Meet the Icelandic horse, the Icelanders who ride them, and Iceland, where they ride them. A group of friends and an even larger group of friendly horses go out together to enjoy each other. That’s what it’s all about and why I’ve placed this video as the introduction to the Icelandic horse and to…Continue reading Meet the Icelandic Horse… What It’s All About
Wondering what it’s like to go on a horse trek in Iceland? This is a video I shot during my first trek, the one that really got me hooked on horseback riding. It was in 2000. I had been taking lessons for all of four months and I was about to go on a 5…Continue reading My First Trek
Many of you have heard of Lukka and many of you have even bought horses through her! Here is a chance to go with Lukka as she travels to a farm to evaluate a new horse for her sales list. This video can also be a guide in what to look for when horse shopping.
Is it a horse or a pony? Other than its size, gaits, and hair, is it really any different from other horses? There are some who would argue it is the spirit in this horse that comes from being raised in Iceland that makes it unique. Let’s see how they do it.
If ever there was a special place in the world of Icelandic horses, it is Kolkuós. Here, literally, is the beginning of the Icelandic horse. Before that, they were European. And here is where my personal favorite line of horses were bred.
Celebrating at Kolkuos. The return of a herd.
This kid found a wonderful horse right there in her dad’s barn. Happened to be one of the top evaluated stallions in Iceland. And one of her neighbors just happens to be Mette Manseth, of Hólar. Ingunn is on her way to being a fine rider, to say the least, but watch her have fun learning!
In 2000, the Vermont Icelandic Horse Club held a show that turned out to be as much regional as local. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day in August, just the kind of day when a cold one is really appreciated.
In 2000 there was a show in Vermont with a great costume class. Although not a traditional Icelandic event, the American costume class allows children of all ages to participate in some supportive and non-competitive fun. What is traditional Icelandic is how well these horses care for some of their scary-looking riders
For Americans of a certain age, this could be the Art Linkletter School of Icelandic Horseback Riding! The kids are a riot but these horses put up with it all. In fact, they steal the show. I think that this is one of the greatest selling points for the breed.
Every other year, the best horses and riders from all over Iceland come and compete against each other. It’s called the Landsmot. In 2006 the crowd came for some nice, fast tolt. And they get plenty of it. Everyone was filming and photographing. I wanted to show something original, in my own style. So I…Continue reading Landsmot — Looking for a Story
This is one of those great people-and-horse stories that you could never make up. I only take credit for finding, documenting, and delivering it to you. It has to do with saving a horse that… Let’s start at the beginning.
The Landsmot lives on throughout the following two years through constant conversations, second-guessing the judges, comparing riders and horses, watching videos, making wish-lists of breeding stallions and just plain gossiping.
I delayed my return flight home just so I could see Stebbi and Fridgeir together in Dalvik. Iceland Air, of course, charged me a penalty fee for changing my flight in order to promote Iceland, but it was a well worth the detour. First, let’s orient ourselves. Even for Iceland, Dalvik is way up there…
Thokki, a 5 y/o Icelandic gelding, had been started the previous year. Sarah decided it would be a good training experience for him to get out in the large-horse world and, if he would suppress his energetic tolt, ride a couple of dressage programs. He was the only Icelandic there. We had a very pleasant surprise!
To me, this session is a Rosetta Stone, the link between classical dressage and Icelandic gait training. I think it would be very helpful for riders and trainers with “regular” horse backgrounds to view a few times if they want a bridge to understand tolt. I hope that it can also be used to introduce…Continue reading Gudmar Meets Thokki
This was a triple header: birthdays for Martina Gates and Kristjan Kristjansson (I’ll be discreet and leave it at that because they don’t look or act their age) and the opening of Thor Icelandics. Most of the people you see are members of the Northeast Icelandic Horse Club. I just thought it would make a…Continue reading A Tolt Party
“Loose Rain Tolt” a little diversion of whether or not these are dedicated horse people or just don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. Your call…. And a souvenir album….
On any Spring weekend in Iceland, in any city or town, you will find people at their local riding clubs fiddling around with their horses, riding in friendly training shows and sometimes in engaging in fierce competition. What follows is a video visit to Dreyri, the club in Akranes.
A documentary record of an early breed evaluation in the USA, held in Wisconsin in 2004. It was also an outstanding educational event and can still serve as a model for public outreach.
An Icelandic breeding horse evaluation held under ideal circumstances at Mill Farm in 2006. Lots of young horses were introduced. And so was a young rider!
Everyone has a “favorite” ride in Iceland. I have a few. This is one of them that I share, as you will see, with HUNDREDS of Icelanders on a weekend.
Here in northeast Dutchess County, it was dairy farms and we were the Milk Bottle of New York City. But the dairy farms closed and different animals were brought to graze our pastures — horses. Now we’re Horse Central. And along with the new animals came new people and traditions. And new trades. One of…Continue reading A Farrier? What’s That?
Witness 100’s of horses, 100’s of riders and one beauty queen all get along together in the pomp and ceremony of the opening of the Landsmót.
Flugumýri is famous from the Viking sagas. But it is currently known for the horses that have been bred there.
It was that time, shortly after foaling, for the mare to go back to a stallion. A short distance down the road from the farm was a large field of lush green grass growing over high hummocks, þúfa. Struggling to walk while shooting with the camera, I could understand how these horses grow up so…Continue reading The Breeding Fields of Flugumýri
Elisa Klose came to Holar University College to learn how to train Icelandic horses. She also had to learn Icelandic! I’ve added this clip of an actual training session Elisa is doing with a horse just to give an appreciation for the process.
First of all, let me make it clear that this is not Dressage for Icelanders! My experience is that dressage may be coming to Iceland, but it lies becalmed offshore. I do not consider suppling exercises such as shoulder in, leg yields, etc., dressage. Perhaps an onshore wind will blow. I think a pretty good…Continue reading Sheep Dressage
Why dogs on a horse website? Well… one thing leads to another! Start with an Icelandic horse or two and before long you have seven, as in our case. And you meet some Icelanders through the horses and admire their dog and, as in our case, you end up with one which you then breed and… Same with sweaters, by the way. One leads to another!
What follows is the first competitive sheepherding trial that one of our puppies entered. She later became the first Icelandic Sheepdog to get a herding title.
A local American club goes out for a Fall ride. But thanks to the Internet and an international association, we were joined by a rider from far away. She started as a stranger and now is a good friend.