Category Archives: MyShetland

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.

Hoofboots! The Way Forward

Haakon (and Iacs) would like to go out but it has become increasingly obvious that the hard roads and tracks are not helping their feet.  Both boys are unshod and suffering.  Haakon’s hooves, post abscesses, are not brilliant so I invested in four Cavallo hoofboots (and some Formula4feet, which is very good for strengthening hooves that have had an ill time).

We borrowed a friend’s pair of Cavallo hoofboots to try previously on Iacs and I could immediately see that this might be a solution rather than shoeing.  I then bought one off Fleabay (they are like hen’s teeth) and another new to make up a pair.  Haakon went beautifully with them on his fronts. We flew along but when we got home, I could immediately see he had taken the toes off his hinds in just one ride so promptly bought another pair from The Hoof Boutique (somewhere in Englandshire). A great shop and I now have four hoofboots (plus the pair we borrowed – Iacs wore them today).

We told the old men that this was just a short ride that would be taken quietly and sensibly.  I was also nervous about how Haakon would react to wearing four hoofboots.  He has never done this before.  I don’t know why I bothered.  He happily bogged off!

Reins are for wimps!

The old men sniggered and raced along sounding like they were the Wellie Boot Brigade!  Fan-bloody-tastic.  Happy hooves, happy horses and happy hoomans (if slightly shocked at the speed these two old men can go considering they were in retirement).

It was lovely seeing the horses so happy. They felt young again in their hoofboots.  I’ve got my horse back.   You have no idea how wonderful this is.


Oh yes, some cottongrass in the wind – turn the sound up for the birds.

And not-so-little Missy talking to Floss – no sound as we sound awful when we talk!

Sorry for the ramble.

A Restful Day

I didn’t have a good night last night.  No sleep. I felt like electric ants were crawling all over me.  So I had an easy day today making everyone else do my chores, because that is what daughters are for!

Anyway, this handsome prince was waiting for me at the front door. Daisy has made her boys a day-paddock of grass that needs eating around the outside of the house.

To clear my head, I went for a walk along the road.  The wild flowers are fabulous, as usual but the bog cotton or cottongrass is amazing this year.

I have never seen it this good.

In Shetland, bog cotton is known as “Lucky Minnie’s Oo”.  Apparently “Lucky Minnie” is Scottish for grandmother. “Oo” is Shetland dialect for wool.  The perfect name then.

And I have just found this out, it was used for dressing wounds in the First World War (1914 – 1918).

Brilliant to see this time of year and possibly the definition of a swathe.

My head is cleared and I am feeling a bit better now. I hope it was just one of those nights and I am back to default settings.

Those electric ants are not welcome.

Bruntskerry Kirk Visit

You know when you drive past a house, a place, a road, somewhere that you always tell yourself you should visit because it intrigues you……

Well, today, Daisy and I went to look at a small derelict kirk up on the hill that is a few miles down the road from where we live.  I must have driven past it a thousand times and I have always wanted to go inside.

Outside the front door – untamed rosa rugosa (beach rose) and sheep wool were tangled together like a scene from Great Expectations – the bit when Pip goes to see Miss Haversham.

We clambered through and opened the front door.

(lovely floor)

The kirk was in a bad way.

Some of the walls were back to the original lathe and plaster.

Most of the glass in the windows had gone – a bird flew through obviously very used to the escape route.

We found this nest later.

The view from the pulpit.

On the pulpit were three books. Two Bibles.

And a fascinating Scottish Psalter.

Is this instruction of how to sing the Psalms, ie when to change key? I have never seen music written out like this before.

We were not irreverant or disrespectful in any way – there was still a sense of peace and prayer in the kirk even though we found out later that the last congregation to attend was in 1980.

In the back room, we found the last remnants of worship.

I think these were envelopes for putting money in if you missed a service.

The Communion wine?

I said to Daisy “Oooh, a cross” and she replied “No, it’s part of a window”. Me told then.

Once outside, we carefully shut the door properly, bolting it against the destructive Shetland wind.

And had a wander around the outside.

I am glad we went in and saw this kirk. I love exploring and I love local history.

I found this information on t’net.