NOTE: This story was published quite a while ago and the video standard used then has since become obsolete. I have tried to convert them to current standards, but they show their age! I am posting this for historic value for some of the members of the Northeast Icelandic Horse Club.
This is about connections, how the Icelandic horse links people across borders.
In October, I got the following email:
“My name is Andrea Buengener, I am German and used to ride Icelandic horses in Germany. In fact, I have my own horse there.Six weeks ago, I moved to Wappinges Falls, NY (near Poughkeepsie) because my husband has been assigned to work here at IBM for one year. Since I would like to continue riding while I am here, I asked Christine Farkas for addresses of Icelandic horse riders in the area and she gave me your email address.
“I would be very glad if you could tell me where you are located and where I can ride Icelandic horses in this area.”
Christine (Tine) and I have never met and know each other only through this website and the Yahoo Groups Icehorsesworldwide. Well, I wrote Andrea back immediately and invited her up to visit us and then go for a trail ride at Mill Farm, just a few minutes from us. We put her on Landi, one of my horses, who is a delight but needs a calm rider who will not confuse him. Andrea passed the test beautifully and we all had a nice relaxed, fun time in the beautiful countryside while her husband, Ralf, and one-year old son, Philipp, explored the farm.
So when the group ride at Rockefeller State Preserve for our annual Turkey Tolt came up, we invited her to join us. (The park is in Westchester County, north of New York City. The Turkey Tolt has become a local tradition since it started in 1999 with a small group ride on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and has now grown to over 20 horses.
I am working on a system to video while I am on horseback, particularly at tolt. But I’m not there yet. I had a good ride on Sómi so I did not get any video of the ride itself but instead picked up the riders on their return after I had come back with a fast group and, well, the truth is, gone to the john. When I came back the riders were returning and Landi was already hooked up to the trailer.
I went back up to the end of the trail to see if I could get some footage of Andrea trying out Sómi. I particularly wanted to see what he looked like from the ground in his new halter/bridle on his first trail ride. It’s pretty neat!
Now, could this happen with another breed? Sure. But the Icelandic horse is one of the only pure breeds with an international registry and breeding standards. An international body, FEIF, has been set up just for this purpose. By sharing ideas and knowledge, people develop social contacts across borders.
Iceland itself, used to being isolated so long as an island in the North Atlandic, has not taken up the role of central coordinator or generator of information about the care and training of the Icelandic horse. This knowledge is networked throughout the Internet among the other countries, often by-passing Iceland. Interactive communication is not an Icelandic forte. Through the sharing of information and resources on the internet, personal relationships, even at a distance, are forming. This is a perfect and delightful example.
Thank you, Tine!
So, where is Rockerfeller State Park, anyway?
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