That first spring day!

The first proper spring day this year arrived rather late, on April 2. We got up early to visit the horses before noon, but there was no convincing them to pay any interest to puny humans. Not on a day with a dramatic sky and warm, balmy sunshine.

First spring day under dramatic skies.
Dramatic skies is a thing on West Funen.

We could have gone out there and fetched Emilie, of course. We decided not to, however. I know how much that first spring day means to me, basking in the sunlight. I suspect it’s no different for the horses. They paid us no notice whatsoever, and mine is usually quite the attention hog.

I work with Emilie on the basis of fifty percent. Every other time we’re together, we do something I want to do. The rest of the time we do things she wants to do. Today was clearly an Emilie’s choice day, and Emilie’s choice was to stay outside with her buddies and enjoying the sun. And that’s really quite fair.

As a side effect bonus this means that Emilie is usually quite excited to see us; after all, half of the times we’re there, we’re going to do something interesting and fun that she wants to do. Whether that’s grazing the hedgerows, playing soccer or learning tricks for treats, the important thing is that it’s even better than being outside with her friends.

Only one horse could spare us a passing glance.
Only one horse could spare us a passing glance.

Winter this year has been a peculiar affair. The first half of November was warm, then the weather shifted to nonstop rain that seemed to last until February — and then, bam, an eastern wind from Siberia brought us snowstorms and freezing day temperatures. March continued in the same pattern, as if once here, Siberia would just not go home.

The red one. There, behind the white one. That's Emilie. Busy.
The red one. There, behind the white one. That’s Emilie. Busy.

Give it another month and there’ll even be grass in the pasture that’s currently resting.

Testing Stools (No, Not That Kind, the Good Kind)

I’m a big girl and I need help getting up on that horse of mine, even if she’s actually not very tall. My husband decided to be the saviour of the day and built me my very own heavy-duty stool for this purpose.

I was slightly worried whether it’d be solid enough, but as it turns out, it’s been properly stress tested. Thank you, Cassie and Lucia. If it doesn’t break under a Welsh Mountain pony, it’s not going to break under me (and I am desperately wanting to stress test it with Emilie next, just because).

Testing, testing

The stool

Winter Wonderland (it’s friggin’ cold)

February is the coldest winter month in Denmark and this week we’re feeling it for sure. I’ve been taking pictures left, right, and centre of the ponies — some of them with the snow of a winter wonderland, some of them without. We do get a lot of snow, but unfortunately, most of it only lasts a few days before melting. Temperature today? Minus five degrees Celsius in the mid-day sun.

Emilie is a beautiful girl in all her hairy winter shaggyness!
Emilie is a beautiful girl in all her hairy winter shaggyness!
Cassie the magical reindeer.
Cassie the magical reindeer.
Winter is cold, cold, cold!
Brrr.
Winter really is cold.
Well, at least the hill’s not slippery when it’s frozen.
Emilie posing with the old manor Billeshave in the background.
Emilie posing with the old manor Billeshave in the background.
That horse is a bit of a poseur on the whole.
That horse is a bit of a poseur on the whole.
Whenever we take Emilie out the entire herd turns up in minutes, just to make sure they're not missing out on anything interesting.
Whenever we take Emilie out the entire herd turns up in minutes, just to make sure they’re not missing out on anything interesting.
Sometimes things do happen, such as best friends playing tag!
Sometimes things do happen, such as best friends playing tag!
Or someone taking on the dreaded challenge of the single cavaletti. Those things are dangerous in the wild!
Or someone taking on the dreaded challenge of the single cavaletti. Those things are dangerous in the wild!
But wherever the road goes, Emilie’s still enough of a teenager to appreciate older and wiser Cassie taking the lead.
Emilie's shape and form has improved so much just in one month of free range grazing.
Emilie’s shape and form has improved so much just in one month of free range grazing.

Costume Party!

Fastelavn is coming up! For those of you of an international disposition — this is the Scandinavian equivalent to Halloween except that the costumes don’t need to be scary or spooky. The custom dates back to Catholic times, and of course dressing up the ponies is traditional. I’ve collected costume pics horses all year, just for this.

As with other picture collections from the internet — if you’re the owner of one of these pics, please let me know, so I can give you proper credit and a link back to your site (or remove the picture, if that’s your preference).

This is technically not a costume but dressing up for a show. Still!
I mean, seriously. Showing Arabians like that. Wowzers.
This one I was actually planning to inflict on Pilar. I’m not saying that’s why she died. But you were thinking it.
You shall not passage!
Simple, except for the part where you convince the horse to put it on.
This one is great for a pale horse. Simple yet recognisable!
I want to do this to Emilie. Nothing says ballerina butterfly pony like an 800 kilos draft.
Heart melted. Officially dead.
Genial in all its simplicity.
I’d do this with Slytherin colours, obviously.
The garters are the nicest touch!
I love this one. Probably I was a rabid Kiss fan as a teenager.
I mean, seriously. Love.
That’s one big poodle you got there, li’l miss.
There’s something about miniature horses and costumes …
Seahorse? Geddit? Sea horse!
All I want to know is, Mary, how the heck did you get him to stand still while you glued all that fleece on?
Now officially creeped out and spooking like a volatile warmblood.
The day is officially saved. Now go swat that giant spider up there for me, please.