Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bareback Bridleless Night Icelandic Horse Riding

Bareback, bridleless night riding on an Icelandic Horse, in Norway.

From the owner:

This film was shot on a long ride in the darkening Norwegian forest. The moon was full and clear. Happy and safe on the back of my dear Icelandic horse, no bridle, no saddle - just a free, wild run to the top and a slow walk home. This is life, this is love!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Icelandic Horse

Icelandic Horse
Originally uploaded by ProjectDominion
This is an interesting looking Icelandic Horse; coloring and the shape of his head and ears.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Helgi, Icelandic Horse Driving

Helgi, an Icelandic Horse gelding, is re-learning to be driven in a cart; by IceHorse Farm (see their videos and website).

Friday, October 16, 2009

What Gait / Ruby / Icelandic Horse

Ruby, Icelandic Horse mare, ridden bareback, bitless, loose rein; what gait is she doing?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nosebands Coming Off!

These nordic gymnastic students went to practice in Iceland and had a try at riding the Icelandic Horses. If this video is representative of coming trends in Iceland, nosebands are starting to come off the Icelandic Horses, which is a good thing.

We still see some of the extended bar saddles (the bar digs into the loins), but disposing of the nosebands is a great start in consideration of the horse!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bridles Without Bits

Are bridles without bits for you? for your horse?

New information and studies will help you decide; articles by

A New Breed of Bridle (Bitless)

Bitless Bridles Touted as Safer Alternative for Horses

Jessica Jahiel: "Beginner riders often use the reins for balance..." observes Jahiel. "All of this is painful for the horses because by jerking, pulling, and water-skiing on the reins, the riders are putting strong and erratic pressure on the bit."

"Horses in bitless bridles don't have to hesitate for that initial moment of evaluation, 'Is this going to hurt me?' " she says. Quicker response times can be had without a bit.

If a *horseman* is riding a horse, more than likely, he has little use for the reins, communicating with the horse through his body and natural aids. Cook believes that a supposedly simple snaffle in the uneducated hands can be an instrument of torture for the horse.

I ride my Icelandic Horse bitless, and throughout the world, there is a growing number of other Icelandic Horse owners following suit, turning away from the icelandic-style riding and training, in lieu of the more natural ways, which are considerate of the horse.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Icelandic Horses in Portugal

This is a demo of Icelandic Horses in Portugal, using natural horsemanship, operant conditioning (clicker training), and riding without heavy contact on the reins. (There is some fighting of the bit, which may need to be changed out for a bit with a different mouth piece).

Icelandic Horse Castration

Here are several Icelandic Horses being castrated.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Icelandic Horse Self Carriage

From a trainer on a gaitedhorse list:

"A horse must self-balance and have release when he's moving correctly so that he may do so. First I want them to achieve balance and learn to freely move in response to my cues "asking" for particular movement.

Like the toddler that must learn to walk before he can run, jump and skip; the horse must first learn to self carry his gaits with a rider on board, in balance and *without rider support* or framing. If you "have" to hold a horse up in the front to achieve a correct walk then he is dependent on you and not self-carrying."

An Icelandic Horse should be trained bitless, and then move into a small curb with an unjointed mouthpiece or a mullen-mouth snaffle.

I believe that the jointed snaffles are torturous to Icelandics if they are ridden icelandic-style, and of course the shanked jointed-mouth bit (i.e. icelandic bit) compound the problems for them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Misty in Alaska / Sutton Summer Fest

From Misty and her Icelandic Horses in Alaska:

It has been hot all week and today is like a sauna.

Here's hoping for a thunderstorm.

Duke & I spent all day Friday and Saturday giving pony rides at the Sutton Summer Fest. Today I took everybody down to the neighbor's to help with fire prevention. Here are a couple of pictures of my Removal Squad.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Riding Icelandic Horses Bitless

Here's another progressive Icelandic Horse owner who rides bitless with her Icelandic Horses.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Icelandic Horse Riding in Neck Rope

This Icelandic Horse is being ridden in a neck rope.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Natural Head and Neck Carriage

These videos show the natural carriage of the head and neck of the Icelandic Horses (versus the forced frame carriage).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yank a Little More

Yank a little more on the mouth of that Icelandic Horse (Pony).

Is that the only way they gait?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Riding Icelandic Horse in Neck Rope Bareback

Riding an Icelandic Horse mare in bareback pad and neck rope.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Christ Lammfelle Bareback Riding Pad

The Christ Lammfelle Bareback Riding Pad sets new standards in terms of riding feel and riding therapy. Tests carried out by independent expert riders and riding therapists have confirmed the positive qualities and the effect of this pad on the rider and the horse.

The bareback riding pad allows a you to ride with the close bareback feel but comfort of this beautiful pad. The bareback pad will help you to form a closeness to your horse encourage a strong bond and unique partnership.

An innovation engineered by CHRIST of Germany.

The pad in the picture is the "premium" model, with the knee rolls. There is a model without the knee rolls, and also a western model with a pommel and cantle.

Christ Lammfelle Bareback Riding Pad

Friday, April 10, 2009

Icelandic Horse Saddle and Tack Fit

This video allows us to view the fit of saddles and tack on the Icelandic Horses in Iceland. Take some time to view the video, pause it, check the saddles, how the horses react to the bits, etc.

Saddles should not end past the last rib. Extended panels that end past the last rib are not a good thing, as they can dig into the loins. Also the lowest point of the saddle should be in the center of the saddle, not to the rear of the saddle. If the rider sits towards the rear of the saddle, it can dig into the horse, and the rider is not aligned with the horse's center of mass making it more difficult for him to easily carry a rider.

Look at bit fit, and noseband fit and tightness. A well-trained horse does not need a noseband, and a horse who has a bit that fits, and accepts the bit, will not need a noseband.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Training Horses at Liberty

This gal is using methods taught by Carolyn Resnick. Please read the story about this Icelandic Horse and his owner at:

Carolyn Resnick Blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Icelandic Horse Teeth Floating

Icelandic Horses, like any other horses, need to have their teeth floated. This veterinary dentist is using a special piece of equipment that keeps the horse's mouth open for the work to be done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Icelandic Horse Groundwork, Bareback, Bitless

Here's a young gal doing groundwork and bareback / bridleless riding with her Icelandic Horse:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

River Ride

Here are some pictures from our river ride today, along with my Icelandic Horse mare, and my friend's two Rocky Mountain Horses.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Riding with Mind Connection

There are many ways to ride a horse. With Icelandic Horses, we see a lot of riding by way of equipment. How did such unnatural methods come to be mainstream with such a natural horse?

Let's see if we can get our Icelandic Horses back to natural riding such as shown in this video.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ground Driving Charm, Icelandic Horse

Charm went out on the road, ground driving; lots of challenges such as the cars driving by, tempting green grass, dogs charging the fence, pasture mates calling when she left, driving one handed with the camera in the other hand, pastures mates running when she came back. She was calm, and only did a slightly faster walk on the way home.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Raising the Level of Horsemanship with Icelandic Horses

We are raising the level of horsemanship with Icelandic Horses by aspiring to ride "in concert" with the horse, as seen in the video above with horses of other breeds.

Young riders develop great riding skills and have super communication with their bridleless horses. Producing horses who love two-way communication, who enjoy willingly responding to light requests is rewarding!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fun Natural Horsemanship with Icelandic Horse

This young gal is having some fun doing natural horsemanship with her Icelandic Horse.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Making a Smarter Horse

Many years ago, we started clicker training with our horses, along with natural horsemanship, and started teaching our horses how to learn. Once the horse knows how to learn, he's a much smarter horse!

A good horseman is able to put his horse's feet exactly where he wants them. It's a good thing if the horse knows how to respond to a request of where to put his feet by thinking about it, not just by rote. You end up being able to do a lot more with a thinking horse! And he doesn't need to be micro-managed!

Toss out the bits, the nosebands, the contact on the reins. A well-trained, thinking horse doesn't need them. Neither does the rider.

Little by little, over the years, our following has grown, and we are getting more Icelandic Horse owners who want thinking Icelandic Horses.

In Germany, clicker training and natural horsemanship is growing with Icelandic Horses:

In the UK, they have had Circus Trick courses:

We are so proud to have been able to bring this to the Icelandic Horse breed, and made such a positive impact.

We all are lovin' it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Straight and Crooked Legs

Here are two sets of front legs of Icelandic Horses. The flight of one is straight, the flight
of the other is crooked.

How do straight or crooked front legs impact the horse and his movement?

Click onto the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Icelandic Horse Bridleless Riding

Riding Taktur, Icelandic Horse, bridleless.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Differences in Icelandic Horse Frame and Reaction to Bit Contact

Here are two videos of an Icelandic Horse show. The first is regular classes, the second is of loose-rein tolt. Notice the differences in how the horse carries himself, and how he reacts to the bit, in each video.

In the first video, notice the horses tossing the head, shaking it, pumping it up and down, trying to open the mouth, holding the head at odd angles, going way above the bit, or way behind the bit.

If the Icelandic Horse is able to tolt without the heavy contact, why would riders want to go back to having the horse fight the bit?

Who is teaching people to ride like this? and who is allowing this type of negative impact on the Icelandic Horse?

In the second video, the horses are in more relaxed frames, able to carry their heads where they need them, and there is no fighting the bit.