Author Archives: Frances

Got it Right (she types nervously)

Efstur was waiting at the gate saying “pick me, please pick me”.  So Daisy went and caught him as we wanted to try the last of the bits from The Bit Bank on him.

When I watch Daisy train Efstur, I take notes and hope I have half her ability.

The relationship these two have is lovely to watch.

Tacked up (with a small word about breaking the string he was tied up to) and off they went around the school to dispel any myths about Boggarts.

Onwards and upwards.

For the first time, Efstur settled quickly and went very nicely.  Today’s gait was trot – at this stage Daisy doesn’t push it and takes what Efstur offers.

Ears forward and a little Happy Face. That’s all anyone wants.

Offering an outline.

And this is what we hate.  Luckily it was brief.

He was quickly back to listening.

Daisy said this was the best Efstur had been – happy, relaxed and listening which means she now has a horse she can work with.  While he was previously busy sticking his hooves in his ears and shouting “La, la, la, I can’t hear you”, then all bets were off and there really was no point.

But Daisy’s peseverance, gathering of knowledge and scientific approach has (hopefully) achieved the right result.

One happy Efstur who can continue his education.

And so I watch these two, and I learn too.

While BeAnne looks for nasty things she can eat!

White Weirdo

Me (this rainy afternoon, shouting up the stairs):   “Daisy, do you have any good photos on your phone that I can use for the blog?”

Daisy (shouting back):  “I’ll have a look”.

And then she sent me these so blame her, please.

Basically all are titled “The White Weirdo”.

Who likes to sit on bubblewrap.

Our Family (can anyone spot the cat? – it’s a tough one, sorry!)

And a text from my friend (kitten Mum) – “Dougal says sorry he didn’t see you yesterday but he had important sleeping to do….

And with that BeAnne went and finished off Monster’s supper. Wee fatty but secretly I am thinking “that’s my girl!”

Three Little Kittens!

In Shetland, we are in Level 1, which means we can visit a single couple on a Thursday during a full moon, if the lights are on, and/or the wind is behind us and they have 3 little kittens.  I think that’s it. I forget but anway we were socially distanced, sitting at opposite ends of their sitting-room.


Oh. My. Word.  They are adorable.  There is Archie, Fergus and Dougal.

(The cutest film in the world by their owner)

We only really saw Archie and Fergus because Dougal was feeling very shy and vanished, like only a shy kitten can.

But still, we had Archie and Fergus who were happy to be enticed with toys.

They pretty soon came out of their shells.



Little Kittens love Dreamies.  Archie will do anything for a Dreamie – even be anyone’s best friend.  We were frisked before we left for home!

I want kittens more than words.  I feel robbed.  Monster wasn’t ever a kitten. He was possibly hatched or a scientific experiment that didn’t go quite as planned.  We went home wondering if he was in fact a different species!




Blowing a Hooley

It has been “blowing a hooley” for almost 24 hours now but it is very gradually dying down now.  Last night my little house creaked like an old wooden ship at sea.  But, as my old neighbour used to say “Frances, your house has been there for hundreds of years; it’s not going anywhere now” and that gives me comfort when I am lying in bed wondering whether the roof will blow off!

Today, I fed the sheep in the stable (they didn’t want to leave and had to be evicted), scrambled up the hill to feed handfuls of TurmerAid and hoof supplement to the old men.  They couldn’t have their usual chaff in buckets as they would’ve blown away.

I also brushed Her Maj.

And the cat.

Then, I drove to Leradale to see the Minions.  Yesterday, we just threw them into the first field and decided to move them to the hilly bit at a later stage.

Seeing that they were already there, I went down with a bag of veg peelings, threw them in the air and ran back to shut the gate before the ponies worked out what I was up to!


I am so glad (and relieved) they are all safely at Leradale now.

There was lightning forecast and they had been in the “lightning field”. I never saw or heard anything, though.

Then over to Sandness, checked the mares (ok, drove past – they were fine and the fence is barbed wire so difficult to get over), shut the gates in the old Minion field, tidied up some errant electric fence tape and drove home.

It was especially hard work when the wind was giving its best – Force 11 – but I got it done and I will sleep well tonight.

On the Move

The weather forecast for the next 48 hours is horrendous so Daisy and I made the lightening decision to move the Minions in a very small weather window this morning.

With the “red sky in the morning”, we went out as soon as it was light, did our home chores as quickly as possibly and then, armed with our Cunning Plan and many carrots, we drove over to the Minion field.

First up, we moved Vitamin and Fivla during the morning “rush hour” as we knew they would load while traffic went past. The van is parked on the side of the road.  We chose Fivla and Vitamin because then they would be waiting quietly for the next load, thus preventing unnecessary panic/stupidity and jumping over fences looking for their herd (it has been known).

Second up were Lilja and Sóley.  Sóley is not the best loader, in fact she doesn’t load but Daisy and I have spent a bit of time quietly working on this speshul skill and we approached it with calmness and she walked in like a dream.  Phew!  Clever girl.

Third load was Albie, Newt and Silver and the last was Storm, Waffle and Tiddles.  At this stage, they practically put on their head-collars and loaded themselves.

So that’s that.  It took 3 hours.  My back is complaining bitterly (I have to put up the heavy ramp, while Daisy stays in the van holding all the ropes, climbs over the barrier and I let her out the back door – this is our system and it works).

Everyone was perfect and I thank the Gods for that. We did have a Plan B if Sóley wouldn’t load – basically to leave Fivla and Vitamin at Leradale and give the remainers a bale of hay to get them through the next 48 hours.