Of course there was an audience.

We did backs and fronts.

Here are Tiddles’ fronts after our work.

And here is the boy himself appreciating our work.

Feeling we could do another, I went and chased after Silver and eventually caught him.  He was not in a helpful frame of mind.

One front done and you can see the difference.

Both fronts done.

The backs untrimmed.  Far too long and toey.

Backs afterwards.  We were pleased with our work.

Hair up!

Hair down!

Just another 17 horses/ponies to go…… then.

Our Baby Dragon

Dreki is 3 years old (and so is his sister, Lilja) and today Daisy and I thought we could do some training with him.  Obviously, Dreki’s day-to-day life always involves some instruction – like “back, back” to step backwards and not crowd when we open the gate and he has good on-the-ground manners too.

We brought him in with Efstur who was also doing some in-hand work today.

Dreki has wintered well and is growing nicely. He is a tall boy too.

You would know, if you met him, that Dreki is his father’s son – Taktur.

He is still a baby in many ways – I saw this when I was walking him round the school – there was such a huge difference between him and Efstur (a year older).

When I asked Dreki to halt he would put his nose up for a kiss!  We practiced leading (walking and stopping when I stopped and not barging past me), being tied up while not being a berk, and then having each hoof picked up.  All easily done.

We will keep doing little bits with him. Nothing to brain taxing because he is still just a 3 year old and really doesn’t have equipment (his little grey cells) ready.

Beautiful Perfect Nature

There is something totally magical about the colour of duck’s feathers.

I am completely mesmorised by them.

In my opinion, they are perfect.

Anywho, it feels like it has been a long winter which is still taking it’s time to leave but the colour is coming back into the garden.

Our poor daffs have taken quite a battering recently and OH brings the survivors from the unceasing wind and rain into the house for their last gasp.  Some of them smell divine.

We’ve had some harsh weather recently and, although that is good for drying up the mud, it has left its mark with burned edges on the leaves.

I have noticed that it is getting warmer and today we hit double figures on the thermometer.

It was brief.  The horses are loving it, though, and beginning to leave the hay to look for the new grass shoots.  Always a good sign.

I am sure there will be a few false starts to Spring – this is what happens. I get lulled into a false sense of security and possibly even put my thermals away only to get them swiftly out again as it starts snowing in May.  It is not unusual, especially if it is lambing season.  It’s like the Gods know or something.

Is that Spring Grass?

Ok, well the news so far…..

Edna is definitely pregnant with (please God) only one lamb.  She is an ideal weight and the lamb should arrive in two weeks’ time.  Madge is (thank you God) not pregnant, just doing very well.  This is from my sheep expert.  I am still in shock about this whole situation but to quote Doris Day “Que Sera, Sera”.

And today the rain stopped, the sun shone, and though the wind blows hard, I took my camera to see the Minions who seriously did not want to be hugged or anything.  They had found the beginning of the Spring grass.  Hoomans were chopped liver.

Yes, the grass is finally here, if completely invisible to the photographic lens.

The Minions have wintered very well and are a happy little herd.

All are fat as butter and want to be fatter.

I am particularly pleased with the old ladies.  Vitamin is looking especially beautiful.

While Fivla is sporting turquoise spray on her face for some fur she lost (about the size of a penny) – we’ve no idea how she did this but, when in doubt, spray everything with turquoise antibiotic spray.

The little boys remain enthusiastic about everything.

Especially all things carrot!