Hannah Russell & Little Alf

Hannah Russell is the owner of Little Alf and has been since the 24th of December 2013.

Little Alf, who is often found creating mischief, was born on the 1st of April 2012 and lives behind Hannah's House in the North Yorkshire Dales.

At the young age of 17, Hannah Louise Russell published her first book in 2014, 'The Magical Adventure Of Little Alf - The discovery of the wild pony....'. The reason why Hannah decided to write a book on Little Alf was because Little Alf is completely different from other miniature Shetlands as he is a mini mini mini Shetland due to having dwarfism, therefore this makes Little Alf super tiny but also super cute!

Hannah and Little Alf have a very special bond and are never found far apart. Through their book they are helping support the Riding for Disabled Association. They help raise funds for all the amazing work the RDA do.


Little Alf brings Hannah great happiness and joy, he also hopes he will to you too!

For more information, please visit: http://www.littlealf.com/

Setting up your own YouTube Channel & Blog by Hannah Russell

Starting your own blog is a bit of a daunting task but trust me it’s easy to do. I started my online blog nearly 3 years ago and we have now grown to have a following of over 40 thousand followers which is a little bit scary, little did I know that Alfie would become so known back then.

 

It started as a hobby and grew in to a business in just a few short months and at 17 years old I didn’t know much about the online world. So how do you start your own blog?

 

One day I literally sat down and started typing, I made a blog on Tumblr because that was the most popular network when I was 17 and posted a photo of Alfie. I then clicked refresh hoping to have lots of followers but it certainly doesn’t happen that quickly. I didn’t have a clue what to write about to start with and I didn’t want to share any information about me so I decided to write my blog from Alfie’s point of view.

 

To my surprise writing a blog entry from Alfie’s point of view worked and people seemed to enjoy it. I wrote simple things from Alfie’s point of view, it could be anything from what he thoughts of me, the weather or his opinion on other horses. I always made sure that whatever I wrote it sounded like it came from a cheeky Shetland and within a few months we had nearly 1,000 followers which I felt was quite an achievement.

 

I then started to post more photos of me and Alfie a lot more frequently which his followers loved and decided to set up other social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter. It took me a while to learn how to use them but I finally got the hang of things. It was great to see his followers growing and interacting on the blogs.

 

Around 6 months in to posting on Alfie’s blog I decided to switch it up a little bit and started to post in my point of view also, I felt more confident that people would still enjoy the stories and hearing about Alf’s latest adventures and they did. In fact his followers great just as quickly. I think when I first started writing about Alfie I was a little shy but it helped me with writing my first book and everything we have achieved today.

 

It was around a year later after starting my blog, I had a question from an online follower asking if I would ever consider starting a YouTube Channel on Alfie’s adventures. It had never occurred to me to produce online videos but I thought ‘why not!’

 

Once I started filming the YouTube Videos for Alf’s blog I instantly loved it, so okay the first video I ever filmed was terrible I was really nervous which is natural. It took me a while to build my confidence but it’s like anything you learn as you go along and that’s what I did. It can be quite daunting to sit down in front of the camera and start talking. Luckily I have Alf who always helps me through.

 

Here is just a few tips if you wish to start your own channel.

 

Believe in yourself – something I’ve always been told if you believe in yourself you can do it.

Practice, practice a few times, watch the video back and build from there.

If you have someone you feel you can ask for advice ask away, I ask my Mum for advice all the time and it is really helpful.

Blog about something you’re interested in, something your passionate about!

 

Enjoy and have fun!

Please visit Hannah and Little Alf: http://www.littlealf.com/

 

Homemade Lollies for your horse… by Hannah Russell

This week the weather has been amazing, Me & Alf have been loving it and Alfie has been outside sunbathing most of the time, I think the sun makes him really sleeping, one morning I just sat outside with him, we loved it. But do remember to apply sun cream if you’re out in the sun over the summer it’s really important!

 

One day I was sat outside munching my ice cream and Alfie kept trying to take a bite, I had to move away in the end as he really wasn’t allowed anyway but it got me thinking about making lollies for Alfie, which lead me to this week’s post & YouTube video.

 

I wasn’t sure what the horses would think to the homemade lollies but it was certainly worth a go, I thought it was a great way to keep them cool too. The end results wasn’t too bad and they really seemed to love them, so here is what you need and a guide how to get started…

 

What you need –

Ice lolly mould

Apples

Carrots

Knife

Chopping board

Supply of water

 

Plain Lolly method

Step 1 – Slice your apples & carrots on the chopping board with your knife, if you’re under 16 ask for an adult’s assistance when chopping your apples & carrots. If you’re making just 4 lollies then you will only need 1 apple and 1 carrot.

Step 2 – Fill your ice lolly mould with water, only fill the mould half full as your apples & carrots will make the water rise!

Step 3 – Add the carrots & apples to the mould and put the lid on your moulds!

Step 4 – Freeze for 4- 6 hours.

Step 5 – Take them along to your Horses and see what they think!

 

Blended Lolly Method

Step 1 – Slice your apples & carrots on the chopping board with your knife, if you’re under 16 ask for an adult’s assistance when chopping your apples & carrots. If you’re making just 4 lollies then you will only need 1 apple and 1 carrot.

Step 2 – fill your blender with a cup of water and place Carrots & Apples in accordingly and blend the ingredients together.

Step 3 – Once your ingredients have blended together and you have a smooth mixture, pour in to the moulds.

Step 4 – Put in the freezer for 4 – 6 hours.

Step 5 – Take them along to your Horses and see what they think!

 

My Horses adored the homemade Lollies, if you’re giving the mixture ago this weekend then I hope your horses enjoy to!

 

If you have any questions just tweet to us @AlfLittle or please watch the You Tube video HERE X

Please also visit: http://www.littlealf.com/

Hannah & Little Alf to walk 10 miles for charity

Recently me and Little Alf have been in training. A couple of months ago Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys, got in touch and told us all about their amazing campaign #MyHackathon, a campaign they have recently launched to help raise awareness about their charity Brooke.

 

Brooke is an international charity that protects and improves the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules which give people in the developing world the opportunity to work their way out of poverty. Over 100 million of these animals are the back bone of developing communities and their best means of making a living. Without healthy working horses, donkeys and mules, around 600 million people wouldn’t be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school or build better futures for themselves and their families.

 

My Hackathon is part of Brooke’s current campaign, How The Other Horse Lives. It aims to highlight the stark differences between the daily lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in the developing world and horses in the UK, looking at the welfare issues that affect both. Sadly, working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries often suffer in their day to day working lives because their owners don’t have access to the skills or resources to properly look after them.

 

When me and Little Alf heard about the campaign we just had to get involved! As well as the main campaign, there’s also The #MyMiniHackathon campaign has been developed for mini ponies who can’t stretch their legs to 100 miles but can walk 10 miles, the goal is to lead your mini pony 10 miles in 100 days to raise £100 for the charity – I thought it would be perfect for us! And for an extra challenge we are going to be doing the 10 miles in 10 days! 

 

£100 goes a long way for the charity it could pay for three portable water troughs or provide help for up to three brick kiln donkeys.

You can support me & Alfie on our journey by following our blogs and social media, we will be posting regularly about Brooke and the work we are doing and how our challenge it going over the next few months.

 

You can also head to our just giving page to make a donation to Brooke and the amazing charity - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Hannah-Russell11

 

If you want to sign up with your mini pony or find out more just head to – https://www.thebrooke.org/myhackathon

 

by Hannah Russell

Please visit Little Alf

Do what you love and have fun… by Hannah Russell

I can’t think of a better way to spend my day than playing with Alfie in the ménage, every spare bit of time I have you will find me either sat in the field with Alfie, taking him for a walk down the street, grooming him or in the ménage having lots of fun. And if we're not doing all of the above we are most likely causing chaos somewhere we are very known for getting in lots of trouble and something I think we are quite a bad influence on each other but that’s why our bond is so strong we almost bounce of each other and when one of us has a crazy idea it usually happens.

 

I have always been a big believer in doing what you love and creating your own dream, probably why I’m always into new things with Alfie, I always have new business ideas and some I must admit are a little crazy but if you dream big and you’re passionate about something than it’s going to work.

 

Why am I so sure it will work? Because I’ve learnt if you’re committed than motivation will follow.

 

At school I was never very academic, I loved drama probably why I’m quite confidence and I also loved writing unfortunately I could never get good grades due to my horrendous spelling I use to always get my ‘t’s’ mixed up and my ‘b’s’ and ‘d’s’ the wrong way around, I was lead to believe that I couldn’t be a writer, nobody ever told me I couldn’t be a writer but I was advised to do something with the skills I already had such as be an accountants since I was particularly good at maths, the only problem was it bored me to death and if anyone knows me I can’t sit at a desk for more than a couple of hours before getting bored and itchy feet. Now I’m very thankful I was taught to be my own person as I know I would have been very unhappy going down that path.

 

I started A levels after finishing my GCSE mainly because I didn’t know what else I wanted to do, initially I had wanted to be a vet but I faint at blood and also me and science where never a good match. I took sports and English language at A level but soon dropped English as I couldn’t get my brain to work out Shakespeare and it was causing me so much stress to the point where I refused to go to the lesson. I carried on with sports but soon developed pains in my lower back and found out I had fractured vertebras and worn discs and had to have a year of rehabilitation.

 

I took the decision to leave college and what a relief, I couldn’t have been happier, I have incredibly supportive parents so they were happy for me to spend some time figuring out what I wanted to do, as long as I was happy they were happy.

 

It wasn’t long before Little Alf came along and maybe things do happen for a reason but he came along at the right time.

 

It’s taken me a couple of years to finally realise you have to do what makes you happy, there’s no point in doing something which doesn’t as this can make you very unhappy and also it can affect your life in other ways and it’s very important to be healthy as well as happy.

 

A quote I have up in my office is one from Walt Disney - “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’’

 

To find out more about Hannah & Alf head to the website – www.littlealf.com

 

Living, working and having horses in the North Yorkshire Dales + Little Alf

Living in the Yorkshire Dales is spectacular, right on my doorstep I am surrounded by hills and often wake up to the hum of a tractor in the distance, recently I have been waking up to the sound of lambs bleating, the farm I live next door to has started lambing for 2017 and they look just adorable, I can watch them playing from my office window.

 

Being an Author in the Dales is lots of fun and people are very supportive, in 2014 my first book was published about Little Alf my miniature Shetland pony, for those of you who don’t know Alfie, he is just 28 inches high due to him having dwarfism. I came across him in 2012 when Alfie was just 1 years old, he came from a Breeders yard and the lady was getting rid of him due to his dwarfism, with one glance I couldn’t say no he was just to adorable, within days of getting Alfie I realised how much character he had and thought he would be the perfect character for a children’s book. Just a few years later Alfie now has 4 books published about him and his very own magazine.

 

I don’t just own Alfie I have 3 horses in total, Badger who is a welsh section C x Cob, he is now 28 years old, I’ve had Badger since I was 6 years old so 13 years! I also have Paddy who is a gypsy cob and Pepper who is my other miniature Shetland. The Yorkshire Dales has the best riding routes and is perfect on summer nights, I don’t actually ride myself anymore as when I was 17 I found out that I had 3 fractured vertebras in my back, which was potentially caused from years of falling off or the doctors said it could of just been genetics, I suppose I’ll never know, I often get asked if it bothered me that I can’t ride and more and honestly as long as all my horses are healthy then I’m happy, I really enjoy just playing with them on the floor and have found a love for clicker training.

 

Clicker training isn’t that well known in horses, it’s a method which people use to train their animals, it’s most commonly used in dogs, but it seems to becoming more and more popular in the equestrian world and I can really recommend it, it’s a fantastic way to bond with your horses.

 

Now that the spring weather is on the way and lighter nights are here it’s been the perfect chance to get back out on nights and begin training for 2017!

 

Please visit: http://www.littlealf.com/