Tuesday, 30 March 2010

A Mad March day at Brenfield

What better way to spend a Sunday than with friends, dogs, sheep, horses and the Great Outdoors?
(Click to enlarge)
Following my rule of keeping my mind positively engaged and my body fit and healthy (and hopefully so physically tired at the end of the day so that I sleep soundly) I was more than happy to help out with Brenfield's final Le TREK competition of the Season (part of the Kelly Marks Winter League for those who are interested) on Sunday.
My day began at sunrise with checking the sheep and walking Fox and Whisper, before I got to work setting up the obstacle course (PTV) and helping set up the Orienteering.
I was then posted out to a certain spot hidden away in the forest at my checkpoint, which was nick-named the "Sheepish Beaver"... less said the better!
My job was to record the time that each rider reached me, check with them that they and their horses were sound to continue and then send them on the second leg of their orienteering route after a 5 minute rest.
I don't think anyone has ever been so pleased to see me as some of those riders when they emerged from the trees, some of them looking more tired and sweaty than others!
 Everyone got home safely, by various routes, and the horses enjoyed a break and some hay while the humans grabbed a mug of soup and went to walk the PTV course.
The idea of these courses is to present rider and horse with problems that they might have to overcome when out on the trail. The obstacles include things like ditches, low branches and narrow bridges. The riders get points for completing each obstacle correctly and within a time limit. There is more information on the British Horse Society website.
I was really impressed by some of the riding demonstrated and am keen to have a go at the obstacles myself soon.
When everyone was finished, shattered and starving, we had a lovely prize giving in the farmhouse kitchen followed by a BBQ and beer. A wonderful time was had by all. Well done to the winners!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The waiting game...

The bad weather this week has actually made me quite grateful that no lambs have shown their woolly little heads yet. This morning however is beautiful and would be a good time to come into the world.
The girls however were more interested in standing around looking pretty than getting down to the serious business of producing lambs. 
 After we had checked the flock, Fox, Whisper and I had a good stretch out and a play.
I think that the dogs are missing their swims in the lochs since even Fox relished a wallow in this muddy pool, and he usually hates getting muddy if he can avoid it!
Home for breakfast now and then back over to Brenfield. The folk there are trying to talk me into competing in a Kelly Marks competition tomorrow so perhaps I'd better take Alfie into the school for a bit!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cuddly Sheep

Kate is such a little sweetie. Every time I go in the field she trots over and isn't happy until she has been petted. She even nudges under my arm like a dog. She's my PAT (Pets As Therapy) sheep :-)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Happy Birthday

It was my birthday on Saturday, which means that I have now entered my 30th year of life. Does this mean that I am now really am an adult? As of next March I will be "in my 30s" and no longer "only in my 20s". It's not that I find it scary particularly, but it does make me think about everything I have achieved, or otherwise, during this long growing up phase.

That's quite enough serious thinking for one morning, much more important is showing off the photos of what was a really rather lovely day marred only by Chris' being too ill to enjoy it with me. It was a day to put my current state of stress to one side as far as possible and try to enjoy just being.
The day was beautiful, a perfect picture of everything that is good about spring: the long awaited warming sunshine, the signs of new life peeping out everywhere, the near frantic singing of the birds battling for their breeding territories, the colours, the zingy scent of pine in the forests and gorse flowers in the hedge banks... no matter what else is going on in life, this combination can not help but make you smile.
The flock were keen to greet me first thing in the morning, although no one produced a birthday lamb for me, and Seamus the Highland bull in the field next door ambled over to say hello.
In the afternoon a lovely surprise awaited me: my wonderful friends at Brenfield took me out for a beautiful long ride. I was on Alfie who I have now ridden a few times and is becoming a good pal. He's helping me to regain my confidence and become a better rider. He's a real sweetie and has lovely manners although on Saturday all of the horses were rather full of the joys of spring!
The day was rounded off with a party tea. I even had to blow out the candles on the cake... although there wasn't space for 29 of them!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Caption Competition!

I took this today of the sheep having some relaxing time after their feed. But what is Girlsta saying to Gruna? And what does Lunde make of it all?

Answers by Saturday night please; I'll pick a winner on Sunday :-)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Long time no blog!

Hello Folks,

First off let me say sorry that I disappeared off the face of the planet for some time. I've got rather a lot going on at the moment but I shan't bore you all with it here. Sadly for me I have been missing reading all of your blogs and there's no way that I'll ever be able to catch up with all of them. Hopefully I'll be resuming normal blogging behaviour soon and wont miss all of those precious lambing photos!

Chris's Chronic Cluster Headaches continue to cause him a great deal of pain and prevent him from sleeping. The doctors have now decided that he needs an operation on his sinuses to realign the tubes, so that will be a two night stay in Glasgow hospital in the near future.

Fox and Whisper have been very accepting of their reduced walking time and my extended time away from them. They are both fast asleep at my feet as I type.

The Smali Flock are enjoying a new field with the best grazing they have seen since arriving in Argyll.
 Lambs ought to be a few weeks away yet, but it looks as though Smali Braeface managed to get his way with Gula and Geherda when he escaped as they are bagging up already! No harm done there since I considered using him before deciding to buy Galtress Ptolemy anyway. I am very much looking forward to Tolly lambs however.
I take great joy and peace from my time with the flock, and this time is all the more precious at the moment. Here are some photos so that you might enjoy some of this special time too; so take a moment for yourself and relax. Life is good.

Now all we need is for Geherda to stop pretending that she is about to pop and actually lamb!
"Who me?!"