Author Archives: Frances


So, Floss and I were driving over to Leradale. The access track goes around part of the Icelandic horse ladies’ field and I notice a field full of horses!  There are only supposed to be three.

After more looking, we summised that the Minions had managed to get into the Icelandic horses’ field and more, extraordinarily, they were all still alive!  Hetja has a pathological hatred of Shetland ponies in her field.

The Icelandic ladies instantly rushed up to tell me about the small hairy invaders and so I diverted them by quickly putting out their feed. Meanwhile Floss led the Minions out of the field by waving her bag of carrots and walking quickly back to their field.  They followed.

Interestingly enough, apart from 6 minions, Vitamin and Fivla (the old Shetland pony ladies) did not follow.  They know better than to incur the wrath of Hetja.

Leaving the big ones with their food, I pushed the stragglers (Waffle and Albie) back through the very obvious escape route.

We shut it and retied the fence, vowing to return tomorrow with some industrial rope.

And then Floss and I sat on a dry-ish rock each and proceeded to read The Riot Act.

Of course the Minions listened and took it all in.

We thought they probably hadn’t been in the wrong field for very long as they looked unscathed (Hetja’s teeth) and not particularly sweaty (being chased by Hetja – she does not give up).

I am glad Vitamin and Fivla had the sense to stay out.  They are old ladies and would’ve hated all the hassle.

I hope The Riot Act was duly understood and taken on board.

I have a horrible feeling I know who the perpetrator was……

Anyway, no one seems the worst for this unexpected introduction.

I also think a certain Sóley-the-Foalie would’ve loved some new toys to play with but Mummy said no!

Not Sure What is Going On

I’m not really sure what is going on with Brá.  I have noticed, recently, that she has lost her fur and there maybe some insect bites.  She is not looking her best really.

Treatment: A topical ectoparasiticide containing deltamethrin 1% w/v plus a daily anti-itch supplement, TurmerAid (turmeric) and equine minerals and vitamin powder.  She had sweetitch this autumn but didn’t suffer like Hetja did and maybe this is the result. I don’t know.  She has no other symptoms.

This side is the worst.

And this side is not nearly as bad.

I do know Brá, and her friends, regularly hang over the fence so it might just be hair-loss from stretching over wire.

She is absolutely fine in herself, if anything nicer and easier to work with. She has a fine figure now and I wouldn’t want her to be any thinner.

Her field-mates show absolutely no sign of anything similar.

I am trying my best to not ignore the situation. If Brá was itching and miserable, obviously I would move her, but apart from looking revolting, she is absolutely fine.  Possibly looking the best she has in ages.

Anyway, she is enjoying her daily mini-bucket feed of fibre, herbs, powder. She appreciates this individual attention and care.  I hope it all clears up.

A Day Off

Floss and I have been working day-in and day-out like maniacs, feeding, checking, rug changing,  mucking out, feeding again, etc and, although it is always a pleasure, and never a chore, it can get a bit monotonous this time of year as there is little fun like riding.

Today we were out early, cramming our daily routine into the least amount of time possible as, once finished, we were driving to Lerwick.

As the weather was quieter today (though it revs up again tonight), we fed everyone outside, which made a huge difference to us all.  Life instantly became much easier.

Then once done, clothes changed, us vaguely cleaned up, we drove to Lerwick.

I dropped Floss off at the cinema (Little Women), and went to “do the Street”.

One of the lanes.

The shops have started to get ready for the Lerwick Up Helly Aa which takes place on the last Tuesday of January. I think this shop window display sums it up pretty accurately – men and boys, dressing up, and torches.

Anywho, I popped into Jamieson’s to see how my flock were getting on.  More “curlies” will be added tomorrow – as, stupid me, I had forgotten to bring them.

Onwards to the Choccie shop (Mirrie Dancers) for a quick purchase and sampling.

As well as making chocolates with gin (what’s not to love – all my major food groups covered there!) ….

… they make chocolate orcas

The ponies were pink today.

And there were pony lollipops in a basket.

So, we had a good “day off” such as it was. The R&R will stand us in good stead for the next weather onslaught which starts again tonight.


Going Along

The weather does not merit my big camera leaving its safe place on top of the piano so here are some photos from its last day out (a few day’s back when I took photos of the Minions).

Lilja, although filthy dirty, is still lovely.

She has the most elegant head and is growing into a very beautiful lady.  I know I always say it but she is so like her dad!

Dear little Sóley-the-Foalie worships her big sister and follows her if she is allowed (Mother permitting).  It can all get a bit “Jungle Book” – the scene with the elephants piling up when one stops suddenly when they are marching.

But Sóley-the-Foalie is also a Mummy’s Girl.  Hetja will call her away from talking to “the Shetland pony rabble”, as I am sure she calls them!

I love the way Mother and daughter are in perfect step with each other.

At home, we are very set in our winter routine. There is little opportunity to ride even with an indoor school (far too noisy and scary for the horses). We “do” horses and ponies in the morning – all fed, watered, rugs changed, checked, etc and in the afternoon I go to my wee shed to make sheep that no one wants to buy this time of year.  I don’t mind. I am stock-piling for the summer when hopefully they will fly off the shelves.  In the evening, I transcribe my great-great Aunt’s diaries, which are becoming more and more interesting.

The Shetland nights are getting very slightly lighter now.  It is barely noticeable but soon the minutes will add up and we will begin to see a big difference.

Winter is moving along and we are all surviving it so I can’t really complain. I would like to ride one day, however.

Salt Lick

We have a chippy-chipmunk in our midst so I bought a Himalayan salt lick which might, at best, solve the problem or, at least, keep said chipmunk occupied with something else to do apart from eating my fences.  Little sod-bag.

So in a Force 10, or so, give or take, I hung up the salt lick on a sturdy fence strainer.  To be fair, though, I usually distribute salt-licks this time of year.  This is when they want them most which is odd considering the amount of sea salt that is around.

(I adore Hetja’s expression – such a wonderful lady)

Anyway, they had their hard-feed and then I showed them their new lick.

And I could see that Hetja was thrilled with it, trying to bite off chunks.  Wicked lady!

She showed Sóley-her-Foalie who had a tentative but interested sniff too.

And then she had a shot at it too.

I think I will get a few more for the others.  Everyone likes a salt lick.  If the chippy-chipmunking goes on, however, I shall paint the fences with my concoction (patent pending) of chilli infused oil!  That usually stops everyone in their tracks. And then it’s war!