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Preview: Highland Hooves

Highland Hooves

the blog for horse and pony lovers

Updated: 2017-08-22T13:01:13.933-07:00




My final tribute to Major on this Christmas Eve.  He has been dead almost six weeks and I miss him every single day.  Run free lovely boy. Major - My Horse of the Year Only a horse?  Well that may be,but so much more than a horse to me.A horse in a million – I know that sounds tritebut this perfect description fits him just right.I don’t begrudge all the money I’ve spenton this dear horse, from Heaven sent,honest and brave, my trusty steedout riding, he would take the leadwhen others stood and would not budgehe’d walk straight on from the slightest nudge.Frequently, he’d play the clownin the outside school by lying down,and there he’d snooze without a carecausing folk in passing cars to stare at what it seemed was a dead horsebut no, it was only Maj, of course.By Loch Ness shore he’d like to ‘paddle’deep enough to reach the saddle,but most of all he loved to swimwhen, striding out, no stopping him,the Monster, though, we didn’t see(always a relief for me).Not always such a perfect horse,his halo sometimes slipped, of course,as on one ride high on a hill,no breath of wind, the air was still,and there we’d stopped to stand and bletherbut he dropped down to roll on heather,me still on board!  Laugh?  I did not!and his excuse, ‘Well, I was too hot!’Always gentle, always calm,incapable of doing harm,friend to old ladies, strong men, tiny tots,nothing phased him, not one jot,he took all things within his stride,a pleasure to be with – a pleasure to ride.For eight short years he brought me joy,my handsome, gentle, generous boy,my dearest buddy, special friend,his life cut short, too brief an end,still in his prime, he seemed so strongbut that awful day, he proved me wrong.So every day, I question why this wonderful pony had to die. It is so, so hard to say goodbye.So this Christmas Eve, the tears still nearI say thanks to my beautiful ‘Horse of the Year.’Wishing all Major's blog followers and friends a very Merry Christmas and happy 2015 x [...]

Major R.I.P


Just to let you know that Major died today.  I have lost the most wonderful friend.  He was a horse in a million and my heart is breaking.  Thank you all for your lovely comments over the years.  Janis xx



 After our 15 minutes of fame, I joined Harry and Hal and their owners for a walk along the fields to find some sun.  We live on the shady side of the bay and don't get the sun for most of the day from mid November to January.

 Of course, we had to stop while the owners took photos.  I took this all in my stride now that I'm famous!  I see here that Harry was allowed to have a bite to eat - though it's very cold on the lips with the early frost.
 Here is me with my owner.  Yes, I know I don't look as good as I did for the filming but if you lived outside I doubt you would be looking very clean either.
 When we finished our pointless walk to the ends of the fields, we turned and came back, where the sun has finally reached the stables and colour had returned.
 Looking a bit grumpy as valuable eating time was being used up
Come on everybody - it'll be lunchtime soon.

Major sighting at Loch Ness turns out to be m̶o̶n̶s̶t̶e̶r Rehomed Horse ...


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Well, here it is at last.  I can reveal my closely guarded secret.  My owner is very proud of me and wanted to share this with all my equine friends.  Don't tell anyone, but it took a whole day to get me looking this clean for the cameras!  I hope you all enjoy it



 Just chilling out in the late summer sun with my little Labradoodle friend, Cookie.
Waiting for the farrier to arrive soon.



 For the last few days I have been sweating even just standing still so my owner decided it was time I had a haircut!
Okay, it's not the trendiest clip but it does the job for now!



After all the filming yesterday (all will be revealed soon), it was good to get into the water on such a beautiful late summer day.  When my owner came up this morning, I was sweating in my stall.  If this weather continues, I may need to be clipped!



 Now, you may find this very hard to believe by looking at this photo but I am SO EXCITED!  However, my owner has forbidden me to utter a word about it as she has been sworn to secrecy for the time being but all will be revealed in a few weeks.  In the meantime, here are a few photos of what I've been up since I last spoke:
 Looking a bit grumpy here because I was having a little doze when Rodney came in to do some work and disturbed me
 Up on the hill chilling out
No comments about my weight please.  It is almost the end of the summer and I am storing up the blubber ready for a hard winter!  Remember to keep looking in till I reveal all. . . . . . . .  .



 I was standing minding my own business earlier today when I felt a little thud on my back.  Something had landed and it didn't go away.
My owner  said it was a baby swallow that had just come out of the nest.  It had been sitting nearby for a while while its mum flew down to feed it but then decided it would have a go at trying to fly.  I happened to be a handy landing point.
 The trouble was, it made itself very comfortable which meant my owner didn't want to continue brushing me.  It was very tickly and kept making me twitch but I didn't mind really, though I was hoping it wouldn't poo on me!
After 25 minutes, it flew off and landed on a nearby roof so I could move again.  Safe journey, little swallow. 



 The weather has been hot, hot, hot these last few days.  Not good for me because I have already started to lose my summer coat and I'm growing my winter one.  My owner always complains that I hang on to my winter woolies till May, then start growing a new set in mid July.  So would you if you lived in the North of Scotland!  Anyway, she's been quite kind to me and has appeared at the yard very early in the morning to get me ready so that we can start riding just after 9.00am before it gets too hot.  We've been going on the same route a) because there are no hills to tire me out, b) because it is much cooler in the woods, c) because there are fewer flies, d) because at the end of the ride we get to go through the Loch - my favourite place of all. Before we get to the Loch we usuall have to cross two small rivers.  Today, one of them seemed to have disappeared! At least there's always plenty of water in the Loch.  My owner likes to stand on this part before we go across because she says the view is good for her heart. Okay, ready to dip in the first hoof....... And off we go.  She's been letting me stand in the middle of the water, as long as I promise not to try and roll.  No would I think of doing such a thing. . . . . .  .She has never let me forget the time I rolled in the heather on a particulary hot day on the moor, when she was on top. When we got back there was a very nice surprise waiting for us.  Little 5 month Holly had come to see me and it was her first time sitting on a horse.She seemed to enjoy herself because she was very smiley and happy so I told her she could come back again any time.  I think I'm getting a day off tomorrow.  All this hard work takes its toll.[...]



 Hello again and apologies from my owner for not keeping her promise of updating my blog regularly.  Her excuse is that since she retired, she is busier than ever, although she still seems to find the time to see me everyday.  I'm looking forward to MY retirement.  My work seems to have increased since hers stopped.  Just look at me in the top photo.  Absolutely exhausted from carrying her up all those hills.  Someone ought to notify the horse charity immediately.May was not a very good month for weather.  The grass took a long time to come in and I lost quite a bit of weight.  For some strange reason, this seemed to please my owner and even Sarah, the farrier, told her that I my weight was perfect.  All these humans are in league together on the issue of weight.  I see nothing wrong in carrying a few extra pounds.  Anyway by the end of May, I was looking quite streamlined (for a Highland Pony). Since the, the weather has got much warmer and the grass is lovely and lush.  You can see the difference in my belly here while I'm waiting to cross the loch.  This is our favourite ride.  Nice and flat, lots of splashy water to cool us down when it's hot. I still lke playing in the school with my equine friends.  This one is Rodney.  Here we're staring each other out to see who is gong to make the first move......... .....then the fun really begins.  (You can get a good view of my belly in this picture!) Here, I'm with Hal, practising our trotting togetherThen it's always good to end with a thorough grooming session - the harder the better!Hopefully see you all again soon![...]



 It was my birthday yesterday (24th April).  I was 15 years old.  These pictures were taken the day before, however, because my owner was not able to come and see me on the day.  I was a bit put out about this.  I've already had a good moan about the lack of posts on my blog in the last few months - missing my actual birthday was the last straw.
So, I just had to sing the birthday song to myself as none of my friends were around to join in either.  Please feel free to add your voice if you want to:  Ready?
          Happy Birthday to me
          Happy Birthday to me
          Happy Birthday dear Major
          Happy Birthday to me..........
Thank you!  I'm sure I could hear some of my equine friends as far away as America joining in.  Just let me know when it's your turn and I'll happily neigh along.



 At last!  I have been asking my owner for weeks to update my blog.  The last time I wrote was ChristmasEve.  People have even been asking if I am ok!!  My owner retired at Christmas and she is moaning that she hasn't had time to keep it updated.  I thought retirement was meant to give you more time.  I can safely say that it has NOT given me more time because she has been to see me EVERY DAY since then.  I have been working SO hard. . . . . .
 For example - look as me here - absolutely exhausted after my owner had given me a massage.
 She has moaned that it has been too wet to ride - so whenever we do, we have kept to the village so I don't get my legs any muddier than they are already.
Sometimes she puts me out early.  She thinks she's doing me a favour but I'd rather be inside in the warm with a big haynet (except my haynets are never big, and never full because I am on a constant diet!).  Don't you just feel sorry for me. . . . . . .   Anyway, I've told her that she must go back to posting regularly because I have missed looking at all my friends' blogs too.  It's good to be back!



 It's Christmas Eve and I am wet, muddy, bedraggled and grumpy!  As you can see, my mouth is full.  I use the few hours I am inside to eat as much as I can - so think of me tomorrow on the cold wet hillside while you are tucking into your Christmas dinners! 
I see that my owner has put up my painting already.  That's fine - she can look at it and feel guilty tomorrow. . . . Merry Christmas everyone!!xx



Another surprise birthday/retirement present for my owner, this time painted by one of her friends.  I look rather handsome in this one.  At this rate, I'll be able to hold my own 'Major' exhibition!



My owner has been very busy this month so I haven't had anything to report for this blog.  However, tonight she was at a birthday/retirement meal and two of her friends gave her this painting of me for a present.

My owner is very pleased with it.  She says its messy style captures my look perfectly.  Humm, I'm not sure if I agree with that or not!



 Here is me and my owner just before our ride out this morning.  I am wearing a purple poppy to remember all the many animals who have died in wars across the world.  My owner is wearing a red poppy to remember all the humans who lost their lives too.

I don't really understand humans.  If every single one of them decided not to fight as from today - the world would be a safer, happier place for all of us.



 Nothing beats a good back scratch with a friend
But only a horse friend, so would you mind coming back when we've finished!



 On Wednesday we set off for a three day break to a friend's farm about 7 miles away.  My owner's friend has a new horse and is keeping him at the farm so we had arranged to meet half way.  The weather was windy and wet.  My owner couldn't be bothered to ride (which I didn't mind. . . . .)so we walked together all the way with another friend, Jillian (who often rides me when my owner is at work) We stopped quite a bit to look at the views After about an hour I saw a strange horse coming along the track.  As he got closer I heard my owner say that it 'Slippers' the new horse.  He is a Highland, just like me, though much younger.  He's only 6. We were both a bit wary at first but he looked quite kind Then finally we said a proper hello.  I knew I would like him straight away However, that night I had to stay in a paddock on my own just in case Slippers and I did not get on together.  So I watched him from across the fence and we spoke to each other through the night. The next day we shared a haynet very politely And just generally chilled out together.  We also had a lovely 2 hour ride all round the forest tracks. Sadly, it was soon Friday and I watched my owner get my tack ready for the long walk home.  Slippers called to me as I left as he was sad to se me go. Jillian rode me for some of the way back We stopped and looked at the view again! It was a very warm day, today so I had lots of drinks from puddles Down the steep hill through the woodsTill we were back in the sheep field once again.  I hope we get to see Slippers again soon.  I think we could be very good pals.[...]



 A few evenings ago I was busy picking round the trees in the woods above the stables when I heard my owner calling my name from further down the hill.  I knew she'd keep searching till she found me so I didn't bother going down to meet her.  Eventually I saw her come in view.  She looked quite puffed as it was a warm day and it is a steep climb!  However, instead of coming over, she walked straight past.  I realised she hadn't seen me in the trees.
So I gave her one of my little whickers of greeting that I know she loves because I've heard her telling people how she likes it when I talk to her.  She turned round immediately and produced a nice juicy pear from her pocket.  Fellow equines, isn't it great they way we can wrap these owners round our hooves so easily!



Look who is the new pin-up boy for Kessock Equine Vets - yes, moi!  Hoof autographs in the post by request!



 I was up in the field this evening having a lovely scratch when I noticed my owner creeping up behind me with her camera.  Can a horse not be allowed to savour some moments in private?
I turned round to give her a hard stare just to let her know exactly what I thought !



 Au revoir little ones - safe journey and hope to see you back next summer



 I got a big surprise when I came into the yard this morning.  My owner was already there waiting for me.  I should have guessed that it was not going to be a normal day.Sure enough, everywhere I looked there were horses in all corners of the yard getting washed.  Some  had these sticky things on them Poor Todd had his hooves painted - and the colours didn't match  And all the humans were looking very strange.  Then I heard that there was to be a big event to celebrate 50 years of the riding centre.  Lots of people were invited.  Luckily, my owner had allowed her friend, Melinda, to ride me in a more serious demonstration.  I was to do a pairs dressage with my friend, Tansy. We go very well together, don't we?  I'm always a bit wary of getting too near to her though, because she can be very moody.  She wasn't too bad today.  Just a few tail swishes when she was asked to trot!   As usual, I didn't put a hoof wrong And I enjoyed the Scottish music that played while we we doing our show. The tone lowered after us.  We were followed by Solace and Rodney, carrying two Smurfs. Then my other friends were dressed up like Pony Club poniesAnd I'm not sure what this lot were meant to be!It was a good day, though and we all enjoyed ourselves.[...]



 I didn't see my owner on Saturday because she went to watch the Blair Atholl horse trials.  She liked the display of the rare breeds, especially the Highlands (I didn't know I was a rare breed, fancy that!).  She said the one on the left reminded her of me when I was younger.  I used to have dapples just like that but now I'm 14, I seem to have gone grey all over.  It comes to all of us - horses and humans!
 My owner decided not to try to win one of these.  She said she already had her hands full with looking after me.  What a cheek.  I am very low maintenance compared with lots of equines I could name.
 This afternoon, she appeared after work to bring me in from the field.  I wasn't all that keen, particularly as all my friends were out enjoying the sun but I never make a fuss about being caught.  Apparently I am a very good boy!  She didn't ride me.  Just gave me another long brush.
When she took my headcollar back to my stall to hang up, she noticed this little baby swallow had fallen out of its nest into my manger.  She had to get a very tall ladder and ask a tall friend to climb to the top and stretch up to put the little bird back into the nest.  I hope it stays there till it's ready to fly.  I don't want to find it in my breakfast in the morning!