The River Puddle

Down in the bale yard, there is a massive puddle. It takes a lot of rain for it to appear, and when it does it can be almost a foot deep in places. For two members of the pack, this puddle is the most fun there is to be had (exempting sheep work).

Teddy observes the puddle...

...and he's in.

Teddy chases the ripples along the water like one of those birds that uses its beak to skim the surface and snap up fish.

Shake off some of the excess...

...and dive in again.

Sheila is a dry land kind of girl, but she does love to pull plastic off round bales.

Meanwhile, Jess...

The puppy is nuts.

While Jess is attacking the splashes, Teddy is chasing the ripples. They work as a team to show this puddle who's boss.

The sane other dogs aren't puddle attackers, and are much happier playing chase on the bank.

They will come near the water if I ask very nicely.

By this stage, my camera was getting covered in splashes. The autofocus was failing. I thought it was time to leave the puddle before my camera suffered a fatal soaking.

Jess disagreed.

Short Pony on a Short List

I joined an equine blogging network called Haynet about a month ago. It was very useful because I was finding it difficult to locate some good horsey blogs. I've found some I really like since joining. To my amazement, I found out on Tuesday that this blog is on a shortlist... to be the Haynet Equestrian Blogger of the Year!

My first reaction was - "Er, what?" I'd never even considered myself to be on such a list. After all, I've only got the one pony, and she's very small. To celebrate being shortlisted, I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos of Blue Belle since I got her back in June.

Blue Belle on her first day in her new home. She was nervous of me and would come over unless I rattled a bucket of sheep nuts at her. This was also before I'd gotten her a headcollar that fitted.

Surveying her new domain (and, note, wearing a new headcollar). I still couldn't catch her very easily at the stage. I could only get so close before she trotted away from me.

In the end I had to gently herd her into a smaller pen by walking behind her. Slowly, slowly I could catch her in here.

Blue Belle spent almost a week in this pen. I came up several times a day to catch her and reward her with a little piece of apple. By the second day she was coming to me and standing to be caught. I was also taking her for walks.

Here she is back in her field, curious about the camera. She knew that if she let me hook my fingers through her noseband, I would give her a treat.

Blue Belle being curious about the quad.

Blue Belle can look all the way out to the sea if she so chooses.

Blue Belle is lonely without company, so a lot of the time she is joined by Suckie, my 10-year-old pet ewe. They are both white (or light grey, in Blue Belle's case), small, and lovers of food. They've shared many a field together. I just wonder what Suckie has said here to make Blue Belle look at her like that!

This is the first day I noticed just how much fluff Blue Belle was growing.

By the time this photo was taken, I was able to take Blue Belle's headcollar off and leave her without it. A weight off my mind, I can tell you. Around the same time, I had the farrier round to trim her hooves, only to find that she was terrified of having her legs touched, let alone held up. It was small consolation that she was calmer when I was standing next to her, but it's a problem I'm still working on to this day.

The sunset on this evening was one of the best I'd ever seen.

If there's one thing Blue Belle loves to do, it's eat.

A picture of Blue Belle in which she is not eating is a rare thing. A picture of Blue Belle in which she is coming over to see what I'm doing instead of eating is beautiful. It makes it feel like the work I've been doing with her is paying off.

Just after one of our training sessions. I can touch her front legs and she'll lift them for a treat. Due to such bad weather recently we haven't progressed much further than that.

And now for my favourite photos from the last few weeks that haven't gotten as far as the blog yet. A sneak peek, if you will.

Blue Belle being adorable + low winter sun =

All three of Blue Belle's pony-sized pens have become so muddy that I've had to choice but to put her out in a field with some lambs and hope for the best. This was taken just before I spent about ten minutes convincing Blue Belle that it was safe for me to cut her tail shorter.

Blue Belle on Sunday:

The past six months have been a roller-coaster of What have a done? and My dream has come true and Where am I going to put her now? and I love her so much.

In the end, it's the last one that really matters.

So, if anyone wants this blog to become Haynet Equestrian Blogger of the Year, you can click here and vote for The Green Dogs. A big thank you in advance to anyone who votes for this blog. As for my vote, I'm still deciding between two of the blogs on the list. It's hard!

To even be on a shortlist is an honour. It's all Blue Belle's fault for being so cute.

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Hurtta Goodies Review

I was reading a review of Hurtta harnesses by ZoePhee, and they looked so lovely that I decided I'd finally have a go at buying that new harness I so desperately needed. And since I've never had a go at this whole reviewing thing, I thought I'd review them once they arrived.

And do you know what? It's hard.

I bought my Hurtta Outdoors Padded Y Harness and Hurtta Outdoors Reflective Leash on Friday afternoon, and by ten o'clock this morning they were here. And there was free postage - thanks, Active Hound!

I measured the largest (Teddy) and smallest (Jess) dogs and picked the size I thought would be most likely to fit both. As for colour, as pretty as the pink ones are, I wanted something that would suit all genders. Black (Raven for the harness, Granite for the lead) it was.

Teddy was the first to try the new harness.

LIKE: The stripes are very snazzy (and as a bonus, they're reflective as well). I like how sturdy both the lead and harness felt. I believe they'd stand a lot of abuse. The black rings and cleak are a nice touch. It's also fantastic that the bit that goes around the tummy is very adjustable - useful for me. The Y-shape means Teddy doesn't cough when the lead is attached.

DISLIKE: The aforementioned bit that goes around the tummy comes away from the harness completely. Um... why? I can't think of any practical reason for this. Another thing is that I couldn't for the life of me work out which way up the harness was supposed to go. As a result, the harness is... ahem... upside down in all of the photos. Oops.

Teddy did look very handsome with his new harness on. He jumped onto a wall as soon as I asked him to. (I seem to be reviewing the dog.)

Teddy kept the harness on as we left the field. He didn't step out of it. It fits him perfectly.

Jess can't be left out of things for long.

Jess is ao adorable. Such a sweet wee girl.

Oh. Reviewing the dogs again...

The Hurtta logo is on the harness in a few places.

Here is Jess wearing the harness and sniffing something very interesting next to the lead.

Understandably, the harness is a little looser on Jess, but she didn't step out of it. I wonder if it would fit better if it was on the right way up.

Another Hurrta logo.

The top/front/bottom/back of the harness. When Teddy was wearing it you couldn't see a thing, only fluff.

Jess is a brilliant model.


Hurtta Outdoors Padded Y Harness
★ ★ ★ ★ ¾
GOOD: Well made, looks brilliant, comfortable for my dogs, doesn't make me feel bad for spending £20 on it.
BAD: The bit around the tummy comes off.

Hurtta Outdoors Reflective Leash
★ ★ ★
GOOD: Strong, comfortable to hold, matches the harness well.
BAD: It's a bit overpriced at £17 for what it is, which is a lead. I would have spent £10-15 on this and not batted an eye.


I would buy another one of these harnesses in a heartbeat, and the same would go for the lead if it was £5 cheaper. I'm looking forward to getting a long life out of these things.

(And there you have it, my first product review. Hopefully it makes sense to someone!)