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Siggav 02-26-2009 06:37 PM

I had a great lesson
I know I mostly lurk here but I'm really happy now and that tends to make me want to share :)

I originally only rode Icelandic horses which are essentially gaited native ponies but back in last November I started taking lessons once a week at a barn nearby. It was try riding non-Icelandic horses or don't ride at all so I decided to go for it. I hadn't ridden then for several years and I hadn't really ridden English style before either. The traditional Icelandic style is more similar to English than western I guess since there is rein contact etc. but still, it's different.

Anyway I've slowly been finding my feet and having a lot of fun doing so. Today I went and had a lesson, it was a group lesson but there were only three of us this week so it wasn't crowded or anything.

We did a lot of work without stirrups and I managed to find my balance and stay relaxed a lot better than before. It felt really effortless and fun.

I was really working on trying to stay relaxed and feel my center of gravity and make sure it was moving with the horse and I think I managed the best sitting trot I've done in a while. It felt easier than with stirrups actually.

I also cantered without stirrups for the first time ever and it went really well. I went a little bit wobbly in the transition from canter to trot but nothing serious, still anyone got tips on how to handle that? is it just the standard, stay relaxed and centered?

After that we did leg yields at walk, trot and canter. Again it was really a lot of fun, didn't go perfectly but it went a lot better at the end than when I started and I love the feeling of having things do the "click" thing in your head when you suddenly figure out how to ask properly for what you want the horse to do and how to help them with that.

I only wish I could have my own horse to work with and then also to go riding more than once a week but with my working hours I don't have the time and I don't have the cash either. Oh well maybe in a year or two.

Jump4heaven 02-26-2009 06:42 PM

You rode Iceladics? Cool! I was almost thinking my pony could be an icelandic.. He's form the amish, he was 75$ in a package of 2.. I'm going to post a video of riding him soon, hopefully sat./sun.? Could you maybe view it and give your opinion of it's breed?

Siggav 02-26-2009 06:51 PM

Yeah sure, I'll keep an eye out :)

I am Icelandic and lived in Iceland until I moved to the UK.

Back home all horses are purebred Icelandic horses, there is no other breed in the country and hasn't been for 1000 years. So even if someone wanted to ride an arabian horse, a warmblood or a quarter horse, they can't since all the horses in the country are Icelandic.

There's also a very specific way of keeping them. The mares give birth outside in the fields without being monitored at all usually. They're left alone in big herds when they're growing up and not really touched until they're around 3. Not mature for regular riding until they're 5 years old. Always kept with other horses, even kept 2 or 3 to a box usually if they're stabled (stallions are one per box though).

Turned out barefoot in huge herds and not ridden for around 4 months every year in the late autumn etc. and allowed to get fat then. That's something that's built into them, really wanting to store up fat for the winter. It's hard to fight against that if you try to ride them throughout the year. That break is also really good for them mentally, just letting them be wild horses in a big herd on a mountain for a few months every year.

It's taken me a while getting used to how horses are kept elsewhere, heh..

Jump4heaven 02-26-2009 07:20 PM

I figured out they are not icelandics. D: But just in case.. I still want you to check. >.< And wow! All Icelandics? :D

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