Category Archives: MyShetland

Riding Lessons

An afternoon of rain and wind so when Bjørn, our trainer, offered to give us all riding lessons on our respective Icelandic horses in the indoor school, we all jumped at the chance.

First up was Daisy on her Icelandic stallion, Taktur.

Taktur has just had his shoes put back on and returned to work after an extensive working holiday.  He was out with his mares all summer and then had a break from everything and everyone.

Obviously, there were spectators.

I bet the “experts” discussed what was going on.

So Daisy and Taktur worked hard and all was good.

Then it was Klængur and Flossie’s turn.

It was a fine lesson and one that helped both horse and rider.  Floss was a bit rusty and Klængur was unhelpful at the beginning.  By the end they were going beautifully, a good team.  Sometimes only a lesson can put everything right.

Lambie, again, gave his seal of approval for the pocket rockets.  I think he envied their speed.

And last up, it was my turn, riding Haakon and, after 20 minutes, we were probably the best we have ever been.

Who knew?

There was me about to give up and give Haakon his well-earned retirement.

But, I think there is life in the old boy yet.

Though, I really must learn how to ride with my mouth SHUT!  I may have swallowed a fly.

(A huge thank you to Bjørn Roar Larsen for our riding lessons.  You made everything right again. Big smiles all round.)

Getting Old

Haakon is getting old.  I see a change, a definite change and I am partly to blame for this.

Having had quite a lot of time off this year from riding due to my back, Haakon has lost any of the physical fitness he had.  It has done him no favours and getting back his stamina and strength is taking much longer than it used to.

I hate seeing him like this.  The usual rides and fun have all gone.  He is tired and struggling.

With the winter weather bearing down on us, I have even resorted to rugging, which is not something I do lightly.

But I don’t want Haakon to lose more muscle/weight from the weather and he wouldn’t thank me if I stabled him.  That would just make him very stiff and disgruntled so a rug is our compromise.

I am trying to ride Haakon three times a week for short periods (20 minutes maximum) with long reins practising our a long and low tölt in a long.  According to Bjørn, our trainer, this will greatly help Haakon’s muscle development.

After this training, Haakon gets a small reward for his efforts.

We will see how we go.  Haakon is 24 years old now and, according to an online horse age calculator, that is the equivalent of 75 years old in humans.

What to do for the best?  At the moment, we are keeping going.  I believe that by exercising Haakon regularly, it will keep his muscles strong, his joints flexible, and gut motility going.  Haakon, like BeAnne, has to live forever.  He is my rock but it is breaking me seeing him like this.  I never wanted him to grow old.

 

New Neighbours

Three new standard Shetland pony fillies have moved next door to the Minions.

They are very pretty ladies and belong to Bergli Stud.

It made sense for them to move quickly as their original field is next door to a huge bonfire.  I offered them temporary shelter from the terrors of Firework Night.

My lot are quite pleased to have new neighbours and spend some of their day loitering near the fences trying to chat.

As if the beautiful tall ladies are going to be enamoured with short fat rather surprised-looking portly little chaps!

At the moment it is Storm, Silver and Tiddles who are hanging around hopefully.

Vitamin was nearby, keeping a matronly eye on the youngsters.  Ever the chaperone.

I am not a fan of Fireworks night so I was happy to offer these ponies a safe place to stay.

To date, I think it has been postponed as the rain has not stopped since last week.


Also, last call for the Advent Calendar.  If you are interested in ordering one, please email me at frances@fstaylor.co.uk and I will order one on your behalf and, once arrived here, send it out to you.

It should work out at £16 plus postage to wherever you live.

Not my best work

I am not sure what I think of this fillum.

I made it this afternoon and was interrupted by the sound of a chicken squawking, plus ever-changing light and a sudden inability to focus the camera.

Things I learned today:

  1. Sticky dots are henceforth known as “bloody sticky dots”.
  2. Bad lighting means bad focussing because there is not enough light.
  3. Chickens, who are outside and making sounds like they are being murdered, are very distracting.  They weren’t being murdered – just shouting.
  4. Radio 3 is boring as hell on a Sunday.
  5. My crows are very unhelpful. If they fell off the fence once, they fell off it a hundred times.  Bah!
  6. I need more characters and less plot
  7. I need more space and better lights
  8. I am just going round and round here until I get my studio space (please, hopefully, Christmas)

But my fillum is slightly longer. So huzzah to that!

This is not my best work.  I need help in this and I don’t know who to ask or who would help me.  I guess I will just keep going as best I can.  I enjoy my Sunday afternoon film-making but, in the same breath, I realise I need guidance.

 

Newt and Albie

Newt and Albie are such dudes.  Always.

Even if you are far away, and Newt spies you, he will make the effort to come over for a wee chat.

It just takes a while.

But he gets there….. eventually.

Albie was, for a change, with Waffle at the far corner of the field, with some wild mallard ducks for extra company.  The ducks flew away when they saw me coming but Albie wandered up.

Albie has changed so much this past year and grown into an almost normal (whatever that is) Shetland pony.  He is definitely one of the Minions.  Remember all that horrible aggro and angst when they joined the herd last year (thank you, Vitamin for that appalling behaviour)? Happily that has vanished now and the ponies are one big happy family, which is something I wished from the beginning.  It just took a while, that was all.

Albie is fairly large for a minature Shetland pony.

I need to measure Newt again.  Last done he came in at 26″ and that’s yer lot.  He is not growing upwards anymore.  Been there, done that. It was overrated.

Sometimes, said Pooh, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart

  Winnie the Pooh

I ❤️ my littlest boys.