Chalk and Cheese

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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