Author Archives: Frances

Preparation and Training

Daisy and Kappi are busy training and preparing for the IHSGB (Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain) British Championships which are taking place on the 23-25th June in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

I have just finished working out the logistics.

Hannibal crossing the Alps had nothing on us.

I spent most of the morning on the telephone sorting everything out and, much to my shock and consternation, the ruddy ferry was almost fully booked. We have the last cabin going down to mainland UK.  Imagine that, two months ahead and the boat is full!

But, phew, we have a cabin and a place for the van – full of a Kappi and a Waffle.

Two months to go.  Only two months.  So little time.  I must start to pack!  Now, where is Waffle’s toothbrush and what colour pyjamas does he want to wear?  Bob the Builder or He-Man?

Exciting times ahead.

(PS – I defy Waffle not to enchant everyone at the British Championships!)


The Galloping Dots

When I was driving back from Lyradale, all I could see were two galloping dots.

They chase one way……

…. and then they chase the other.

(I love the way Delia just gets on with the task of eating (so important) while Albie and Newt are bouncing about having fun.)

I have been waiting for this day for a very long time.  Proper playing.

And then suddenly they stop.  All bets are off while they both get their breath.  Killing each other is obviously exhausting!

A few minutes later there is a small hopeful nose wuffle…..

…. and off they go again!

Do not feel sorry for Newt…..

…. or worry about his small stature (26″ now).

Newt is tough.

He gives as good as he gets.

Often starting it!

The little boys go endlessly round and round in circles trying to “get” each other.

And then Newt goes in for the kill!

Albie’s knees!

Being smaller has its advantages!

I could watch these two little boys all day.

(ok, I will admit that a good part of my day is spent watching the games, the endless games – this is what both these little chaps need.  Last year, Albie wasn’t really up for playing and now he has a BFF, Spring is in the air and they are both enjoying being together)

**** sniff **** this is perfect!

What? Snow? April!

We woke up to this!


Snow.  There was a blizzard first thing. Real fat snow-flakes blowing past the window as I got up and got dressed.  My heart fell.  We could all really do without this.

And then as quickly as the snow appeared, it vanished which was lucky as I really did not feel like battling with in the “deep and crisp and even”.

So, after we had fed everyone at Thordale, been for a bimble (ride when Iacs/aka Mr Bimble is present), Flossie and I drove over to Lyradale so Flossie could say her good-byes.

Flossie is going back up to Oxford for her last term and finals (everything is now crossed).

Where has the time gone?  So quickly.

As Flossie’s pony, Fivla has always been very special.

They both go a long way back and have always been the best of friends. They understand each other and had many conversations together.

So, Flossie said her goodbyes and we all wish her the best of luck for the coming weeks of torture, exams and hell.

I think Fivla is looking well and almost the right shape now.

Doubly Annoying

Bjørn came over to shoe Kappi and then to give Daisy a quick lesson afterwards.  She has been training Kappi very hard all week, making him fitter and everyone could see a huge difference.

Obviously, there were helpers.

First, there was Albie.

And then Newt.

Everyone’s an expert!

Shoeing horses is hard work, so while Bjørn had a quick sit-down to recoup, the Mini-Minions did more “helping”.

(Amina, Bjørn’s German shepherd dog, was a very good girl or “flink jente”).

“One of us, one of us” – Albie is definitely a Minion.  No mistaking his calling in life.

He even came back later on in the day, while we were working outside, to get himself a headcollar out of the school to play with!

Anywho, Daisy and Kappi were warming up on a long rein and Albie decided this was intriguing and something he needed to see close-up.

He followed them both round.

And then Newt decided this was something he should do too, because if Albie does it, then it must be fun.

(I do think Albie moves very prettily).

Kappi was not thrilled by the intruders so Daisy stopped him to let the boys introduce themselves properly.

Now, who says we don’t have midges in Shetland!?

Yes, they were banned after one circuit of being very, very annoying but it was very funny to watch and they are both deliciously cute.

Making Himself Known

The girls (Daisy and Flossie) brought their and my horses in to tack up. We were going to go out on a ride.

They were followed by a little somebody.  A little skewbald midge.  A Mini Minion, no less.

First of all, Albie marched up to Kappi and introduced himself.

“Hello, my name is Albie and Mummy says I am very speshul”.

Luckily having been living with other ponies all his life, Albie speaks fluent small pony.  He licked and chewed like a foal and Kappi thought he was fascinating.  There was not a horrid word exchanged.

When I took on Albie last spring, I was determined, just because he was an orphan, that he was most importantly a pony, spoke fluent pony and didn’t rely on humans.  Tor taught him well.

And I totally hand it to Kappi who did nothing to Albie while he was having his girth done up.  Absolutely nothing.  Kappi just stood there with a small Klingon attachment sniffing his bum.  It is a very kind, and possibly rare, horse who lets that happen.  Kappi had never met Albie before.

The next short straw was Klængur’s.  Albie made a bee-line and, I think, recognised him.

Klængur has already, if briefly, spent time with Albie in the autumn, last year.

Soon they will all be together.  Once the grass really starts growing.  I think they will get along fine.

My money is on Newt!  Him and Haakon – they will possibly rule the world.