Author Archives: Frances

To the Minions

I saw my first Shetland bumblebee this morning in the resting Minion field we have to walk through to get to the chaps.

You can tell it is a Shetland bumblebee (Bombus muscorum agricolae) because it “is very distinctive, having a thorax that is completely orange, and a yellowish abdomen”.  That would be him then – a little fuzzy-wuzzy chap! ❤️

The seggies are all coming out.  A seggie is a yellow flag iris – they grow wild here and are always beautiful, if brief.  You can see how tall they grow next to Newt (all 28″ worth or something, we haven’t measured him in a while).

Newt has at last morphed from yak to racehorse. His Summer look.  I almost don’t recognise him until he lifts his face to chat.

The field they all live in is big (actually two fields with a stream running down the whole side). Perfect.

The bellies (and the smiles) are bigger!

Albie far away.

Albie close up with sunscreen on his precious nosey (and possibly Flossie who put it there – she has a coat of many colours, predominantly white though).

We talk to everyone and check they are ok.

I love this – and sort of know what Vitamin was saying to Storm who is not her favourite Shetland pony.  I had just rasped Storm’s hooves and surprisingly he behaved beautifully.  Vitamin is probably being told all about it and hiding her disbelief.

Always good to see the Shetland’s.   They make me smile (mostly).

Good Days and Bad

If you are wondering how Her Maj is getting on, well yesterday I would’ve said she is fine.  We are in a routine. It’s not perfect but it works and she’s still here.

BeAnne sort of eats dog food (with muchos cajoling) or cat food (she steals it) and takes herself off to hunt for baby bunny rabbitses when she feels like it (I pretend I don’t know).  Sometimes she even has a wee swim.

She likes water.  Very much.

But we have bad days and today was one of them.  The lunch-time pills were consistently spat out despite the ham parcels they were lovingly wrapped in. This resulted in me going to the not-very-local-shop (20 minute drive away) to get many pounds (money)’s worth of people treats (ham – smoked and honey roasted, hot dogs, meatballs, triangle-shaped cheese) to wrap/disguise her pills in. Instructions on the pill packet it says they must be eaten whole (no crushing or splitting) so we need a vehicle to disguise them in and one Monster wants too as envy greatly inspires.

I have a pill-popper syringe thingy which resulted in her biting me!

Gah!  I am finding this difficult.

And, I think, so is BeAnne.  The pills are a necessity to life but, at the moment,  there are more good days than bad.  I tell myself this because today was a bad one.

But she did eat her supper and the cat’s leftovers and has cheered up immensely.  I have gin so I have cheered up too.

Everyone Happy

The flowers are wonderful now.  We are bit over-buttercupped but it is not a problem for us.

The boys are looking gorgeous.  All shiny.  Winter coats almost gone.

As Lambie was so distressed by the flies last week, I bought him a horse fly-collar – AB7 Industries Insect Repellent Collar for Horses by Lincoln. I think I got two off Amazon (one for Hetja).  You cut it to size and it comes with fasteners that have a variety of reviews as to whether they stay on or not.  Anywho, the other day, we grabbed Lambie, fitted the collar to size and fastened it.

Of course he went into a complete decline, saying he could’t be That Kind of Sheep (ie one with a collar) and burbled on about being a Free Spirit. I had stopped listening to him by then and told him to get on with it, it would help.

Of course I was right and Lambie is much much happier and relaxed now having got used to the smell of citronella and the total lack of flies around him. From the packet – “protects horses against most parasites including flies, midges, mosquitos and horse-flies.” and now possibly sheep.

(this is Lambie’s happy face, so you know)

While we had Lambie in the metaphorical head-lock, I also replaced his copper magnetic bracelet as he had managed to lose the last one. We have matching bracelets now as I had one made for me too.  Friends forever!

Beautiful smiley faces.

Relaxing in the sun and snoozing.

Edna was happy shovelling food in as fast as she can. What a difference grass makes.

As I wandered about, I was of course followed.

♬♫ “There’s a monster coming over the hill….

(…. and his friend!)” ♬♫

So all is good.

We Did It!

Well, here we are, this afternoon with me striding purposefully to load Klængur into the horse-van.  My theory being if you look like you mean it, possibly the horse will believe you!

I came fully prepared with my now-trusty ex-TurmerAid bucket (they are so useful, even empty) full of yummy and very visual Mare & Youngstock hardfeed.

One hoof on, ears pricked forwards.

Two hooves on and a bit of “look at the bucket, not around the bucket, you are feeling hungry” hypnotism going on!

And Klængur walked in without much hesitation, was tied up, barrier across and next in was Kappi.  Both were given their reward of a few dibs at the bucket.

And bingo!  Two lovely ginger ninjas ready to go on their expedition.

Here we are at our destination, waiting for the others.  We tacked up and went round the village on a lovely hack.  There are no photos as Klængur is not that type of horse (ie one where you can let go of the reins).  This was unknown territory for him and he and Kappi danced around or leg-locked for every yellow flower, blade of suspicious grass, road-marking, gate, house, ladder, the list is endless.  I think the only thing they didn’t spook at was the Minions in a far-away field who were thrilled to see them!

Home safe now.  Phew! I wanted to find out if Klængur and I could do this – and we did!

It’s all in the Preparation

Daisy and I (with Kappi and Klængur) are going on a socially-distanced ride tomorrow with some friends on their Icelandic horses.

With only three wheels on my wagon, my horse-van is at the menders so the horses and us are blagging a lift off our kind neighbour to our destination.

Klængur’s not brilliant about loading and we haven’t been anywhere for ages. I needed to know if he still remembered what to do.

Armed with my trusty box of inspirational Mare and Youngstock hard-feed (all we have at the moment) and a carrot (visual aid), we walked and rattled our way down to my neighbour’s.

Both horses knew I had food.  I made sure of that.

My neighbour’s horse-van is slightly different to mine – the layout is the same, though.

I let Klængur have a good look and then we walked in with my yellow bucket of food.  Both were good boys and I loaded Klængur a few times until I felt confident that tomorrow would not be a problem.  Kappi of course loaded like the pro he is.  The carrot and mix were duly dished out.

And then we wended our way home again.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  We haven’t been anywhere for ages.

I have told Klængur he must be a good boy and not let me down.

Now to iron my brave pants.