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The informal blog of a 23-year-old icelandic horse enthusiast with 15 years of equestrian education under her belt. I worked as a professional horse trainer in Iceland for nearly three years, but I'm back in the US now. I'm a university student riding and competing whenever possible, trying to find balance in my insanely busy life.
On this blog, I post pictures of my horses, share my experiences and thoughts on horse training and horsemanship, and reblog pictures that interest me.
I'm very happy to answer any and all questions you might have, particularly relating to Icelandic horses.
Below, you can find links to different pages on this blog. Enjoy!
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Littermate Syndrome: The risky downside to raising sibling puppies

This was an interesting read for me - In my family, we always adopt older dogs, so this isn’t something I’ve dealt with personally, but everyone I know who has dogs that were litter mates has had some sort of issue with the dogs.  One of our dogs, Tom, was actually attacked and very nearly killed by two off-leash german shepherds (my dog was on leash, my dad was walking him, and the dogs came out of nowhere and attacked).  The dogs weren’t quite a year old I don’t think, were siblings from the same litter, and had attacked other dogs as well.  Worst of all, their owner was a “trainer.”  Pretty interesting to read about how common these issues are for people who aren’t prepared to deal with the extra work that comes with adopting littermates. 

Thursday April 17th //
shisha-kebab:

Caption this!
From My Virtual Eventing Coach - Facebook

shisha-kebab:

Caption this!
From My Virtual Eventing Coach - Facebook

(via wtfhorsepics)

Thursday April 17th //
ladyamalthia:

heels-down-heart-up:

Tell me again how riding isn’t a real sport, doesn’t require guts, determination, effort, perseverance, dedication…

is that jennifer lawrence

ladyamalthia:

heels-down-heart-up:

Tell me again how riding isn’t a real sport, doesn’t require guts, determination, effort, perseverance, dedication…

is that jennifer lawrence

Wednesday April 16th //
dottygale:

Vendelin vom Vindstadir
icelandic horse!

dottygale:

Vendelin vom Vindstadir

icelandic horse!

Wednesday April 16th // Filed under: icelandic horse, icelandic horses, buckskin,
train-to-win:

daretodreamabouthorses:

horseriderjourney:

No rider…flyed away!

"I got wings bitches-see ya!"

“Red Bull  Oats gives me wings!”

train-to-win:

daretodreamabouthorses:

horseriderjourney:

No rider…flyed away!

"I got wings bitches-see ya!"

Red Bull  Oats gives me wings!”

(via elyssaeq)

Wednesday April 16th //
A better version of this picture, source here :)  This is a perfect example of how a photo only shows a moment in time, which is why it’s so important not to judge a horse or rider based off of one photograph.
The horse is Vafi frá Ystamoi, and he’s competing on ice in this photo.

A better version of this picture, source here :)  This is a perfect example of how a photo only shows a moment in time, which is why it’s so important not to judge a horse or rider based off of one photograph.

The horse is Vafi frá Ystamoi, and he’s competing on ice in this photo.

Wednesday April 16th // Filed under: icelandic horse, icelandic horses, tolt, tölt, ice tolt, tce tölt, ístölt, discussions, icelandic horse discussions,

Halfway to 50:)

Happy birthday!!!!!!

(Source: mazthespaz)

Wednesday April 16th //

thedailylifeofanequestrian:

"My aunt used to have a horse!"

"I rode a horse one time at camp"

"I think my brother’s girlfriend rides horses"

image

(via rainflaaash)

Wednesday April 16th // Filed under: literally though,

shisha-kebab:

showoffsmom:

How the cavalry learned independence of the seat… I wish we saw more of this type of thing nowadays, it looks like a lot of fun!

Impressive

This looks like the most fun

(via rainflaaash)

Wednesday April 16th //
Seeing as you are an instructor, I thought I'd ask this. I am rather large chested and because of this (along with some anxiety I guess), I tend to curl forward over my horse and round my back. I'm always told to 'put my shoulders back' and that tends to help, but it also creates a lot of concavity in my lower back. Is there any way to help me sit in better position? asked by Anonymous

barefootdressage:

I know how you feel, I went through the exact same thing. I’ve got massive breasts, and they tend to draw you forward constantly.

Firstly, if you don’t have one already I’d recommend you invest in a supportive bra that fits you well, at least for your riding. That alone should increase your confidence, so maybe you can start riding around a little more ‘tits up’.

So the muscles that are tightening in your chest are called the pectoralis minor muscles. They look like this:image

When you hunch over and pull your shoulders forward all the time these muscles become too tight. And if you’re like me and let it go on too long this can eventually cause back/shoulder pain that will have a massage therapist shaking her head at you over.

You can do your own trigger point massage to help loosen up your pecs, which helps some. The place I focus on are under the clavical where the pec meets your shoulder muscle, there’s an indentation there with no muscle. Use your opposite hand to vigorously massage that hollow. The other one I do is lift my arm to shoulder height, palm down, and with the other hand I grab the edge of the pec (it’s the front of your armpit, it’ll probably feel tendon-y when your arm is raised), and massage it forward.

Then lay down on your stomach with your head turned to the side, and slowly lift the arm that you’re facing straight up away from the floor a few times, then have someone hold it or prop it up for a few seconds and relax and breathe into the stretch. Then do it again with the same arm but with your head turned away.

Now stand up with your back and heels directly against a wall and slowly stretch out both arms up and then roll them down against the wall in a jumping jack/breast stroke motion. Feel how the shoulder blades draw your arms down and how your chest opens up. Don’t over do it, but this roll of the shoulders down feeling will come in handy later.

Once you’ve done all that your shoulders should be feeling really loose and heavy, and your chest should feel more open than you’re used to.

Okay now for what you’re experiencing. Anyone used to being in and around barns may notice that at my barn there is a notable absence of two phrases that you hear religiously from other instructors. The first is ‘Keep your heels down.” And the second is, “Push your shoulders back.”

My reasons are because almost without fail, “Shoulders back” creates that overarching in the spine that you describe. This is especially a problem with people who were born female, because our spines tend to have more curvature that way naturally.

When you overarch, your seatbones become displaced backwards and you tend to sit in a forked position. You want to be sitting on your seat bones and sort of suspended between your coccyx and pubic arch, so you have leeway to move back and forth with the motion of the horse. But the position that ‘shoulders back’ give you puts you too much forward onto your crotch, disengaging your seatbones and essentially taking the entire seat aid out of this picture.

I don’t feel that you can be a very effective rider if you ride without the seat. 

So instead of shoulders back, try this sequence when you first get on and redo it periodically throughout your ride:

At the halt use the pommel to pull your seat towards the front of the saddle, then (or at the same time) bring your thighs away from the horses side and slide your knees back, you can do this one leg at a time if it’s easier. Relax your thighs down around the saddle and allow your ankle to relax so that your heel hangs in the stirrup. The stirrup keeps the toe up, I feel like this goes right over peoples heads when they say ‘put the heels down’. You don’t have to push the heels down, you just have to relax the ankle and let gravity do the rest of the work.

Now feel for the lowest rib in your ribcage. I want you to drop this towards the front of your pelvis - you will be slouching, it’s fine you’re supposed to at this point. This part is important because it fills up the arch of your lower back and takes the strain off those muscles. Suddenly ‘keep your back straight’ starts making more sense!

Now remember that shoulder roll against the wall you did earlier? Do that one again, and allow your heavy shoulders to go with gravity and drop, your elbows are anchors that draw them down.

Now pretend that there is a string tied to the top of your head and someone is pulling it straight up to the sky. Allow yourself to grow tall but leave the heavy shoulders behind.

How does that feel?  If it’s done right you should notice a release of tension in your back muscles and your core will be engaged.  Once you get used to this sequence of events they only take about a second to perform.  You may find that when you’re properly aligned it feels as if you’re leaning backwards.  If this is the case you’ll have to create new muscle memory by using that feeling as your baseline.  If you have a friend or instructor tell you when it looks good it’ll go a long way towards helping develop your position.

As a final note, if the saddle doesn’t fit you or the horse you’re riding you’ll be struggling regardless of how much you adjust your position, so saddle fit is a really important aspect to consider.

I don’t have boobs but this is super good info for people who do so I’m reblogging it anyway!!

Tuesday April 15th // Filed under: size talk,
iiiarclight:

give em the ol razzle dazzle

iiiarclight:

give em the ol razzle dazzle

(Source: babygirleady, via jumpsandbumps)

Tuesday April 15th // Filed under: spanish walk,
silvernyans:

chapmangamo:

HOW TO SOUND LIKE A HORSE
Not to blow my own trumpet, but I can do a pretty good horse impression.And none of these sounds even come close.
Especially not vrinsk. Anything is better than vrinsk.

I-ha-ha is Slovenian.
This animal sounds are so weird in English language. Like, have you EVER heard a cock who soulds like “cockadoodledoo”? We were learning this in school in 4th class of primary school and everyone was dying of laughter :D

oh my god my favorite thing when i travel is to ask people what animals say where they come from.  I remember in Iceland, having coffee with my boss’ daughter and my austrian roommate, and they were DYING of laughter when i told them that here, frogs say “ribbit.”
But in german, roosters say “kikariki” and that’s the most inaccurate thing I’ve ever heard!!  

silvernyans:

chapmangamo:

HOW TO SOUND LIKE A HORSE

Not to blow my own trumpet, but I can do a pretty good horse impression.
And none of these sounds even come close.

Especially not vrinsk.
Anything is better than vrinsk.

I-ha-ha is Slovenian.

This animal sounds are so weird in English language. Like, have you EVER heard a cock who soulds like “cockadoodledoo”? We were learning this in school in 4th class of primary school and everyone was dying of laughter :D

oh my god my favorite thing when i travel is to ask people what animals say where they come from.  I remember in Iceland, having coffee with my boss’ daughter and my austrian roommate, and they were DYING of laughter when i told them that here, frogs say “ribbit.”

But in german, roosters say “kikariki” and that’s the most inaccurate thing I’ve ever heard!!  

Tuesday April 15th // Filed under: discussions,
grand-prix-dreams:

dressagestrong:

amen

Just reblogging because I find this to be very educational - I admit I’m a visual learner.

grand-prix-dreams:

dressagestrong:

amen

Just reblogging because I find this to be very educational - I admit I’m a visual learner.

(Source: greaterbeastxellas, via kembla)

Tuesday April 15th // Filed under: dressage, discussions,