Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Greater Love

Icelandic Horses are full of love and loyalty. Love them back and ride them as naturally as possible, without severe equipment. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clicker Training Saela

This mare, Saela, is being clicker trained.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adopt A Soldier

The Icelandic Horse Connection is supporting the Adopt A Soldier program. Many soldiers (an all "volunteer" service) do not have family or friends that correspond with them, or send them gifts or needed items.

Help to make a soldier more comfortable; contact:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Behind the Bit

Icelandic Horses should never be behind the bit. If they are, it means something is wrong. Either the tack does not fit properly, or the rider is uneducated, or the rider's hands are too heavy.

The Icelandic Horse does not have the conformation, with the thick throat latch and the type of neck structure, to be on the vertical or behind the vertical. It can be very painful and uncomfortable for them.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Relaxation, Loose Rein with Icelandic Horse

Nice job with the training of this Icelandic Horse, Vinur; loose rein, the horse has some nice head nod, he looks relaxed, use of his body is not restricted by the rider or the tack. I believe he's in a halter / bitless.

Another loose-rein riding gait with an Icelandic Horse here:

Loose Rein Riding Icelandic Horse

Friday, December 5, 2008

Versatility Test of Icelandic Pleasure Horses

Here is a nice video showing testing of Icelandic Pleasure Horses in Denmark, which includes jumping, endurance, dressage, and gaits.

It's obvious that some of the icelandic saddles put the riders in positions that aren't so good, and there is some contact that is heavier than should be.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gag Bit

We're starting to see gag bits used on Icelandic Horses. The mechanics of this bit are not very nice to the horse (or the horse's mouth). This bit is usually used in place of training or good / natural horsemanship, and can be used to force gait. A good, knowledgeable trainer won't use one.

They are also known as: gag bits, wonder bits, Dutch or Continental bits, and Pessoas.

From Wikipedia:

The gag bit works on the horse's lips and poll simultaneously. The pressure on the lips tends to make the horse raise its head, which is useful for a horse that tends to overextend.

Gag bits are used mainly for horses that are strong pullers or for horses that need retraining... mainly for increased control at times when a horse may try to run off with the rider.

They are not permitted at any level of dressage, since dressage riders are trying to get the horse come down onto the bit, and want to encourage the horse to accept contact. Additionally, the horse is supposed to be completely submissive in dressage, and a gag bit gives the impression that it is not. Gags are also never seen in the hunter arena, again because they wish to portray that the horse is an easy ride, and because they want a long, relaxed frame with the neck stretched out, rather than a high neck.

You will also see that the Icelandic Horse was shown to Al Roker in a television interview with it's mouth strapped shut and a gag bit:

Icelandic Horse Interview, Al Roker

For more information about the gag / wonder bit, click onto this link at the Icelandic Horse Connection

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Gait / Icelandic Horse

What gait is the Icelandic Horse doing in the above image?

My guess is:

It's a "they-are-trying-to-make-me-gait-with-everything-possible-(and-painful)-but-i'm-not-gaited" gait.

Or the "why-does-it-have-to-hurt-to-try-to-get-gait" gait.

Or "i'm-a-trotting-horse,-you-moron!" gait.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Icelandic Horse Holiday Attire

If you'd like to dress up your Icelandic Horse for the holidays, it looks like it would be easy to make a costume like this one, shown by Alice and her horse, Gunni.

The bridle has some colorful red material, edged with white trim and some bangles (maybe buttons, jewels, or bells). This could be sewn, but also can be glued, which makes it a simple project.

The holiday hat, especially fitted for a horse, is very cute! The horse also wears a red blanket under the saddle which makes him look very holiday-ish!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Icelandic Horse Book

Back by popular demand

MORE JOY WITH ICELANDICS by Christine Schwartz

A training guide by Christine Schwartz and Rikke Schultz, DVM- republished Nov 2008

Many pictures and detailed how-to descriptions 125 pages dedicated to educate the Icelandic horse owner- subjects include Educating your horse, Riding Icelandics, Problem Corner, Vet Corner with Rikke Schultz.

This book was originally published in 1998 and the first 1000 copies sold out 4 years ago. It just went into it's 2nd printing and is available again due to popular demand.

SPECIAL OFFER First 20 orders pay NO POSTAGE

$22.00 per copy plus s/h $8.95

Order through icefarm store or via paypal

Or mail check to:

Christine Schwartz
5435 Rochdell Rd
Vernon BC V1B 3E8

Chapters include:

[] Educating your horse
[] Welcome to More Joy With Icelandics
[] Icelandics are different
[] The reality of easy family horses
[] Reading horses
[] Herd behaviour
[] Tying and retaining safely
[] Picking up baby's feet
[] The first bath
[] Ponying
[] Installing brakes
[] Finding the right trainer


[] The right frame for tolting
[] Collection for the tolt
[] Soft, subtle and alert
[] The promise rope and balance rein
[] Back up
[] A Playground for higher learning
[] The oval track
[] Riding bareback
[] Icelandic cowboys
[] Jumping
[] Swimming with horses
[] Alternatives to showing
[] Helpful hints

Problem corner

[] Going out alone
[] Tripping
[] Running away
[] Shod the tolt right out of the horse
[] Taking the "yuck" out of deworming
[] Trailering safely and stress free
[] Getting lazy bones going

Vet Corner with Rikke Schultz

[] Meet Doctor Rikke
[] Icelandics are different
[] Health problems in Icelandics
[] Vet call
[] Worm patrol
[] Vaccinations are important prevention
[] Do look that horse in the mouth
[] Minerals
[] Sheath cleaning
[] Giving injections without the "ouch"
[] A question of maturity
[] Gelding
[] Red stains in the snow
[] Oh boy, she's pregnant
[] Weaning foals without trauma
[] Summer eczema
[] Spavin
[] Stag or scirrhous cord problems
[] Back problems in Icelandics
[] Strangles
[] Founder
[] Homeopathics

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Icelandic Horse Foal and Dam

When an Icelandic Horse (or any horse for that matter) foal is born, his legs (the distal limb) are almost as long as his mother's legs! At six months of age, his cannon will be about as long as it ever will be. From this point on, his body grows which gives him his height.

Click onto the image below to see larger versions of the photo.

The Icelandic horse
Originally uploaded by Fjola Dogg

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Icelandic Horse Lift and Animation

Here's an image with several pictures of Icelandic Horse legs showing lift and animation.

The center picture shows sections of the leg with numbers so that we can use these for reference (click onto the image to see a larger version).

Look at section #1. It is about horizontal, 90 degrees, right?

How high are the section #1's in the other pictures?

Is this normal? Is this type of lift and animation made from mechanical means (weights, concussive practices, etc.)?

Is this functional? What affect does it have on the gait of tolt? Does it make the gait smoother or bumpier?

We have heard that according to FEIF, competitions call for high, but "not hackney-like" action in the tolt.

This looks like they have met the Hackney animation, and gone well past it!!

Beautiful Icelandic Cross Filly

Beautiful Icelandic cross Filly, very sweet and first one at the gate to great everyone. More information at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What Gait / Fjola

What gait is this Icelandic Horse, Fjola, doing?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welfare of the Icelandic Horse

Where do you stand on the issue of the welfare of the Icelandic Horse?

Do you support the use of weights, forced frames, bad use and placement of equipment, manipulated gaits?

Do you buy from, take clinics from, verbally or financially support, those individuals and / or organizations who use or allow the above practices?

A few quotes from Albert Einstein:

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Is this a "natural" horse?

If so, why is it tied up and bound so tightly with leather straps when ridden, with metal on it's feet, back, and mouth, and forced into pretzel frames?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CIRP Saddle Technology

New saddle technology allows saddle to conform to horse's back, per Ron Friedson:

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Nosebands!

Tandri, an Icelandic Horse stallion, being trained with no noseband! He is learning to use the bit as a tool of communication and not one that controls him through pain.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yvonne's First Horse

Yvonne's very first horse, in 1963, was an Icelandic Horse, in Germany. His name was Serkur.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diddi Rides Icelandic Horse


"The Association of Trainers contributed to the show a very entertaining and informative event which was a demonstration implemented by Master Sigurbjörn Bárðarson ...."Sigurbjorn supported his show with a little tale where he explained how important it is that we, the Icelandic horse people, do not forget the roots of Icelandic horse riding and do not get lost in our thirst for innovation. Finally at the end of his presentation, Sigurbjorn said that we should not learn from foreigners how to ride the Icelandic horse. They should learn from us. His show was extremely well received by the spectators." -- Eidfaxi.Full story in Icelandic: story in Icelanglish:

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Icelandic Horse Mare

These are a couple of pictures taken on a ride
with my Icelandic Horse mare.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Clipping Your Icelandic Horse

Sometimes when you start out clipping your Icelandic Horse, it seems to be harder than you thought!

Does the pony look more like a patchwork quilt?

Never fear! We have more information for you about how to do a good job in clipping for the seasons.

It's important to start with a clean horse, and the right equipment.

You can find more information about what you need and how to clip your Icelandic Horse:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

TTouch / TTeam

Upcoming Clinics:

November in Texas and California. Click onto the flier above for more info, or go to the Ttouch website.

Open to all levels of skill and experience; each participant is treated with respect, support and encouragement

[] Develop a new level of trust between you and your horse

[] Improve your horse’s athletic ability with the Playground for Higher Learning

[] Learn the fun of bridless riding — whether in the saddle or simply in admiration

[] Participants work and share together, assessing progress each day

[] TTouches for stress reduction and well-being for you and your horse

[] Learn the “Joy of Riding” through awareness and simple techniques

[] Discover how to communicate with your hands and your heart

[] Learn the scientific evidence of why the “Mystery of TTouch” is so effective

Monday, September 29, 2008

Horses As You've Never Seen Them

Watch this slideshow narrated by photographer Tim Flach showing photos from his book Equus which will be published on October 1.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Four-year-old Icelandic Horse

Another picture of Charm, Icelandic Horse. She's mowing the lawn, but has her sights on the banana tree and is anxious for me to leave so that she can sneak over there and eat the leaves!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Charm, Icelandic Horse

Charm, an Icelandic horse, is four-years old and is very people friendly. She likes to do her tricks, go for walks, and especially likes to eat the leaves on the banana trees!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Parelli Seven Games

If you would like to learn the Parelli Seven Games to use with your Icelandic Horse, you can find them here:

Combined with clicker training, you can get a great partnership with your Icelandic Horse, and have a smooth, supple, horse, with two-way communication between you both.

More info on the PNH 7 Games:

Parelli Horse Training Technique: The Friendly Game
This form of natural horsemanship centers around one simple premise: the horse wants to remain comfortable at all times.
View more »

Parelli Horse Training Technique: The Porcupine Game
Second of the seven exercises, the porcupine game teaches the horse to move away from pressure, while also preparing him to respond to leg and rein aids later on down the road.
View more »

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Clicker Training Icelandic Horses

Most Icelandic Horses love clicker training and enjoy learning:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Icelandic Horse Slide Show

Here are some pictures from the past several months:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Icelandic Horses in the Fog

It was foggy this morning. Here are a few Icelandic Horses (and a pony) in the fog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Icelandic Horse Bedtime Story

A bedtime story by Janice McDonald:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Berry Picking Icelandic Horses

End of berry picking season at Sheep Mountain in Alaska, with Misty and her Icelandic Horses:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Viking Kids; and Gaits

This is a cute video of kids doing a Viking re-enactment.

We can also use this as an educational tool to look at gaits. From about the 1:00 minute mark to about the 4:00 minute mark, there are video clips where you can see the horses moving. What gaits?


We are changing the Icelandic Horse world!

We are making things better for the Icelandic Horse!

Change the World - Eric Clapton

The lyrics:

Change The World
by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kenney and Wayne Kirkpatrick

If I can reach the stars,
Pull one down for you,
Shine it on my heart
So you could see the truth:

That this love I have inside
Is everything it seems.
But for now I find
It's only in my dreams.

And I can change the world,
I will be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby if I could change the world.

And if I could be king,
Even for a day,
I'd take you as my queen;
I'd have it no other way.

And our love would rule
This kingdom we had made.
Till then I'd be a fool,
Wishing for the day...

That I can change the world,
I would be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby if I could change the world.
Baby if I could change the world.

I could change the world,
I would be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby if I could change the world.
Baby if I could change the world.
Baby if I could change the world.

River Ride

Photos from today's river ride; pictures taken by Billy:

Cookie, Icelandic Horse mare, riding with a sheepskin and rope sidepull:

Icelandic Horse Connection

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jennifer and Trilla

Jennifer's Icelandic Horse mare, Trilla:

Icelandic Horse Connection