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.