Sunday, 27 November 2011

Wild, wild weather

It's been a bit blowy up here for the last couple of days.  There's a bit of traditional Scottish understatement for you - the wind hit gusts of 93mph at 5am this morning and we've had hail on and off since Friday.  I have caved and started rugging, though he might have preferred me not to last night, as I came down this morning to find one of the leg straps had gone and the rug was twisted three quarters underneath him...

Amazingly, it's not affected the exercise schedule too badly; we managed to get out 5 days out of 7 last week and although we had to give it a miss today, I'm hopeful that we might get out for another plod through the village tomorrow.  He's really enjoying it and he's become so much better to lead - he now walks steadily beside me or slightly behind me, compared to when I was walking him in hand over the summer and he was dragging me up hills.  The only thing we've come across so far that he really doesn't like the look of is the concrete area at the salmon station, which is immensely frustrating as it's got a ramp that would make a perfect mounting block - he won't even set foot on it at the moment, but we're working on it...

He had his weekly weigh in this morning and he's still on 504kg.  He's now getting a haynet morning and night, but his bucket hasn't changed from one handful of Greengold, three handfuls of speedibeet and two spoonfuls of Total Eclipse.

The frogs have stopped peeling and are starting to look a little better.  One thing I did notice yesterday, as we got back from our walk, was that he strode confidently over the gravel at the top of the drive rather than slowing down and picking his way over it.  A good sign.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Plodding along

I can't believe it, but due to the unseasonably warm weather, Merlin is still grazing the top two fields during the day - last year they were too waterlogged from the end of September onwards.  He goes down the hill at night in case the weather turns and he needs his shelter, but he's still out without a rug 24/7 and his skin is so much better for it.

He's now been on the Speedi-beet/Greengold/Total Eclipse combo for a month and his weight is still stable at 504kg.  I took him for a plod down to the salmon station yesterday, which is the longest walk we've done, and even though we met four quad bikes and three cars he didn't bat an eyelid.  The only thing which needed a Long Hard Stare was Ronald's sheep, which are brown and white with horns, unlike the NCCs he lives with. 

I finally got going with the hibiscrub yesterday morning and he didn't object to having his frogs brushed at all.  I'm going to waste an awful lot doing it with a bucket every time though, so I'm going to get a spray mister bottle which I can make up a litre at a time in and keep it by the top gate for when we come back in from our walks, as his feet are usually spotless by the time he's been down the road and back.  He's starting to slough bits of frog off, hopefully this is the start of healthier, fatter frogs...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Tipping point

More for my own reference than anything else, but this morning was the first dry and not-too-windy morning that Merlin chose to stay inside his shelter after breakfast and eat his haynet rather than going back out to the grass.  Looks like the goodness is finally leaving it.