Wednesday 27 November, 2013
Didn't have time to get out yesterday but managed four circuits of Sheepfold today. Smokey's halts and stands were much better - managing a count of 15 today - and he was happy to go right into the corner of the field between two posts. He did express his surprise at being asked to go round twice in each direction :-)
I was debating with myself today whether we go on the road next or set up some obstacles and I've decided on the latter. I hope that working through the obstacles will increase his confidence when we restart road work.
Monday 25 November, 2013
Very quick tonight - didn't manage out with Smokey on Friday and I was away Saturday and Sunday.
However, we managed to get out for two circuits this morning; two spooks (and a little one) but just jumped and stood still, which is progress.
The halts were better; standing for a count of 10 fairly reliably today.
The plan is same again tomorrow with longer halts; if the ground is a bit softer later in the week, I might put up a round pen and try a bit of lungeing. Or I might put outs some "scary things" like tarpaulin and cones to start building his confidence.
Thursday 21 November, 2013
Well, today we did two circuits of the track - one anticlockwise and one clockwise. When a Highland pony walks well, its tail should be reminiscent of the swing of a Highlander's kilt - and today, Smokey was striding out. He had a wee wobble when I asked him to go away from the gate the second time but soon got back into his stride. I was watching his head carriage, ears and tail and he seemed more relaxed today.
We did two "stop and stand" on each circuit - each for 10 seconds. He found this hard and did a bit of reversing, but we'll keep working on it.
Wednesday 20 November, 2013
Smokey (or Munro of Millfield, to give him his posh name) is my Highland gelding. I’ve owned him for 10 years – we were happy hackers, then my chum, Claire, and I broke him to drive. Then we had an accident and since then he’s pretty much been a pet / grass cutter / manure maker. I’ve always wanted to work him round the holding and we’ve had a few false starts but I thought if I kept a blog of our doings, we (I) would benefit from the support of our on-line friends and that I’d be able to record our experiences and our progress.
Wednesday 6 November, 2013
We had a good lambing in 2013 – we didn’t see the vet at all and all 15 lambs that appeared on the scans made it safely into the world. We had seven ewe lambs and eight tups, born between 30th March and 11th April.
Wednesday 6 November, 2013
This is a topic that crops up from time to time on the TAS forums so it might be helpful to relate our experience this year.
Monday 4 November, 2013
Our freezer is now stocked up with our first Shetland beef.
Monday 16 September, 2013
We have roughly 8 acres of grazing on a smallholding about 4 miles away. Until Saturday, all we had up there was our two bullocks, our tup and our wether, Dickie. The folk that own the place check them every day and give them fresh water. I pop up twice a week to say “hello”.
Late Saturday morning, we took the eight tup lambs up there – they’ll be there until they go for slaughter on 16th October. We moved the bullocks into the fresh field with the lambs, and went for a chat with Nemo and Dickie.
Thursday 12 September, 2013
Well, part 2 done now – we’ve been through the 37 hens in the brown house, identified and counted the old and new hens and double ringed the new hens.
We have 20 old hens and 17 new ones. We’ll move the old ones into the Scratchers arks and see how the young ones are performing, then put the green and brown house hens together – the house will take 45 at a pinch and we’ll get a new batch of forty for the green house (and Dumpy).
So a cull looms :-( and I’m off to sort out a new batch of pullets.
Thursday 5 September, 2013
Well, we’ve made a start on implementing out new poultry plan.
We have sold our small flock of Crested Cream Legbars – a cockerel and four hens. That has allowed D2 (Dumpy 2) to take over as flock cock in the green house – and very well he’s taken to it too. :-)
The odds and sods – four young Welsummers and two White Leghorns - have moved to the Scratchers. This has shocked them into laying, it seems – two white eggs yesterday and the day before and one today!!