Author Archives: Frances

My Day in Photos

My day in photos…..

Apparently there are iPad apps for cats.  I downloaded one for Monster.  He loved it.  Guess I am going to have ration viewing from now on.

This afternoon was spent in my shed (this morning, the gas man cometh to mend the cooker) and I left the door open so the dogs could entertain themselves.  I was feeling guilty as I hadn’t walked them.  I usually take them out in the morning.

Pepper was outside watching for invaders…..

…. while Ted sought refuge on the chaise longue.  He had it all to himself so he spread out.

After tea, still feeling bad about the lack of dog walk (due to the gas man comething), I took the dogs out into the fields to go and see the Ancients.  Iacs was snoozing by himself totally oblivious to the world around.

I wanted to take photos of him fast asleep, but when he heard me, he woke up.  He was hoping I had brought something to eat.  I hadn’t.  I have turned into Mean Muzzah as everyone is rather *** cough *** robust/fat.

And this photo disturbs me. Pepper looked so sweet and teddy-bear like when I took it, but now I see a small determined Gremlin looking back at me.

Monster’s Addiction

Monster loves his dear old Mum, he tells me, but he has an addiction…..

He also loves Cat TV – you can find it on YouTube.

Every morning, while I have my breakfast, Monster likes to watch the telly.

And, for the sake of peace, I put it on for him on my iPad which I feel is safer than the tv – which he could easily knock over looking for the mice.

And I have an addiction (I am not proud) too – Grey’s Anatomy in the afternoon while I hand-felt my sheep.

– which Monster is not helpful about.  Poor Karev. He didn’t deserve that.

Monster likes to come into my shed in the afternoon and he gets in the way, trying to find a space on my table.

Note the cup of tea.

I could cope with the tail in the saucer….

But I was annoyed at the mess he left behind when the tea was knocked over.

He had to be evicted.  So off he sulked.  He came back twice afterwards to whine outside the door and then got in the way all over again.





Halti Headcollar

Pepper and I paid a visit to the vet this morning as they had Halti headcollars in their shop and I wanted to get the right size fitted by experts.

When we came home, I put on the Halti and tried walking Pepper home from where I park the car.  She was very unimpressed, had a tantrum, a sit down strike and tried to rub it off by walking with her head sideways on the grass but it would not move. But she couldn’t pull!

After making my statutory afternoon sheep, I decided to take anyone who wanted to go outside for a practice walk with the Halti.

This is the face of someone who is determined not to learn and is very resentful.


But outside we went.

All of us.

And Pepper quickly realised the Halti was not coming off and she had to take responsibility for her own behaviour, ie she pulls, it tightens around her nose.  Her choices.

She also realised how to get her leg stuck the wrong way and in the headcollar but being Pepper she learned that was not a great option and stopped doing that.

And so we calmly walked up and down the track.

On a lovely loose lead without pulling.

We will do some more one-on-one practice in the indoor school, where she can’t lose focus and really get this method of walking nicely down.  Meanwhile, I shall also watch a few Halti training videos to make sure I am consistent and asking her for the right behaviour, remembering to reward her for it too.

And then we can be acceptable in public and not nightmare-dog-from-Hell followed by her owner.

With Friend

I needed to go into town to re-stock the field as well as get hay and supplies for the ponies.

Pepper was very keen to come with me to town.

And I told myself it would be lovely to have some company.

I also wanted to leave Ted with Monster as a test run – Ted has form.  When he was Mum’s, he would write his name in pee, and anything else, around the house when left on his own.  So this was a test for Ted too.

Pepper sat along side me in the horse-van with her car harness on.

She never lay down once.  Oh no, there was so much to see and look at.

And she was a very good girl.  She sat quietly at the feed merchants while I found out about hurdles for the bigger horses.  We were a long time but she was calm and happy watching the world go by.

And then into town itself.  Luckily there were no cruise ships in so we could park easily.

Pepper was in her element.  So many new smells and lovely people to talk to.

I dropped off the sheep at Jamieson’s where she charmed everyone.

Ok, her lead skills were not brilliant, actually pretty non-existent and I swapped her lead onto from her collar to the harness as she was pulling so much.  We will work on this skill, I think.

Into Vaila Fine Art for a quick pit-stop, cup of coffee and Tunnocks.

Then one more drag back down the street.

And this was the first time Pepper’s lead was loose.

Pepper is home now and exhausted. She didn’t even go to sleep on the way home but I am so pleased she was with me.  It was a very positive experience for her and I am encouraged to take her with me to places.  And, yes, Ted was perfect too.  No writing.

Cantering Up

You can just see all the Minions at the very far end of their track that circuits around the field.  Little white dots (and a few coloured ones too).

I called them up for the breakfast and they all set off, some at a canter and the older ladies at a trot.

The youngest got here first and I shut the gate on them in this small paddock so Fivla and Vitamin could eat their buckets in peace.

I noticed that Vitamin and Fivla needed a good brush. I thought the remainder of their winter coats would’ve come out by now but it has not been warm enough and they’ve been wearing rugs when it was cold, wet and windy so nothing much has moved.

This was Fivla after a good brush.  She was much happier.

And Vitamin, also.  It is a tough one. I want Vitamin to put on a little more weight but I don’t want her to get laminitis (like last year).  However, Fivla needs to lose weight.  It is a constant juggle and worry.

Meanwhile Storm upset my grooming bucket, had the entire contents out and was in my way constantly.  Annoying, much.

And now the threat of more rain so rugs back on, despite it being quite warm.  I wonder when summer will arrive.