Saturday, August 30, 2008

Teaching My Icelandic Horse to Talk

We've been working on getting my Icelandic Horse mare, Cookie, to "talk to me", by making a waffling / nickering noise through her nostrils, when she gets the American Sign Language sign "talk" as her cue.

She is not consistent yet, and offers her most favorite behavior that is on cue, which is "yawn" (using the ASL sign for "Y"), and she also paws, which is one of those behaviors that was not taught to her, she just does it (and we don't like it!). But she's getting better at "talking"; we'll keep practicing. :-)

(You may have to listen closely to hear her, or turn up the volume.)

Riding Cookie

We had to cancel our ride this afternoon due to potential thunderstorms, so I just rode Cookie, my Icelandic Horse mare, around the property, and asked my husband to grab a few pictures.

We went to visit the dog next door, Chewy. She's a friendly dog, but sort of scared. She'll come over, and then shake or cower. In any case, she's very cute!

We generally ride bareback and bitless (rope halter).

Had to check out the bananas growing on the banana tree. You can see the sky is relatively clear.

Then the sky darkened with clouds starting to come in from the east (maybe the Arizona monsoons!).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Right From The Start

Starting young horses:

"When you see a horse under saddle that looks light, elegant, and graceful—as though he’s having the best time of his life—that horse is moving in “true balance.” Right from the Start introduces trainers and riders to the fundamentals of training a horse to perform with these desirable qualities. Author Michael Schaffer offers clear instruction on his unique methods of starting young horses as well as re–schooling those that lack a good training foundation. Using techniques both on the ground and under saddle, Schaffer reveals the key to success—teaching the horse to soften and move into the rider’s hand. Right from the Start offers training principles that produce happy, well–trained horses, enabling riders to succeed in any area of the sport they choose—dressage, jumping, reining, trail, or just riding for fun. Michael Schaffer has trained horses professionally for more than 25 years; he works out of New Start Farm in central New Jersey."

More books at Icelandic Horse Connection Books.

New Ride With Your Mind

The New Ride With Your Mind Clinic, a book by Mary Wanless:

The exercises in this book are easily combined with clicker training.

Based on an understanding of the biomechanical demands of riding, the strategies in this book will teach riders how to connect with their horse in a way that makes sense to both and ultimately leads to better riding. It features real riders and horses throughout and takes riders through the mechanics of riding in a logical, step-by-step method that identifies common challenges so that riders may identify their own problems and learn to get the methods right. Case studies will help readers relate their own problems with those included in the book, and instruction on achieving a firm seat and proper posture will result in an immediate improvement of performance of horse and rider.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Icelandic Horse Herd

Icelandic Horses moving in a herd:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Connected Riding Halter

A Connected Riding halter on an Icelandic Horse:

Icelandic Horse Named April

How cute... an Icelandic Horse in Iceland named April:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nattfari, the Tea Table

Many Icelandic Horses have wide backs, wide enough to be used as a table :-)

Photo by Yvonne Lemis of OZ:

Icelandic Pony

Icelandic Pony
Originally uploaded by

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

No Noseband!

No noseband on this Icelandic Horse! Isn't that GREAT!