Sunday, 24 August 2008

Dillon the Devil Pony

we have had a mixed bag of a weekend....
on one hand the sun has been shining, the sea so still that it has been like looking out at a sheet of glass, and no builders!
Saturday found Stephen and i merrily working on the house - battens cut and fitted, a little hair-raising moment as i had to balance along the floor rafters in order to finish a row, and picnics on our own land whilst the sheep looked on :)

Saturday afternoon our sweet neighbours opened the field adjoining ours and their cows, llama and three horses slowly swaggered through one by one
the sight of all these new faces just outside our window was truly wonderful - the dogs looked on wide eyed as they just kept coming!!!
we had a slight moment when the llama walked past the window and Bean suddenly just completely lost it - Bean rarely barks, in fact i cannot remember the last time she really barked loudly at anything......
the sight of the llama worked just like a trigger - it was instant - Bean barked until she was hoarse - she then slept for three hours straight - exhausted!

Bean the Ninja does not like llamas.....

our neighbours three horses gathered at their fence in front of our boys wondering who the rather short newcomers were.........
our chaps, who have no idea that they are short, greeted each neigh from the horses with one of their own - it all looked rather jolly - new friends for our boys we thought.......

Sunday and the sun was really shining, sun tan lotion was applied and the plan was to continue in the house and then maybe a little hand sewing in the garden late afternoon.


we woke to find that Dillon had decided that being stared at by three horses would not be tolerated - he was furious - galloping up and down the fence line, feet kicking, head shaking, shouting.....
quite a sight to be seen
Woody was terrified and kept out of his way

the three horses were also worried about this mad looking, short legged black pony running like a crazy fool with the whites of his eyes on full display - all he needed was foam to be dribbling from his mouth and he would have fitted right in to a horror movie.......
they decided to move on!

and to think that only the day before Stephen had said how Dillon was like a very short Black Beauty.....
Black Beauty my A.....!!!
he was a pony possessed.

there was no way we could enter his paddock to try and calm him, and when he decided that if he could not beat the crap out of the three peeping toms, then he would beat up the sheep instead we had to do something
we stood helplessly as Dillon chased the sheep around the paddock until he had eventually cornered one - i honestly thought that if the sheep did not knock herself out cold by constantly ramming against the fence, then she would just drop dead from shock - something that sheep do quite readily :(

my screaming and arm flapping must have got through eventually as the cocky little git decided that running at speed towards me instead, ears down, mane flying would be a far better game!!!
i have honestly never been so scared and angry at the same time - all the books i had read about standing your ground suddenly seemed slightly useless!
so - we quickly took action and cut a great big hole in the fence between the big paddock (shared by ponies and sheep) in to the smaller dry pony paddock - we then enticed the crazy Dillon in with the promise of some Happy Hoof (!) feed and promptly shut the hole up using a very large and very sturdy sheep hurdle!!!
.. the adrenalin was running i can tell you

we stood back panting with relief as we watched Dillon slowing down....
hurrah - he must have worn himself out - fresh water bowl in and hopefully that would be the end of it.

we then had the job of creating a new paddock as it was clear that the sheep could no longer share with the ponies
the next few hours passed in relative calm......
woody grazing peacefully with the sheep, enjoying the break away from his loopy pony companion..

until the devil pony woke up
the pacing up and down began
the screaming
the mane waving

and then he decided to attempt to jump the blooming fence!!!!!

if he got out he would have been able to be nose to nose with the very large horses opposite - and even though Dillon has no idea he is tiny in comparison, i knew that he would be at serious risk of a damn good kicking
the sight of a very expensive vet bill flashed before my eyes or worse the horrid dilemma of how to dispose of a very heavy dead pony :(
our solution was to quickly screw long timber battens along the top of the fence line - too high for him to jump over (we hope) and adding a little more stability to the fence if he decided to just charge at it!
we put Woody back in with Dillon in the hope that he would help calm him down
this did seem to help - phew

what have we learnt from this weekend?

.......shetland pony ownership is not always a bowl of cherries
.......shetland ponies can be stroppy little gits
.......shetland ponies are not scared of anything or anybody
.......shetland ponies think that they are much bigger than they actually are

and the conclusions?

........must buy an electric fence
........ must phone the vet and book both boys in for the big op

you know the one


but it will turn them in to much nicer ponies, and we never planned on using them for stud work, and it will be done at home in their own field with me there to hold their hoof :)

first thing tomorrow
the date will be popped in the diary
as soon as this mini heatwave goes
the vet will arrive.....

t x


Katy said...

you are not the first person to tell me about stroppy shetlands. I think it's in their nature...but then again, most smaller breed of animal are a bit stroppy little terriers are far snappier than big labradors, and (I have this theory) shorter humans are far scarier than taller of the mums at school is tiny, and she is the scariest woman I have ever met. Despite towering over her, I hide when I see her in case I get shouted at for no particular reason...I am a bit of a wuss though.

Oh, and as for the llamas - they are bloody scary too, I would bark for 3 hours if I saw one for the first time.

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Gosh your weekend sounds far more dramatic than mine. I agree with Katy, smaller animals often are fierce including humans! Let's hope that essential op sorts them out, I can think of a few boys who could do with the same :)

Nin said...

Wow what a weekend! You made me exhausted just reading it. Thank goodness you were around at the time or that poor poor sheep might not be here. There I was thinking that shetland ponies were sweet little things, but I shall always think twice from now on.

Sounds like you deserve a good cup of tea and a sit down.

mollycupcakes said...

Oh my goodness Tracy what a weekend you've had.
Sitting here reading all about that naughty Dillon, I was almosy there with you both lol it was like reading a fabulous story witha happy ending, well maybe not to happy for Dillon lol (the op)
What a stroppy boy, I wonder what he was thinking at the time of all his rampaging.
Poor sheep, she must of been so scared and wow he even charged his Mummy. No extra carrots for him tonight hehe!
Glad he's all calm now and they are both happy in their new paddock.
They are both so adorable and the girls can't wait to see them.
Good luck with the rest of the week.
I've left a comment on the other post, thank you so much for putting the photos of the girls enjoying their treats our girls are so happy to see them.
And send them all big hugs and little kisses for their noses. Ghillie will have to have a yummy treat all of his own.
Take care lots of love honey.
Catherine x x x

Katie twinkles said...


It's a great shame but, like you say, with the bigger horses it would be such a liability and there is nothing sadder than an injured horse. Oh dear.

Well, at least they will be having a charmed life with you (once they have got over the shock of being minus their g**l*ys

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

Stroppy little git...I like the sound of that...if I say that over in the US will I get my nose broken????? :)

M ^..^

Fern said...

Very entertaining post, you obviously had lots of fun at your place this weekend. They are not nicknamed Shitlands for nothing!:-)

prettyshabby said...

Cripes T!
The joys of animal ownership hey! scary.

Jennie said...

Gosh - Shetlands can be very opinionated, and when their b*lls are bigger than their brains, definitely time for a visit from the vet! I liked the idea of the above-the-ears fence - it worked anyway . . .

If it's any consolation, Welsh Cobs have big ego's too, and are built like the proverbial brick conveniences, and Arabs have the biggest ego's of all - and they don't keep their opinions to themselves either!

Isle Dance said...

Oh my goodness!! What an experience!! :o)

Vintage to Victorian said...

What a steep learning curve in animal husbandry! It seemed so simple and straightforward initially, didn't it!!!! I'm sure you'll win in the end and I'm sure Dillon will be much more amenable after the big snip!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wow, what a temper the little fellow has! He was seriously miffed, wasn't he? You're right..."the dreaded operation" is in order. He's lucky to have had you to save him from the bigger horses!

I do love llamas. Sorry Bean does not! We were in the mountains last fall and Edward discovered his very first donkey. It was not a good experience for any of us.

Yarni Gras! said...

oh! now I see why your other posts talked about the damn ponies! heehee! Aren't they little buggers though? I had a few tussels with one named "Sugar Plum' and he was a little b*td. When he got tired of you riding, he would simply slam on the breaks while putting his head down and you would fly over his head. I had his number though...being short, I'm tough too! HAHAHAH! I was the only one who could ride the little guy. Brings back memories!