I have two ridden Icelandic horses.
I like to school them a couple of times a week.
They are both very different.
Klængur is from Iceland.
I have had him for two years and he is working well, trying his hardest to get things right. He learned travers (haunches-in or tête au mur) in a lesson with Hamish Cameron the other day. We practice our lateral work and he concentrates, listens and does his very best. Today I was very proud of Klængur as he had remembered everything from the lesson. We are developing a good relationship and I enjoy riding him hugely.
Then there is Haakon. He is 21 years old and I have had him since he was 3 years old. We know each other very well. I originally backed and trained him. He has really only known me as his rider, though he will tolerate others.
Today I thought I would teach him travers as I had successfully achieved it on Klængur. Now Haakon is quite good at dressage. He mostly enjoys it and understands what is needed.
So when I asked him to do this move, he lost his temper completely. At first I thought it was because I hadn’t explained it properly but he knew what I wanted and just didn’t want to do it.
First his tail started to swish like the rotary blade on a helicopter, then he whizzed round the school setting his neck to ignore me, the final straw was when he reared all 4″ high. He does this to threaten me thinking I will back off but sadly for him, I didn’t. After stamping his hoof (yes, he really stamps it like a toddler in a tantrum), he excited a fairly passable travers and I told him he was a good boy.
I think it was when I told him Klængur could do this perfectly without a fuss!
Chalk and cheese – these two Icelandic horses but I love them both.