Another Equine Expert

Today was our visiting equine dentist’s day (it’s all go here, I can tell you).

Stuart was mostly here to see Vitamin because of her no-eating misery scare a few months’ back and I added Fivla onto the list as well, just because it could do no harm.

As I had Fivla’s rope in my hands, when Stuart arrived, he saw her first.  I don’t think he did anything and said her teeth weren’t bad for her age (28yo).

Then it was Vitamin’s turn and again, he did very little saying he could find no evidence of infection/toothrot or anything that would’ve made her stop eating.  So that episode will remain a mystery.  A part of me wonders what it was, and the other bit is just grateful she is back to her usual self again.  Obviously the combination of high-strength antibiotics with the mother of all painkillers got things under control.

While Vitamin was being seen, Fivla entertained herself by having a mooch around the school.

It is blimmin’ cold now – a constant gale force north wind – so I popped on their rugs. Then we all courageously clambered through the mud and I put them back into their field with their friends.

This lot had been standing waiting for the old ladies to come home.  They are such a close-knit little herd.  They don’t function very well without Fivla and Vitamin telling them what to do.

The Visiting Equine Vet

While we have a general veterinary practice on the islands, I was thrilled to hear that an equine vet from Ardene House Vet Practice was coming up to Shetland.  These are the folk who operated on Iacs’ penile squamous cell carcinomas last year, so I booked a visit.

Iacs started with a thorough examination and then light let-down sedation.

Pepper was official Moral Support Officer.

And Iacs “let down” allowing the vet to see what was going on.

She washed everything thoroughly and found, while there were no more obvious growths around inside, there was one small one on the tip.

For that quick operation, we had to evict the Moral Support Officer.


So, after some attention-seeking squeaking, she went to sit on the neatly folded up and catalogued rugs.

Iacs was such a good lad.  He was so bombed on drugs, he probably didn’t notice.

The tumour was removed for further analyses though we are all pretty sure what it is.  As we are having some fairly fierce rain showers, I put a rug on Iacs and put him outside to recover near his friends.

Iacs perked hugely when I gave him a bucket of grub while I was talking on the phone to his owner, Daisy telling her what happened.

Later, everyone went out into a field near the house, so I can keep an eye.  Haakon was very concerned about his friend, really making sure he was ok and he hasn’t left his side because that’s what BFF’s do.  They’ve been together for 25 years.

Iacs is lucky – Ardene Vets intend to visit once or maybe twice a year and we are now on their re-visit list every time they come up to Shetland.  I feel we have the best help we can and that is a huge relief for everyone.

Only Three Wheels

There is nothing worse than a tyre on a trailer that goes backwards fine but won’t go forwards.

We tried everything. OH hit it with a hammer, jacked up the horsebox, took the wheel off, more hitting with a hammer, greased bits, put the wheel back, and yay, it worked briefly forwards and then jammed again.  It does reverse ok, though.  Most odd.

Anywho, a mechanic friend is popping by tomorrow and we’ll see if he can hit the wheel more correctly with his hammer.  Failing that, to the garage with three wheels on my wagon.

After messing around for too long with the trailer, with wheel dragging I dumped it on the track, unhitched and took the water bottles over to the Ancients’ field.

Luckily, I also had three carrots on me.

I threw one to each horse.

And left the water containers by the gate

Pepper “helped”.

And I could see over the scattald (open hill) where I had just off-roaded, my little trailer sitting on the track waiting to be resuscitated.  I hope we can get it going again.  There is nothing more irritating than one wheel that only goes backwards. I may be listening to Three Wheels on my Wagon!

A Proper Dog

I thought this blog should be about Ted, just in case you’re wondering if he’s vanished.

He’s fine, thank you for asking.

Ted’s days are spent trying to be “a proper dog”. He goes out in the morning with us to feed all the animals and is a good boy, staying within the boundaries doing his own thing.  Occasionally, he will shut himself in a shed and then say nothing when anyone goes to look for him, but that is pretty rare.

Pepper is of course his best friend, Nemesis and leader into all things terrible.  As she doesn’t suffer from any anxiety at all, she doesn’t tolerate it in Ted.  He would love to indulge all his anxieties and teenage angst but nope, Pepper will have none of that.

They play a lot – a couple of times a day, out on a walk, jumping on the sofa, around the garden.  There are many games – crocodiles, I-know-you-want-my-toy and chasing each other madly.  They are both very respectful of each other’s food and I can count on one hand just how many real fights they’ve had.  The odd spat maybe for bad manners or mistakes, but nothing great.

Ted’s also much better on a dog-walk.  All the running home suddenly has just about stopped now.  He’s off a lead all the time and stays close, listening for commands.  It is only when the weather is extreme, then he waits by the front door wishing he could go inside.

One thing, though, Ted has taught Pepper how to bark – that painful high-pitched terrier yap for imaginary foe at the front door.  Having said that, he was quite useful when the sheep all came into the front porch when the wind blew the door open.  He told us they had invaded. Thanks, Ted.

Everyone Ok

I shall probably rue the day I say this – but everyone is going along well.

Monster is fine, happy and helpful, in his own unique way.  Yesterday, we made kimchi together – totally a first-time experiment.  I am hopeful yet slightly nervous.

And Pepper says she is leaving the baby bunnies alone.

The Ancients are not looking bad for a winter without rugs and lots of food instead.

Neither too fat nor too thin.

I worry about them a lot.

My what-ifs are huge, always, especially when the weather is bad.  I lie awake at night thinking there will be corpses everywhere in the morning.

So far, touch wood, there haven’t been.

But this is what happens when you have 5 horses/ponies all around 28 (Iacs and Fivla), 29 (Kolka) and 30 (Haakon and Vitamin).  I hope they know I worry.

Lambie and his friends are all fine.  They’ve got me well-trained and I am totally in their routine.

So all is good but you never know.  It doesn’t take much for things to go horribly wrong despite my best efforts.