A Few Snaps

When we had that beautiful afternoon the other day, I went out with my small camera to take a few snaps of the Minions as well as the Old Ladies in their environs.

Fivla, the little grey (almost white) pony you may remember from the Shetland ponies in sweaters campaign for Visit Scotland a few years back.  She is a lovely little ride and drive mare who can turn her hoof to anything.  We have had her since she was a foal and she has always been one of the family – a treasure.

She is 22 years old now but still going strong.

Today, we trimmed everyone’s hooves at Leradale and Bjørn, our farrier, and owner of Bergli Shetland Pony Stud, so he should know a thing or two, declared that Fivla was spot on weight-wise so that’s good.  She has been on a slimming diet since what feels like when time began (I may know that feeling too!)

Bjørn also thought that the Minions were fat and we agreed with him.

Fivla has always been a fairy-tale pony.

We luffs her very much.

With the same photogenic talent, is Silver who always looks good in pictures.  He is one of those lucky ones.

Tiddles, on the other hand, may not have this apitude but he has lovely eyes, even if they are blue, which is considered a heinous crime here.

I wish the gorgeous light would come back.  It has been dreich for days now.

Done a Bunk

A few days back, ‘Ster did a bunk or made “a hurried or furtive departure or escape (Oxford Dictionary)” into the scattald – our open grazing surrounding our croft .

I had the gate open to drive the car out, and ‘Ster and Lambie made a run for it.  Lambie came back later with ‘Ster but, when we called him, he turned his back on us and ran away with the hill flock.

We are obviously out daily searching the hill – which is huge – many miles huge.

But ‘Ster has not come home and I am very upset.  I have informed the crofter who has the hill sheep so he is aware there is an extra sheep out there.  My croft also has hill rights for sheep so one miscreant is sort of acceptable to those that might mind.

The rams are out in the hill, running with the ewes, and ‘Ster has a bit of a thing about rams.

He loves them so perhaps when the rams are brought home next week, ‘Ster will be found.

I really hope so. I lie awake at night worrying about him.

On a good note, ‘Ster is fat and could do with losing some weight on the hill but even so, I wish he would come home.

‘Ster vibes please x

His Own Fault

There was a beautiful light this afternoon as we came to the end of the day at half past two (fer cryin’ out loud!)

A fierce wind, though, and everyone was huddled in the most exposed part of their field because, well, I guess they wanted to.  Notice how the little ones are using the bigger ones for shelter.  Shetland ponies are not stupid.  The jury, however, is still out on Iacs (the silly frilly at the front).

Armed with my bucket and possibly a few carrots about my person, I drove over to Leradale.  Everyone was nicely far away in the hilly part of their field, which is good – it means they are wandering around, looking for food and not just staying in one place.  There is plenty of grass if they go and look for it.

I called Delia over. I love this photo – Delia was on her way but had to tell Storm off.  He was probably being annoying.  He’s good at that.

The “monster” coming over the hill.

Delia is a determined old lady.

Storm practiced his Winning Smile.

Delia loves her daily bucket.

There was some loitering with intent!

And Delia got Storm.  In a furious rage for over-stepping the mark, she covered in him the turmeric/soya oil goo that she likes to lick out of her bucket at the end of her meal.

Storm knew it was wrong but he has to try.  Every day, he has to try.

Tonight’s sunset was good at 15:21.  I can’t wait for it to start getting lighter.

A Moment

I am writing this blog very tentatively in case I am completely wrong and read the whole situation wrong.

But, today, I think Brá and I turned a corner.  We had a special moment.

Somehow the silly horse had got herself stuck.  Not in a I-can’t-move-so-please-help-me way, but she was standing by herself in a small sheep pen with the rest of her small herd on the other side of the fence.  Nearby but not actually with her.

When I saw Brá there, I thought she wasn’t actually stuck as she could very easily turn around and walk down the side of the field, around the fence that funnels the sheep into the pen and join the others.

It was only when I got back from feeding Delia that I saw that Brá hadn’t moved and there were quite a few piles off poo.  I wondered if she couldn’t work out how to get to the others.

So, I went up with a headcollar, which she happily let me put on (hmmmm… – there is usually apprehension if possible) and I led her all the way down the field talking to her about whether this counted as part of my 1000 miles walking.  The rest of the herd followed on the other side of the fence and then galloped round the end to join her.

It was then I thought to myself “here we go.  She will pull back and start playing up” but no, Brá stood there patiently while I undid and took off her headcollar.

Her eyes were much softer.  Normal.  No apprehension or tenseness.  I gave her a stroke and told her she was fine now and walked away.

I looked back over my shoulder a few times and while the youngsters bounced around her, Brá just looked back as well at me.

Most odd.  I think we had a moment.

1000 Mile Walkies

This year, I have started a new regimen – to walk 1000 miles in one year – that is about 2.7 miles a day.

Today’s walk was at Leradale, walking Loki and BeAnne, as well as incorporating the usual headcollar dance with Dreki……

….. and Lilja (yes, still no joy but I determinedly keep at it).

Before I started my proper walk, I also had to feed Delia as well as being entertained by the starving!

Once fed, I put the headcollar on Vitamin and led her, with Delia’s now-empty bucket around the boggy part of the field on my dog walk.

Once I did my special “Minion” call, the others followed.

Up and up we all climbed.

Even Delia, who got a bit left behind but still determinedly came along.

(I wish I was counting it was altitude + miles = effort + calories!)

There was method in my madness.  Yesterday, I had put a new lick bucket at the top of the hill where there is more grass around.

Storm was the first to notice.

One bee-line was made.

Soon everyone realised why I had brought them to the top of the world.

Once I knew they were all happy, I got on with my 1000 mile walkies.

I had BeAnne and Loki as my companions.

It was very pretty.  The ice on the loch had created interesting patterns.

So we did that walk and then I did a bit more at home just to keep the miles topped up – a few in the bank really.

Who knows, this might also be good for me!

A little film from today…