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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Rhys and Louis Trying Out Their New House and Brother Greg!






And this is a photo of Rhys and Louis's younger brother, Greg, just a week old, and his mum at his home in Wales.



Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter Holiday.

Life has been very hectic around here lately!!!

I've been replacing the 30yo post and rail fencing with permanent electric fencing attached to wooden fence posts. I've been removing the old rails, saving the posts I can and pushing in new posts with my trusty Manitou where they can't be saved.

I can't believe how much difference it's making to the look of the place. The fields all look bigger and so neat and tidy, and with the Manitou I can knock down old fencing and put up new very fast and easily. I'm already about half way through the job and I don't seem to have spent that many hours on it really.

We had the bank holiday off and went for a BIG adventure!!! It has been Mike's lifelong dream to own a donkey and, as he has a lifetime of putting up with me and my horses in front of him, it seemed only fair that he should have his wish.

I found a pair of weaned colt foals advertised and instantly fell in love with the photos and description of the coloured one. Mike loved the other one so we hired a horsebox, loaded the 3 dogs in the grooms compartment and headed for Wales for the weekend.

We went through the Forest of Dean and the Brecon Beacons, which were beautiful, and stayed the night in a hotel by the sea. The dogs had their first ever runs on a beach, and then went to buy the donkeys.

Their previous owner moved to Wales from Essex 12 years ago with her husband and he then died, leaving her completely in the middle of no-where in the Welsh hills. How she survived that I will never know. I had enough trouble surrounded by friends.

She met her new partner, and academic and lovely person, on an internet dating agency and he's moved in with her on her 18 acres. The similarities between us all were amazing and we could have chatted for days but we had to drag ourselves away for the 7 hour drive home!

I can't drive a hired horsebox yet as you have to have passed your test for at least 2 years so poor Mike had to do all the driving. He's never transported livestock before but understood the requirements instantly and gave his new family a lovely smooth ride home.

Here are Rhys and Louie with Mike on arrival home. They are lovely, well behaved, friendly donkeys and follow everyone around, braying when you leave them. They lead beautifully, especially Rhys (the coloured) who is very confident and bold, pick up their feet and stand perfectly, and they love fuss and attention. I keep telling Mike that they're HIS donkeys but I am very smitten with them, especially Rhys. I've never had anything to do with donkeys before so it's lovely getting to know all about the and their characteristics.

Mike looks a bit like Old Father Time at the moment as the theatre company won't let him trim his beard or hair. It'll be down to his knees before the play finishes at the beginning of June! Having just spent practically every minute with him for 48hours, mostly in a horsebox, I can't wait to have him here full time again when his tour ends.



Rhys


One Man and his Donkeys!


Louie

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

New Homes for Ponies.

I recently found really good homes for Crystal and Justin. Crystal has gone to someone with 22 acres of their own land and two small children who want a pony to play with and ride out with their mum.

Justin has gone to a very experienced lady who show jumps and hunter trials with her 2 other horses, one of which is a 10yo Andalusian she has owned from a foal and backed and brought on herself. She wanted a young pony to bring on herself for her son, who is 6 years old at the moment.

She has never had a Fell or a Dales before and is used to more highly bred types so Justin has been a total revelation to her. Like me when I first got Bella she never realised that having a youngster could be so easy and stress free!!!

She took Justin to the Fell Area Spring Show on Sunday and when I told Josh's owner that she was going they entered Josh (I should say Jaffa, previously known as Josh!!!) too.

I went along to watch (and to lend them white show halters (I'd been to watch Mike again the night before and we didn't get home until after midnight so I was terrified of over-sleeping and them having nothing to show them in!!!

No-one would ever have believed that it was their first ever show! They were both immaculately behaved, so much so that Justin was shown in the Young Handler class by his owner's 6yo son and never put a hoof wrong! If anything he could have done with waking up a bit!!! I was so proud of them both, and it was Jaffa's owner's first show too, but they were all brilliant!

There was a lovely moment in the ring when the two ponies quite obviously suddenly recognised each other and just stared at each other, then went straight into mutual grooming when they came out of the ring!!!

I came home feeling quite emotional and hoping that I could find as good a home for Jamie too, and that he might be at the next show as well.

Justin's owner text me the very next day to say that, although she'd missed a hunter trial to go to the show, the whole family had had the "best day ever" and she is now "totally besotted" with Fells and would like to buy Jamie as well!!!!! I can't think of anyone I'd rather sell him to.

So now I just have Merlin to go, as far as rehoming is concerned. If I can find him as good a home as the others have found it will be a job very well done indeed!!!

These photos aren't very good because I didn't have the camera on the right setting so I've ordered a collage of 7 photos from the professional photographer at the show.
I'll scan and copy it onto here when it arrives.



















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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!