Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
11:29 AM 16th January 2017

Why Shetlands Make Good Pets....

Hannah and Alfie
Hannah and Alfie
Today I thought I would write about why Shetlands make good pets.

A lot of people just use Shetlands as 'grass eaters'. This is totally fine as it's nice that people can give them a home! But I come across people who don't think they have any value in today's world, whereas I think they are totally fantastic and make the best of friends...

Okay... so they are totally cheeky and always causing mischief. There isn't a day that goes by when Alfie isn't up to something he shouldn't be.

Take this morning, I was trying to muck out his stable and Alfie kept trying to tip up my wheelbarrow with his nose. Luckily he's not as big as a wheelbarrow so he didn't succeed.

Then the next thing I know he was attempting to pull my toggle off my outdoor boots, which he's always done from the moment I got him. It's kind of his way of saying 'pay me attention'.

Teddy and Alfie
Teddy and Alfie
But all of Alf's bold traits make him who he is and all part of his cheeky character. If he didn't have any personality at all then there would be no bond between us, because it's his cheeky nature that makes me laugh every day.

Shetlands have many characteristics which make them great to manage and maintain. In fact Shetlands aren't very high maintenance at all!

First of all they are small. In Alf's case he's even smaller due to his dwarfism. Most miniature Shetlands are around 30-38 inches high and can range from 38-42 inches high. They have thick set legs and a long shaggy mane and come in all different colours.

In the winter Alfie is a sort of brown colour with auburn streaks through his mane and tail, which is quite unusual, whereas in the summer he loses all his fluffy winter coat and is brown all over.

The other great thing about Shetlands is they are extremely hardy. Miniature Shetlands originally come from the Shetland Isles, where they were bred to deal with the harsh winter weathers. This means that most Shetlands don't need a rug on in winter.

Alfie actually hates having rugs on as he already has a fluffy waterproof coat. The only time Alfie ever wears a rug is if he has been poorly or I need to keep him extra clean for a book signing or appearance.

If you have ever come across the amazing Thelwell cartoons you will understand how cheeky Shetlands can be, but they make the best of companions.

Although Shetlands aren't for everyone I couldn't imagine a day without my cheeky bundles.