BTW , tell us about your Icelandic horse. Where did you get her?
I am only leasing her. I live in Wisconsin and she came from Kentucky. The owner bought her and her sister 6 years ago directly from Kentucky. he no longer has the sister as she had some issues that required special training and she was sold to the trainer. The farm was really old and rundown and Draumsyn was 7 years old and had never had a halter on!
She put a lot of training into Draumsyn, who became her "heart" horse. The owner has a medical condition and very busy job that both keep her away from the barn and away from riding--which is why she's leasing. But she said she will never sell this horse. But she's happy to have me leasing long term if I want.
Draumsyn has all 5 gaits (walk, trot, tolt, flying pace, canter) but her trot is a little non-existent--she starts trotting but it goes pretty quickly into a pace. I have trouble getting her to tolt until towards the end of our ride.
She is very sweet on the ground, a little stubborn in the saddle, but safe. I am actually riding her bitless. I've ridden with the bit, then a regular flat halter, tried the bit again and now I'm using a rope halter with a braided/padded noseband and sidepulls. This will be our headgear from now on. She does not like the bit---at least not with me riding and I have pretty quiet hands. It was a little scary to try her without the bit the first time, but she actually balked a lot less. I have to use a little more muscle sometimes, but that's ok. At least she isn't fighting me and tossing her head and making bad mouth gyrations.
The owner's other Icelandic (a gelding) came from Michigan. That is apparently a really nice place. If I decide to buy my own Icelandic, that's probably where I would go. She told me you can get a nice horse, trained and ready to ride for about $5000. For an Icelandic that's a really good price. It's more than I initially wanted to spend on a horse, if I bought one, but Icelandics are such easy keepers! They eat very little, don't take up much space, are very hardy in all weather--have tough feet and legs. So their maintenance and upkeep costs are lower than other horses. Draumsyn and Loki have always lived outside--in pasture board and they prefer it that way. She didn't even like riding in the indoor arena at first, she just wanted to be outside. :) But the outdoor arena gets very mushy so I didn't always feel comfortable on wet days.
My husband is actually very happy that I found Draumsyn because he feels more at ease with me being around her. She's small, she's gentle and he feels more confident leaving me alone with her to ride. (he's on the property, just not always with me). I wanted a very large horse to ride--like a Percheron or Clydesdale or at least a large Quarter Horse or mix. I have very long legs and i'm not a petite size by any means. But Draumsyn is working out so well and given the fears I've been having anyway, I'm glad I don't have a huge horse.