The back story – Last autumn we had a visit from a Norwegian film crew. They were making a television programme called Vesterhavsøyene for NRK TV starring Dag Lindebjerg (apparently the equivalent to our David Attenborough, I was told).
Anyway, this film was about ex-pat Norwegians in Shetland and included a feature about my neighbours, Bjørn Roar Larsen and Tore Skarpnord, who had moved over from Norway with their Shetland ponies and were currently living at Finnigarth, our croft next door.
Dag Lindebjerg wanted to go for a ride with Bjørn on an Icelandic horse so they borrowed Haakon, my horse.
So this is Haakon. He is my first Icelandic horse and I have had him for 17 years now since he was 3 years old. I backed and trained him without a clue and he taught me to ride and take responsibility for all my actions whether on his back or not.
He is our safest horse in many respects. He just does what you ask, rarely questioning and always looking out for his rider. He will stop dead if you take your feet out of the stirrups and also shift his weight underneath you to prevent you falling off.
He can jump (a bit, but not much more).
Be ridden in side-saddle – he thought this was great fun.
(with or without the statutory collie dog!)
Pull a cart – he hates blinkers so we never bothered with them. He likes to have an explanation as to what is going on around him and then get on with it.
He had good flying pace in his youth.
and was also much thinner!
He was the first horse to have BeAnne on his back
And, because he is safe, kind and reliable, we put Norway’s David Attenborough on his back too.
So, this is Haakon’s few minutes of fame. He did so well. Although, perhaps Dag Lindebjerg was saddle-sore after his ride, he did appreciate the fact that Haakon had looked after him every inch of the way.
You can find the whole film here – http://tv.nrk.no/serie/vesterhavsoeyene
and we feature at about 22 minutes in. I sound like a posh harpie and am deeply ashamed and that diet beckons! I hate being on telly and I hate hearing myself on telly too but I am desperately proud of Haakon and how he behaved.
Some are known to say Haakon is “just a farm horse” with an incredibly low BLUP of 80 (his Best Linear Unbiased Prediction, ie the mathematical theory of how well he should do because of his breeding).
Still, he is my farm horse and I love him. The boy done good that day.