23-year old Icelandic horse trainer and student, formerly located in Northern Iceland, currently located in the Northeast US. More info in the links below...
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Sunday July 27th // Filed under: critterbear, this might be triggering idk, meditations on illness and loss,
Hi! I was wondering what you're opinion on twitches are? (Not sure if I spelled it right) The people who work at barn where I take lessons use twitches on horses that they want to be calm like during vet visits or while the horse is being clipped. Do you support them, hate them...? I just thought I would ask someone who I know to be knowledgeable about horse stuff. :3 asked by awkward-equestrian

I’ve literally never needed one on a horse I have trained, so my gut reaction to them is that a well-trained horse that has always been treated appropriately shouldn’t need such a device. That being said, many of us who work with horses often find ourselves handling other people’s badly trained and/or mistreated horses, often with no opportunity to retrain these animals. When you must handle a horse that has been taught to behave dangerously, to give it medical attention for example, your first objective must be to keep yourself safe. Period.
However, because I’ve never used twitches, I don’t fully understand how they work and I don’t know what kind of permanent damage could be done of they were used improperly, etc, so I can’t really comment further on that specific device. I will say that when I see people using things like stud chains on animals that they have owned for years and have had AMPLE time to retrain so that they wouldn’t need such strong aids, I lose some respect for that person’s horsemanship. If you work for a vet and have to handle all kinds of mishandled animals, that’s one thing, but if you can’t handle your own animals that’s another story entirely.
It’s funny to get this ask now, because I was talking earlier today with someone who owns an excellent stallion who has become popular as a stud here in the US. She was saying that she couldn’t believe it when they brought him to a facility to collect sperm for AI, and the people who worked their wouldn’t let him off the trailer without a chain under his lip. She said her horse had never seen a chain, didn’t need a chain (and its true, he travels all over for shows and breed demos and is ridden alongside mares with no issues) but that was their policy. It got me thinking about Iceland, and I realized that I never saw a stud chain the whole time I was there. I’m sure some people there must use them, but there wasn’t a single stud chain at the large breeding farm where I worked, which has many stallions that were in handled before they turned 4 and then came in for training. We had at least 10 stallions in the stable, with mares stabled there too, walking down the aisles back and forth past each other all day and no one needed a chain. At all the breeding competitions and stallion shows and sport competitions we went to, I never saw a stud chain. I never saw them in the tack shops, either. Stallions don’t inherently need chains, but Americans are so conditioned to think they do that a chain is required at an AI collection facility. I imagine its similar with things like twitches.. Did the horse that’s being twitched even get a chance to stand still and behave before he was twitched, or was he twitched preventatively? How can horses learn how to behave appropriately if we come at them directly with stud chains and twitches and never stop to show the horse what we want, and give the horse a chance to react appropriately? Training takes time, and I think a lot of people are looking for shortcuts.
Anyway, that was long winded. Basically I think you do what you have to do to keep yourself safe, but every effort should be made to train the horses you have access to so that they don’t need things like twitches to stop them from inadvertently hurting you.

Sunday July 27th //
Sunday July 27th // Filed under: summer at thor, glaeta, pictureofme, louise, sourcedtome,

~his hooves pound the beat, my heart sings the song~ #FM2013 #icelandichorse #thisislife #stressedbutwelldressed (at Stekkhóll - Hestamannafélag Hornfirðings)


~his hooves pound the beat, my heart sings the song~ #FM2013 #icelandichorse #thisislife #stressedbutwelldressed (at Stekkhóll - Hestamannafélag Hornfirðings)

Sunday July 27th // Filed under: icelandic horse, icelandic horses,
Off we go to the breed demo at the Katonah Museum of Art :)

Off we go to the breed demo at the Katonah Museum of Art :)

Sunday July 27th // Filed under: glaeta, pictureofme, icelandic horse, icelandic horses, sourcedtome, summer at thor,

fake tails are idiotic

Saturday July 26th //

Og thad var prófad meistarann í dag!! #icelandichorse #fun #summer #blackbeauty #panturfráási #pretty #iceland #happy #barabyrjunin


Og thad var prófad meistarann í dag!! #icelandichorse #fun #summer #blackbeauty #panturfráási #pretty #iceland #happy #barabyrjunin

Saturday July 26th // Filed under: icelandic horse, icelandic horses,

Timeline Photos - Katonah Museum of Art | Facebook

Hey New Yorkers, if you’re looking for something fun to do TOMORROW, come see me and a bunch of other awesome riders present our horses in two breed demos at the Katonah Museum of Art!  The Museum is currently exhibiting Icelandic artists, and tomorrow there will be a midsummer festival with fun Icelandic-themed activities for everyone!  We will be riding at Noon, and again at 2 PM, with some fantastic horses including the great stallion Stígandi frá Leysingjastöðum and great mares like my Glæta!  After the demo, visitors will be invited to meet the horses and say hello :)

Here’s what the museum’s Facebook page has to say about tomorrow’s activities:

Midsummer Day @the KMA! This Sunday 12—8 PM. Magical Icelandic horses, fantasy storytelling, and gourmet ice cream [and yummy Icelandic yoghurt] A full-day program that riffs off the current exhibition “ICELAND: Artists Respond to Place”, there’s art, culture, nature, gourmet cuisine and drink for all ages. 
12—2:30 Icelandic Horse Demonstrations
Venerated in medieval Norse mythology for good reason, Icelandic horses are unique on the planet for their two additional gaits in addition to the usual walk, trot and canter: The tölt is an extremely smooth four-beat gait, and the flying pace is a fast two-beat lateral racing gait, which enables Icelandic horses to move up to 30 miles per hour. What’s more: these special horses are spectacularly handsome, full-maned and super friendly. 
12:30—4 PM Icelandscapes: Terrarium Workshops with Wave Hill’s Laurel Rimmer
Of the 470 species of native plants in Iceland, half are thought to be glacial survivors from the Ice Age. Large areas of bare rock, sandy wastelands, and lava fields define the subarctic landscape. Join a terrarium specialist from Wave Hill, New York City’s famed public garden, to create your own Icelandic-themed glass terrarium (adults) or make an open dish garden (children).12:30 - 1:30 Terrarium Workshop for age 14 and up, $35.00 member, $45 non-member, includes all materials. Advance registration recommended to guarantee supplies. 3:00 - 4:00 Dish Garden Workshop for families, $12.00 member, $18 non-member, includes all materials. 
Icelandic Lopi Wool - Join your KMA friends to make wild and wooly creations-watch a needle felting demonstration and make your own mini-sheep using real Icelandic roving.1:00 Icelandic Lopi wool demo - all ages1:30 - 3:00 Felting hands-on sheep project - Drop-in workshop for all ages. Free with Museum admission.
Banjo-Playing Storyteller Bill Gordh 1:00 and 3:00 pm - with words and music, professional storyteller Bill Gordh brings to life some of the Icelandic sagas that were such a source of inspiration to classic authors like J.R.R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame.
2:30 Curator’s Tour of ICELAND: Artists Respond to Place (Free with Museum Admission)
6:00 - 8:00 pm Evening of Music, Icelandic Treats and Beer Garden DelightsTaste smoked fish, Icelandic yogurt, and Brennivin aquavit. Enjoy slides and pulled pork from the grill in the sculpture garden, and complimentary beer, wine, as you listen to the rootsy sounds of singer-songwriter Milton whose heroes include Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Hank Williams and Bob Marley

Here are links to the museum’s website, for more info on the Icelandic art exhibits and tomorrow’s festivities :)


Saturday July 26th //