Author Archives: Frances

Let Sleeping Ponies Lie

We are all exhausted after yesterday’s exertions – even those who were not involved.  That would be for support purposes only!

Kappi is happy.

Taktur – ditto.  They have all they want.

Meanwhile, back at Base Camp, plans are afoot.

Some are asleep.

And some are not.

The little ones (the midges) play “Grandmother’s Footsteps” with their snoozing friends.

It is funny to watch.

Luckly Hjalti and Efstur are the best buddies.

And then the three little ones move on.

There are plans to be made.

Who will be their next victim?

Ah, yes, that would be Klængur, who was having a lovely sleep in the Shetland spring sunshine.

But, when it is the turn of the little midges, a few hours later….

Well, everyone forgives them and lets them sleep.

Why?  Because they are more irritating when they are awake!

Let sleeping dogs (or Shetland ponies) lie.  That is the herd’s motto!

Spring Show at Solheim Equestrian, Walls

This morning, at the crack of sparrows (first thing), we left Thordale to go to the Spring Show at Solheim Equestrian, Walls.

Kappi and Taktur were competing and yes, it was raining.

Taktur was going for the experience.  He is a stallion and not used to going out much.  He was a bit shouty to start with but calmed down as the day progressed.  All the classes were mixed. Mares, geldings and stallions together.

Taktur was in the second class – In Hand, any other breed (The Show Register (TSR) Qualifier).


He won the class.

There were five in-hand classes – In hand riding pony/hunter pony type, any other breed, registered mountain and moorland Shetland pony, small pony and large pony.

Then it was the Overall In hand Championship.

Taktur won Overall Reserve Champion.

The day progressed in a soggy fashion with many more classes – all ridden.

The rain it did rain.

Our last class was Best Ridden, Any other breed.  Daisy was riding Kappi and Bjørn Roar Larsen rode Taktur.

Bjørn and Taktur came 1st.

Daisy and Kappi were 3rd.

I think it rained the whole day solidly.

The rosettes are now drying on the Rayburn as well as my camera and all our clothes.

It was a good day. I was very proud of everyone.  They all did very well.

Getting Ready

It all started yesterday with the cleaning of the tack.

While my guest and I were out and about (eating white pudding and shopping), Daisy was hard at work.  Obviously, she had help, or woolly support.

We are off to a show tomorrow – Shetland Spring Show schedule **BLAIR QUALIFIERS.

(I have to say I am not quite sure what “Blair Qualifiers” is but it is all good experience for Daisy riding Kappi and Bjørn on Taktur, who needs to get over himself about girlies and girly smells).

I spent the morning creating a Stallion Badge – (please feel free to message me if you quickly need one).

And, today, we were all washing.

First up was Taktur.

He was not happy, but he had a full bath.  Handsome Princes don’t just appear, you know.  Beauty needs work.  Hard work.

And then it was Kappi’s turn.  He had a bath too.  All objections were ignored.

Being my daughter, Daisy made a list.  A lovely list.  A proper list.  In this family, we love lists.

Daisy to filled the horse-van with all that she (and Bjørn) will need. I added string and a radio.

After washing the horses, I realised I was soaked because I was stupid enough to wear the wrong clothes.  They are now in front of the stove, drying, ready for tomorrow.

So, an early start and all your winning vibes please.  The forecast says rain. I hate horse shows in the rain. I will not be wearing my happy face if I get wet.

A Winning Smile

I needed to go to Lerwick (hay, sheep food, stuff for pizza tonight and my visitor’s Shetland chocolate requirements – Puffin Poo) and so we went.

It was funny weather.  I left home giving Daisy strict instructions about what if there was thunder/lightening – it was very close this morning (nothing happened apart from a few drops of rain – but, still, I worry).

Messages (shopping) done, and Karen and I sat on the harbour front eating white pudding and chips (Karen is now a convert) while watching the harbour traffic.

A boat came in from, I think, a tour, with an accompanying grey seal.

I have never seen this before and it was lovely to see.

This seal was wonderful.

He was playing the game.

Working the audience.

He had A Winning Smile.

It was a superb sight, as we ate our delicious traditional Shetland lunch.

It was very evident that this grey seal was an old pro.

And this made me instantly think of another…..

Someone else who knows how to work the crowd with his Winning Smile

Darling not-so-little Lambie who spends the best part of his morning smiling sweetly so I will feed him Rich Tea biscuits!

A Wander Around Lyradale

I took our visitor, Karen, to see Lyradale and its inhabitants – the Minions (my rescue Shetland ponies), plus Lyra and Delia.

Obviously, I put Karen to work.

It would be a waste not to.

And she seemed happy enough – enthusiastic, even!

Lyra worked her magic.

After a good session of brushing, being hugged and now covered in the winter fur that is fast falling out, I showed Karen around Lyradale – the 50 acre croft I bought last December.

Lyradale is a wonderful croft.  Set in a glaciated valley, it offers abundant shelter and grass.  I have only seen Lyradale in the winter so it is also lovely for me to watch spring appear and see what plants are growing.

I feel very lucky that I can give this to my Minions to live in.  They are very settled and happy here and for me, that is all that matters.  Watching them grow and thrive is the perfect reward and I hope it makes up for the terrible start some of them had.

I have plans for the derelict croft house too…..

(just need to win the lottery next)…..