Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com



I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!






Monday, September 8, 2008

Ponies on Ice!

I’ve seen a number of different horse breeds and disciplines in my life, but I’m always interested in new experiences and I like to see exotic horse breeds. Growing up in the southwest we didn’t get to experience a big spectrum of horse breeds, simply because the heat was too harsh for most of them. We rarely saw draft horses, or the big thoroughbred hunter types. I don’t think I ever saw a padded up walking horse or saddlebred until I moved to Phoenix. I see them a lot more now that I’ve moved east, but that doesn’t mean I’ve gotten used to the abuse or creepiness of their showing methods.

I have to admit to a certain lack of knowledge regarding gaited horses. I understand that they move differently than non-gaited horses. I get that most of them are born knowing how to gait. What I don’t get, as an observer, is why the riders do some of the stupidest shit I’ve ever seen in order to make their horses gait. If it’s a natural gait then why all the thumping, pumping, hunching, mouth ripping, leg flogging and over all unpleasantness? If I didn’t know better I’d say it was like watching a low rent porno moving, with an even worse script than usual.

I’ve recently discovered the horrors of the Icelandic Pony show ring. To me Icelandics always seemed to be the “untouched” pony breed. They are cute, shaggy, tolerant and unfettered by our glossy, and sometimes a little too glamorous, American show rings. Little did I know that they suffer abuses that would send most horses over the edge. They must be one of the most tolerate and forgiving breeds out there because I can’t imagine an Appaloosa or Arabian putting up with this kind of abusive shit.

Let’s examine the tack. They use long and narrow saddles (called Dig n Pinch) so that they pinch the withers and dig into the loins, causing hyper-flexion of the neck, so that the horse will gait. They add heavier shoes to these ponies, along with a set (or maybe a double set) of *protection* boots on the front legs (sound like the beginnings of the TWH world?). Besides adding weight, the protection boots do protect the legs because sometimes the legs are so crooked, they might cut off a foot with another leg. With the saddles digging into the loins, if the horse isn't gaiting well enough, the rider will sit on the cantle of the saddle. Oh, yeah, we're sure the ponies really love this. In case there's not enough speed to this gait, they tighten the noseband down really tight so the horses can't breathe well, hello! Welcome to a rush of adrenalin.

The big bits dig into their mouths with the tight nosebands, adding insult to injury (or injury to injury), as the riders brace in the stirrups, sit on the cantle, and put their full weight against the reins.

Here’s our first shining example of just how screwed-up a particular section of the horse world is. Welcome to the world of Icelandic Ponies. Unfortunately for these poor fellows they have fallen into the hands of some of Satan’s minions and are being abused all in the name of stepping higher and faster, as well as keeping the Piece of Shit Bit Industry going.



WTF is the idea of putting a flash noseband on a curb bit? Isn’t that a federal offense? How fricking cruel do you have to be? Look at the edge of this horse’s mouth? The last time I saw stretch marks like that was when Britney Spear’s showed her naked hoo-hoo to the paparazzi when she got out of her car. The horse has the same look on his face that a horse does when it gets twitched. It’s a “this is such fricking agony, I wish I was dead” look. I personally think the rider’s hands should be cut off and he should have to hold the reins in his teeth. Maybe then the dumb son of a bitch would understand what mouth pressure is about.






Here’s our next darling pony being abused.This idiot is riding with a snaffle, but who knows what mouth piece lurks in there, I’m guessing something you could use to saw a off tree limb. Again with the dropped noseband and lip ripping. These assholes should have to give birth to a kidney stone the size of a bowling ball to understand how bad it hurts to have your lips stretch like that. It’s also evident this is a pony; as in a very short equine. It’s also apparent the rider is tall, much too tall for this pony. What’s the matter, too chickenshit to pick on someone your own size?










Here’s the same pony, same idiot. Is that fricking ice that he’s being raced on? Am I fricking crazy or is ice a hard slippery substance that can cause a horse to fall and possibly break a leg? Wtf is this all about?Can’t you find some nice soft surface to abuse your horse on? The only good point would be if the pony fell and rolled over on your dumb ass and killed you. And by the way, I’m not a horse dentist, I don’t need to see his fricking tonsils as you try to drag him to a stop.











Pain! Pain! Pain! There is nothing appealing or pleasurable about this photo. Why the hell would you jack your horse’s head back behind its natural extension? Didn’t you stupid shits read Black Beauty and about the “bearing reins” that held a horse’s head up? I bet this poor horse roars like an asthmatic moose. Again with the lip ripping and the nosebands! Have you ever heard of bitless bridles people?














Seriously this is Satan’s number one minion. Look at the fricking shanks on that bit. I bet even Tennessee Walking Horse trainers accuse you of being abusive. For those of you that can’t see it clearly that is a shank bit with a curb strap and it’s at a 45-degree angle to the horse’s mouth. Can you say leverage? Again with the long stirrups! You are too fricking tall for this pony! Get a horse, better yet get a motorcycle with a barbwire seat. What’s with the hoof gaiters? This is supposed to be a naturally gaited horse. Here’s another clue for you, hyperextension of the neck is considered a bad thing in all other equine events.








Now if the above photos don’t offend you enough (and if they don’t you’ve obviously got a tolerance level for abuse that would have made Mengele proud) here are some links that just scream “Stupid Humans Are Ruining This Breed”

http://womenministers.government.is/media/W_Gallery/xlarge/31.jpg We joke about riders needing roller skates all the time, but this guy really does. This link is from the Icelandic Government’s site. They promote this shit riding and abuse!

http://www.eidfaxi.is/Uploads/images/gudmartyr.jpg. This photo has a better look at that hinky curb bit. What a piece of shit. And what is the deal with sitting on your horse’s hipbones? Can you imagine what this poor horse’s kidneys look like? And you’re too fricking tall for the pony you asshat!

http://i.pbase.com/g6/86/758586/2/83650549.dMMtX18a.jpg
Is that a fricking leveler noseband in a competition? Are you kidding me? Does that horse even have a tongue left? And this asshole is way to big for that pony.

http://myndir.eidfaxi.is/myndir/pic_499.jpg Are you fricking shitting me with the contact here? I have never ridden a horse in my life with that much contact, even the old shitty rental string horses I knew growing up. I can’t imagine any horse that hasn’t been beaten to within an inch of its life putting up with this crap.

http://myndir.eidfaxi.is/myndir/pic_573.jpg Future Abusers Of Icelandic Ponies Unite! WTF? The guy on the end is practically touching the floor with his toes! The pony’s legs are like an X, probably from holding his big ass up. The second pony also has crooked legs! I can guess why looking at the size of those riders.

http://myndir.eidfaxi.is/myndir/pic_7972.jpg There is nothing right with this photo. You are riding a gaited horse on hard ground. You are sitting on the horse’s kidneys. You are tugging his mouth like you do your dick on Saturday night. Your horse’s neck is hyper-extended and he’s got a flash noseband on with a curb bit. The only merit I can see to riding around that track is that it makes it easier for a good marksman to pick your dumb asses off one at a time!

If the still shots don’t piss you off enough then the videos are going to enrage you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C_JM9fOnMk Fall on ice with a too big rider.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJaDlfLBLtc&feature=related
You need killing! I could see your horses gaping mouth even at high speeds and on a shitty video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8TWTPIObZc&feature=related
Hall of Fame? More like Hall of Shame. You should all be on wanted posters at the Post Office!




Here's a closes up of an Icelandic bit. Does this look like something you'd put on your horse? Look at those fricking shanks!
















How about this beauty? Not only curb action, but also some nutcracker gag action! Whoo whoo, lets kill the tongue, chin, lips and poll all at once!














What the hell is this? A snaffle with a hard-on?
You have got to be freaking kidding me! I can't make this shit up. These are the bits used on the horses in the photos above!





I know the Icelandic is a good breed. I know there are people out there that love and respect the natural beauty of their ponies. Why the hell you don’t all gang up and kill the abusive bastards is beyond me. Clean up your industry, your ponies deserve better.

174 comments:

anniebanannie said...

trojan mouse,

If any Icelandic "Horse" people see your site, the first thing they're going to correct you on is that they're not ponies they're horses.

Which in my NSHO, is utter bullshit. A horse is anything under 14.2 HH. They're not miniature horses they're ponies. I don't give a flying fuck if they're proportioned like horses.

You know what, I am not just an average human female. I've decided that people must call me super model. From now on, me and all my children are super models (my husband too, I suppose). We are not just ordinary humans... we're super... and models. And any of my children's progeny are also super models.

PONY! PONY! PONY! [sigh]... now that's out of my system... for the moment anyway.

robyn said...

The reason that Icelandics are referred to as horses, is because the Icelanders don't have a word for "pony" in their language. The Icelandic is the only horse/pony in Iceland--there are no other breeds there. Most Icelandic owners that I know don't really care if someone refers to their horse as a pony. If someone asks what breed my Icey is, I will tell them that he's an Icelandic horse, because that's what he is.

Mrs C said...

Yes, the Icelandic Horse does have problems or "bad apples" just like every other breed in the world does. Likewise, it has many more good people who cherish & respect their horses, just like other breeds do.

I completely agree that those who abuse in any breed or discipline should not be tolerated. If it is because of lack of knowledge, they should be educated so they can understand why it is wrong. If it is because of lack of compassion, or any other reason that causes the abuse to be deliberate, they should be suspended or banned.

You do have some misconceptions or misunderstandings about some things in the Icelandic Horse breed, such as equipment, shoes, rules & regulations. If you are interested, I am willing to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability, or direct you to the person who can answer them if I cannot.

One example - the pinto pictured with the red arrow pointing to the bit. While I can't be 100% certain without seeing the mouthpiece, the shape & style of the shanks appear to me to be a Colombian or Peruvian style bit used on Pasos. If so, those bits, & any others like them, have been put on the list of prohibited equipment as being unsuitable for Icelandics.

Kellimare said...

They ride them on ice?!?!
WWWWWWWTF?!
Does anyone remember Animaniacs, when they would do the little "Good Idea/Bad Idea" shorts?
Good idea: Riding a horse.
Bad idea: Riding it on EFFING ICE!!!
*headdesk*

Trojan Mouse said...

Mrs. C,

>You do have some misconceptions or misunderstandings about some things in the Icelandic Horse breed, such as equipment, shoes, rules & regulations

Ya know, it's difficult to misunderstand a bit being ripped up to the horse's eyeballs. Doesn't matter what bit is in the horse's mouth, if it's being pulled on that hard it is wrong.
Levellor nosebands are shit gadgets. There is never any excuse to use them, ever.
And it's hard to misunderstand a photo of a person sitting on the horse's loins. I'm may not be an expert, but i'm sure as shit not blind. No excuse for that silly crap either.

TJM

flying fig said...

Excellent comment, mrs c...

The riding on ice schtick is just a demo thing that someone dreamed up. Bad idea IMO.

All the saddles designed to pinch and lift as was stated - that is sheer crap. I have never even seen a D & P - that you maintain is what is always used. HUH? I guess all the saddle-fitting for comfort clinics, specially designed saddles, treeless saddles etc. are all a figment of my imagination. My bad.

I have NEVER seen anyone sit on the cantle of a saddle to make a horse gait better - but you imply that is the norm.

Shoes are not heavily weighted as you are leading people to believe... the boot protection on the front legs is mainly for over reach and forging. Oh wait - they are all so crooked-legged and malformed and wonky that they trip themselves up and cut themselves bloody - I forgot. My bad again.

Yes - there are heavy-handed asshats in the Icelandic group as well as in all disciplines.

Loin-sitting? That is the old style some still use - but many saddleseat riders do that all the time. Neither one is acceptable IMO.

>>>> as the riders brace in the stirrups, sit on the cantle, and put their full weight against the reins. <<<<

THAT ^^^ is simply piss poor riding by some asshats - but you are suggesting that that is how everyone rides. Wrong.

As mrs c said - you are presenting some misconceptions/misunderstandings as if they were facts... and that does not lend this blog a lot of validity when it can serve an important purpose...

Trojan Mouse said...

flying fig,

>As mrs c said - you are presenting some misconceptions/misunderstandings as if they were facts... and that does not lend this blog a lot of validity when it can serve an important purpose...


No, I'm presenting photographic evidence as well as video evidence. People can see from the actual photos that the riding is piss poor, the hands are abusive and the bits are inexcusable.

Just for shits and giggles I spent and hour on youtube scrolling through Icelandic videos. I didn't find a single rider that I would let touch a horse I owned. There was not one pair of hands that wasn't harder than hell. There was not one single seat that was in the center of gravity for the horse.

I searched for photos on Icelandics. I found the same crappy riding and same poor hands.
So unless there's ten thousand good riders out there that are just too shy to post photos of their happy horses with good habits on the web then I'd say the visual evidence is overwhelmingly in support of what I wrote on the blog.

If all of that stuff is "propoganda" then you need to get in gear and get it removed.

I even watched the European Championship video and it was filled with the same crap, crap, crap as the photos I put up.

If you want to look foolish questioning the validy of what I posted then you need to question the validity of the thousands of photos out there, including ones from the Icelandic government, that bear out exactly what I said.

anniebanannie said...

Blogger robyn said...

The reason that Icelandics are referred to as horses, is because the Icelanders don't have a word for "pony" in their language. The Icelandic is the only horse/pony in Iceland--there are no other breeds there.

If there is no other equid in Iceland and no word for "pony" in the Icelandic language, then how does one know that the word for "horse" doesn't mean "pony?" In my mind there is no word for "horse" in the Icelandic language.

Carrie Giannandrea said...

I know nothing of the Icelandic Pony/Horse.

Shouldn't a rider sort of "fit" their riding companion? I am six feet tall, I ride a 14.3 hh Horse and my legs do not hang down to his knees!

I feel bad for any horse that wears gadgets. Seems it is the same mentality as is in other breeds.......short cuts! Taking the time to train properly seems to be is short supply these days.

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

cattypex said...

"snaffle with a hard on" HAHAHAHAHA

This is sad, that these awesome little horses go through this.

What I love about this blog is the educational aspect.... and the eye-openers.

Every breed has its ickiness!

Also I like the commens from the Icleandic owners. I hope that as the breed gains popularity over here, the good breeders, trainers, riders & judges step up to actively police those illegal bits and cruel training methods.

wolfandterriers said...

Yick. I think ponies are just flat out beyond cute, and have always had a soft spot for Icelandics. However, I saw them ridden in well fitting saddles and smooth snaffles. This just makes me feel ill!

I don't show my horses. Why? Between pre-med classes and the drama that always happens at the local shows (I know, I volunteer there!) I am much happier quietly working at home. I made the mistake of volunteering at some of the speed shows. It made me want to throw up.

Trojan Mouse? What was that book that your equitation pictures came out of? I would like to buy it. And I liked the little girl--horse and girl seemed happy. Much better than what you see around here. :) And awesome that your blog is taking off!

Miss A said...

Dear god! Those saddles (WTF) and bits seriously made me sick. What is wrong with these people??? Can't they look at the horse's reaction to their equipment and know what they're doing is wrong? Icelandics are an amazing breed and this level abuse is completely sickening.

CutNJump said...

I feel compelled to add this. A friend of mine was loking at Icy's a while back. She liked the sturdy build, even temperments, durablity and several other breed characteristics.

I looked at all of the pictures she sent and while most of the horse/ponys were ridden in a plain snaffle, they all had that same high headed, well under from behind, front feet flying up and out, 'look' to them.

The riders all had what looked to me like a death grip on the reins, a rigid back, with their feet JAMMED in the stirrups. They also all appeared to be sitting further back than normal or what the rest of us are accustomed to seeing at least.

She was told this position is 'to help hold the horse in frame'. WTH??? A horse with a natural gait that needs to be 'held in frame'? Seriously? I appealled to her common sense and sarcasm and compared it to her walkers, who when balanced and traveling in self carriage, did not need to be 'held into frame' to perform a natural gait.


The hoof gators or whatever they were called in the OP are no different than bell boots for protection for over reaching. They just look different is all.

It did look like the one pony pictured on ice had some type of spikes on at least his front shoes for traction. I can only imagine the damage if the pony should fall.

The first bit pictured doesn't look as if it would be very severe, as the bridle and curb strap would slide as the reins and shank are pulled on, providing very little leverage action. It looks far worse than it really is when you consider the mechanics of how it works.

However, the constant tight rein pulling combined with a noseband of any sort is just cruel. Doesn't matter if it is a plain old snaffle or what you have as a mouthpeice.

*Note to these type of riders*
If the horses head is up in your face and their mouth is gaping open----> they are trying to find a release or escape and evade your fucking hands! Let them go.

If you thought they could move prety fast at the Tolt with you hanging on for dear life, sit you ass forward, grab onto some mane if you have to and let go of their face. If they are comfortable, I bet they could really take off and move like no tomorrow.

CutNJump said...

Trojan Mouse- could you do us all a favor and lose the word verification? It's a real pain in the ass.

Thanks!

Trojan Mouse said...

Cutnjump
>Trojan Mouse- could you do us all a favor and lose the word verification? It's a real pain in the ass.

So sorry, I didn't realize it had it since it doesn't show for the blog author. It's gone now.

Trojan Mouse said...

Wolfanterriers:
>Trojan Mouse? What was that book that your equitation pictures came out of? I would like to buy it. And I liked the little girl--horse and girl seemed happy.

The little girl's photos came from a family member, thats why I know so much about her horse.
The rest came from websites and I put lines on then for clarity.

CutNJump said...

Thanks TM!

I also have to comment about the riders legs. When did it become acceptable for the lower legs to stick out to the sides like that? I see this a LOT in the saddleseat riders. WTH is up with that?

Put them waaaay out to the side so they will not be in any form of contact with the horse. Is this so it is far more likely the horse will get too close to the rail and your foot will get caught in the rails, twisting your ankle and spraining it, if not breaking it or your leg? I have seen it happen before and it's not pretty.

robyn said...

Anniebannanie, I think it just doesn't matter to most Icelandic horse/pony owners, whether their horse is referred to as a horse or a pony.

I'm really not sure why you keep harping on it. There are bigger concerns here, as TJM pointed out.

horseyone said...

Trojan Mouse, you totally crack me up! You go, girl!

IceRyder said...

Very interesting to have the Icelandic Horse presented in this forum.

It appears that a lot of work has been done in regard to research of the subject matter.

I believe that the author of this article is in good company, with some of the horse experts in Europe, who made similar comments about Icelandic Horse riding and tack, and published in a German horse magazine:

Cavallo Article

I have always found it to be a dichotomy that the horses are billed and presented as "natural" horses, yet tied up every which way but loose, when ridden. It just doesn't go together!

Manipulated / mechanical gaits are not inherited, so at the very least, they should not be allowed in evaluations.

We can do better for the Icelandic Horses! Most Icelandic Horses are calm, friendly, very willing to work and play with a human. There's no need to tie their mouths shut; to restrict their breathing, to manipulate the gaits.

If a strongly gaited horse is needed, find a naturally strongly gaited horse. Don't try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

This video touches on natural and artificial gaits: Natural and Artificial Gaits

The following was written by the publisher of Gerd Heuschmann's book, Tug of War:

"I take my hat off to all people who have the courage to stand up, not follow the crowd, at times be "loud" and clearly point out deplorable states of affairs."

"Horses don't have a sound for expressing pain. Just imagine how loud the noise would be... if these wonderful creatures opened their mouths not only when facing a hand that is too hard..."

"At this point, I want to say thank you to Gerd and all of the people who don't just silently watch, or even run away when they see and hear a horse "cry". The eyes of the horses speak volumes..."

Jamie said...

This is just something I will never understand the "Why?" of. Just like rappers who where their pants 6 inches below their undies!

anniebanannie said...

robyn said...

Anniebannanie, I think it just doesn't matter to most Icelandic horse/pony owners, whether their horse is referred to as a horse or a pony.

I'm really not sure why you keep harping on it. There are bigger concerns here, as TJM pointed out.


You know what, I don't think that two comments constitutes "harping."

It's a big pet peeve of mine. It's right up there with calling a curb with a broken mouthpiece a snaffle bit. I don't like it.

Also, I've had A LOT of Icelandic and Miniature equine owners correct me and since, according to you, whether their horses are called a horse or a pony does not matter to most, I can't for the life of me figure it out the need for correction.

I'm so sorry that this is not something that you think is important. Don't read my comments is they are too trivial for you.

I don't have anything to add to trojan mouses comments except "you go girl!"

CutNJump said...

Jamie said...
This is just something I will never understand the "Why?" of. Just like rappers who where their pants 6 inches below their undies!


I know. Disgusting isn't it? We were in a fast food joint and seen a kid sitting at the counter. His tighty whities were where they belong, but the waistband of his pants was underneath his butt and he was sitting on it.

Well I just couldn't sit there with his butt vertically smiling at me while I ate, so I asked him-

"Do you know that look originated in jail as a way of announcing you are available?"

I'm suprised he didn't have a wedgie the way he pulled his pants up so fast! Cracked up everyone in the joint.

Jamie said...

Haha CNJ...that would be a site to see.

Of course, those people aren't harming any innocent animals in their actions, but I see it in person much more than I see any of this horse abuse...since I don't go to shows and only tend to research natural dressage on the internet.

cattypex said...

CNJ... BRILLIANT. I'm gonna use that someday.

Those horses DO look like they are crying!!! OMG.

So sad. : (

The cluelessness and heartlessness of humans NEVER fail to amaze me.

cattypex said...

Oh yeah, let's give all those riders YARN REINS!!!!!!!!

Whoalillowe said...

You commented on weighted shoes but almost ALL of the fine breeds put weights in their horses shoes
-Arabs (My mare had about half a pound on each foot this show season and was 100% OK)
-Morgans (Same thing, except my friends had a little more)
-Saddlebreds (Those guys put so much wieght on that a 10 year-old kid would have a hard time holding it up. Sorry saddlebred people, I know I'm overplaying that one)
-Hackney Ponies (The one my friend rides had more weight in its feet this summer than my Arab mare did)
-Shetland ponies (We've got a bunch of these shits at my farm, they ALL have weighted feet)

It's not curel if the horses are built up to it, it's just something they do, like having bigger bits in their mouths or having heavier saddles

Carrie Giannandrea said...

OT, but this irked me to no end!

http://spokane.craigslist.org/grd/835120266.html

Check out the photo! This baby is 2 yo, yep, 2 years old!

Greedy bastards!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

Tuffy Horse said...

Wholilwoli

>It's not curel if the horses are built up to it, it's just something they do, like having bigger bits in their mouths or having heavier saddles

Weighted shoes are cruel. They are an extra strain on the ligaments and joints of the horse. Try wearing weighted shoes all day log, day after day, and see if your back and legs don't hurt.

I've seen joint and hoof x-rays from horses that have worn weighted shoes, as well as the big lick pads, and they almost always end up with coffin bone rotation and ankle problems.

http://thehorsediary.net/ (updated 9-9-2008)

CutNJump said...

Tuffy- I beg to differ on the weighted shoe issue. A shoe weighs something in and of itself. It is entirely unnatural being on the horses hoof as it is. If the weight is increased it's no big deal. It would NOT do the damage you are describing, as long as- the hoof is trimmed properly to begin with.

A shoe can be properly made to fit a horses hoof, provide support as well as a myriad of other protective or corrective things needing to be done, but if the trim was poorly executed, it's all a wash and your money just went right down the drain...

A trim needs to be balanced and the hoof should be level and flat when placed on the ground. You should also be able to draw a straight line from the middle of the pastern down through the fetlock and hoof to the ground when viewing from the side. There should be a straight line with no bends or ‘broken’ angles, and all four hooves should look uniform in appearance.

A crappy trim will throw off the horses’ whole way of going and if not corrected soon enough, can and will permanently cripple a horse in a short time. Try wearing too small size of shoes, having your toes turned in or out, heels raised or lowered more than a few degrees at a time or standing/walking/running on the inside or outside edge of your foot all day.

For horses with little or no heel, wedge pads can help bring balance back to the hoof and improve the way the horse travels. I am not talking the pads like we see on TWHs, or some of the Saddlebreds, Hackney's, Shetlands or various other breeds, just a simple thin wedge pad, applied to provide comfort and relief to the hoof and lower leg and return the fetlock-pastern-hoof combination to the correct angle for that particular horse.

The way a shoe is nailed on can also relieve tension on an area of the hoof, in the instance of a quarter crack, allowing it to heal and grow out.

Coffin bone rotation is also not caused by the weight of a shoe. Rotation is due to the laminae either stretching or tearing away from the inside of the hoof wall, usually after some degree of inflammation has occurred. The inflammation or laminitis as we all know can be caused by a number of things. Again a bad trim or shoeing can affect the speed, process and degree of the rotation, but I haven't often seen a weighted shoe as the sole cause. (No pun intended.)

Weighted shoes are not the cause of a lot of the issues we see. The problems stem from the person who is trimming the hoof and nailing them on.

Tuffy Horse said...

CutandJump wrote:

>Tuffy- I beg to differ on the weighted shoe issue. A shoe weighs something in and of itself. It is entirely unnatural being on the horses hoof as it is. If the weight is increased it's no big deal. It would NOT do the damage you are describing,


I gently disagree. A and M did thermal imaging of a horse wearing an aluminum shoe on one foot and a weight shoe on the other. After certain periods of exercise the joints were imaged to determine the heat building up in each joint. The leg with the weighted shoe showed a huge increase in heat and bloodflow in the joints AND around the coronary band.
The percussion of the weight shoe striking the ground also increased the "pump" action of the foot in regards to blood flow.

There have also been studies done about the Big Lick pads and how they damage not only the hoof, but the blood flow around the coronary band.

CutNJump said...

Tuffy- Not going to disagree on this one. Here's why, the increased heat and blood flow would make sense as the muscles used to lift the added weight would certainly need more blood and oxygen to accomplish the task. Similar to a body builder focusing on a particular muscle group.

Increase the blood flow and sure there will be heat. Don't you get hot when you work? Your heartbeat speeds up, circulation speeds up and there goes your body temp too. Your body sweats as a result to cool you down.

The study findings make perfect sense and increased blood flow is actually good considering the alternative.


The problem lies with the people who overuse the weighted shoes, go for the super heavy shoes, thick pads and all the other crap they buy into.

There again it's the folks who subscribe to the whole weight them down, pad them up way of thinking. I doubt they have any time or use for studies nor do they care. They are in it for the ribbons, glory and sale prices. It doesn't hurt them so they could care less, but do that to their feet and boy would they bitch and scream!

Throw in all the bands and soring and it's no wonder the Walkers feet and lower legs end up the way they do. Truth be known their backs are probably out and all their muscles sore as hell too.

The idea that they can endure this for long periods of time (sometimes years on end) and still maintain some level of loyalty and kindness to the people who commit the atrocities against them? Well that speaks volumes and is a testament for the breed and the horses themselves.

Tuffy Horse said...

cutnjump wrote:

>Here's why, the increased heat and blood flow would make sense as the muscles used to lift the added weight would certainly need more blood and oxygen to accomplish the task. Similar to a body builder focusing on a particular muscle group.

Yep, those extra ounces can mean a lot more effort day after day.

>Increase the blood flow and sure there will be heat. Don't you get hot when you work?

Yeah, but I also get hot sitting on my butt watching hot guys do house work.

>The study findings make perfect sense and increased blood flow is actually good considering the alternative.


>The problem lies with the people who overuse the weighted shoes, go for the super heavy shoes, thick pads and all the other crap they buy into.

>There again it's the folks who subscribe to the whole weight them down, pad them up way of thinking. I doubt they have any time or use for studies nor do they care.


I agree.


>(sometimes years on end) and still maintain some level of loyalty and kindness to the people who commit the atrocities against them? Well that speaks volumes and is a testament for the breed and the horses themselves.


I amazes me what horses will tolerate and still forgive us.

Whoalillowe said...

Tuffy-
My mare has been wearing weighted shoes since she was 5 (shes 13 now) and was showing. There is a trainer at my barn who has a world champion that has been wearing shoes for 10 years and hasn't been lame a day in his life.

My mare has won 'At Liberty' classes (At arab shows and some other fine breed shows they have these classes) the class is judges solely on how the horse moves with no rider on its back.

if your horse is lave at all or moves like it might be, you get DQ'd. My mare has won or been reserve in every one she's been in, no lameness. if weighted shoes were really that harmful,like you're saying, don't you think she'd get kick out of all the classes? Not win them?

Tuffy Horse said...

whoalillowi,

> if weighted shoes were really that harmful,like you're saying, don't you think she'd get kick out of all the classes? Not win them?

My mom wore high heels every day for 30 years and never took a lame step until she quit wearing them and now she can barely get around.
Equine podiatrists will tell you that weighted shoes are a problem. They can be used to correct a problem, and then they need to be taken off.

CutNJump said...

Tuffy-
>Yeah, but I also get hot sitting on my butt watching hot guys do house work.<


Different kind of hot, and I think we all would!!! I know I would! Clothes or no clothes. Us or them. LOL!


Whoalillowe-

Horses can and do adapt over time and they can adapt to the extra weight, if in fact they are gradually worked into it.

However, the added weight will add to an increase of the force in which the hoof strikes the ground. This can lead to the stretching or tearing of the laminea, and the downhill flow of issues that brings with it.

The inner workings of the hoof are truly astonishing when you delve into it. I had a mare I got for free who was compensatory laminitic on her right front with 14 degrees of rotation and was developing the tell tale 'elf tip' on her coffin bone.

In looking for things to do and ways I could help her, I learned more about hooves than I ever wanted to know. To find a way to help, first I had to go back and find out how a normal, heathy hoof works. Then I had to learn how it breaks down and the several processes that take place.

I spent many hours online until 1-2 am on websites I couldn't find anymore if I tried. I found out all sorts of shoeing methods, corrective shoes, barefoot trims, feed them this vs. DO NOT feed them that, keep them on deep, soft shavings, keep them on hard dry ground, keep them confined/encourage them to move... A lot of it contradicted everything else.

Miss A said...

whoalillowe...

I wouldn't live by the morals of the show ring. Weighted shoes can cause damage, and just because you (and others) win doesn't mean the equipment you use on the horse is in their best interest. In my opinion, of course.

Jennifer said...

Just wanted to say -- I own 3 miniatures and show as well, and I have never met anyone besides children who care whether people call them horses or ponies. I call mine ponies all the time...

CutNJump said...

Jenifer- you may not be among the 'norm' crowd. Around here the quickest way to piss of a group of mini people is to say they are ponies. They are oh-so-quick to set you straight.

I have a mini and a couple ponies and several horses... Either way it doesn't bother me.

Jennifer said...

Haha possibly -- but even on the Miniature forum people call them ponies pretty often. I don't understand why anyone would get upset over it... one of my minis went oversize so he is officially a grade pony. He just went from "horse" to "pony"? :P

Solva-Icelandics said...

Isn't it weird how no matter how bad the abuse shown is, people ALWAYS make more of a fuss about whether Icelandics are called "horses" or "ponies"?

Surely it's more important to do something about the way some of them are ridden in the show ring than spend all our energy bitching about nomenclature?

And by the way, although there are abuses in the show ring that need addressing, no WAY are all Icelandics ridden in dig & pinch saddles, with harsh bits.

Trojan Mouse said...

Here is the most ironic thing about the Icelandic blog post: the bitching by people that are trying to justify their abusive ways, by citing my delivery of the message.

I don't care if people like or dislike how I said the practices are abusive. The fact is the videos and photos do not lie. They are videos and photos of Icelandics being ridden here in the states, as well as in their native country.

The dropped nosebands, gaping mouths, big riders on small ponies, sitting on the loins etc are all apparent in the photos and videos. I did not create these images. I can search the web and find thousands more images just like the ones I posted.

I was horrified by the detractors that actually tried to say that Iceys *prefer* the curb bits, tight nosebands and heavy hands on the reins. Right, and I enjoy getting bamboo shoots shoved up under my fingernails. No horse prefers that shit. Had the horses been started correctly, and treated respectfully, they wouldn't be so nervous when finally getting good treatment. Instead the poor things go through life with "battered wife syndrome". They do not realize that everyone that rides a horse does not crank their mouth shut, ride on their kidneys or use abusive bits.

Yvve said...

I am going to read this discussion,it is quite interesting. But right now I am wondering about two of the pictures. I am the photographer and nobody has asked my permission about using them!

Yvve said...

I will read through this discussion, it looks quite interesting. But right now I am posting because I am the photographer of two of the pictures and nobody has asked me if it is ok to use them.

Trojan Mouse said...

YVVE,

I researched copyright law extensively before undertaking this blog and what I found is this:

Under Fair Use Law I can use copyrighted material for educational purposes, provided I make no money for the use of such material. I can also use images provided I alter the images by 15%, which I did by adding the lines, cropping and resizing, as well as darkening and lightening the image.
I can also use the images because my blog parodies what people are saying is the "right way" to show. My dialogue is done with humour and poking fun at the industry and the images parody what people consider the "best" in the show ring.

I do have a question though: If you took some of these photos, and you know they show abusive riding on Iceys, why would you put them out in the public eye?

Yvve said...

They are from an Ice Tölt in Sweden. The horse took of, he is a little guy with lots of speed under his hooves. His rider – and owner – is first of all trying to hold on and then trying to make him slow down.

I sometimes can be quite critical about icelandic riding but I must say that in the last five to ten years at least some of the riding has become so much better, softer, and more about cooperation with the horse than against it.

You must remember that this sturdy little breed has been the only horse on Iceland since the island became inhabited and it was used as the only mean of transport until only recent. The horses were, and are still, used for herding sheep and to go from point a to b. The riding style comes from a long tradition but there are now quite a lot of teachers on and off the island that are inpired by a much softer riding style and there is always a serious discussion about riding, saddles etc.

There is also a lot happening in terms of teaching the horses. More and more breeding farms and trainers use soft and kind methods with a lot of afterthought.

The Icelandic horse community is usually very open and also gets inspired by different ways to ride.
But we can never ever take away the knowledge of some of the old horsemen who know horses by working with them all there life. And treating them as friends.

The Icelanders also have some really good ways that a lot of other horses would benefit from. They are raised in herds and on vast areas where they can develop, play, roam and be horses.
The way of riding out with the lots of loose horses that run and play is great and lovely and makes both horses and people happy.

Like in most riding you see some bad but also a lot of good.

IceRyder said...

In the Icelandic Horse world, there is one governing agency. All other registries, clubs, associations, around the world, fall under this umbrella organization: FEIF (International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations).

The United States Icelandic Horse Congress, the Canadian Icelandic Horse Federation, the IPZV (Islandpferde-Reiter-und Züchterverband e.V.) of Germany, and others, all fall under their jurisdiction and must abide by their rules.

Dues from these organizations support FEIF.

FEIF sets the rules for shows, evaluations, and competitions. They allow the big bits, nasty nosebands, heavier shoes, boots, etc.

If I'm reading their website correctly, it appears that they've only given out about 8 red cards in the past year and a half, and no suspensions. This is for rough riding.

The dues of anyone who belongs to any of the clubs, registries, or associations under this umbrella, go to support and allow this type of riding.

From their website, it appears that they are looking for blood and wounds in the horse's mouth, on which to base their rough riding rules.

Does it *have* to take blood and wounds to acknowledge abusive riding?

Is this logical? What about common sense? What about our own eyes? What about instant replay?

Financially and publicly supporting any of the riders and / or trainers who ride in this manner, supports abusive riding.

"The time is always right to do what is right." ~~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's do better for the Icelandic Horse.

Valdimar Bergstað said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valdimar Bergstað said...

Hello,

I´m a well known Icelandic rider... those pictures are taken at a very bad moment.
Let me send you some pictures of our horse at a really good moment and tell us what you think of our riding at a good moment.

Thanks.

Solva-Icelandics said...

Blogger Valdimar Bergstað said...

Hello,

I´m a well known Icelandic rider... those pictures are taken at a very bad moment.
Let me send you some pictures of our horse at a really good moment and tell us what you think of our riding at a good moment.

Thanks.

Hi Valdimar

Good luck on finding lots of photos of Icelandics ridden well in competition, in which they have their mouths closed without straining, there is no tight contact, no tight drop or flash noseband, no shanked bits with the shanks horizontal, saddle in the right place and the rider not sitting on the cantle. I will look forward to seeing your photos.

I took over 3000 photos at the last WC and I can hardly find any, apart from Bruno Podlech riding with no saddle or bridle.

BTW I used to compete a lot, including riding in 4 WCs myself, but I would not put my horses through what is necessary to win these days.

IceRyder said...

Valdimar, would love to see some of your photos.

Mic, would you put the Icelandic Horse Hall of Shame video up again on youtube?

Judy

Sigrún said...

Hi I am from Iceland and a horse owner.

First let me tell you that some things are true in your little text, but most are false and many many things show what little you know about this breed.

Now Id like to tell you that there is only one breed of horses in Iceland and that is the Icelandic horse.
They are very very strong horses and can carry hevy men at speed.
The fact you say that some of the riders in the photos are to tall shows you know very little, have you even seen a Icelandic with youre bare eyes?

The Icelandic bit is very very old and is hardly ever used, nor should eny one use them unless they know what they are doing, Yes they cand cause pain but so can every other bit in the wrong hands.

Id like to learn to use those bits just to know that I can, and when I do it will be with some one that knows how to make sure I dont do it wrong and hurt my very loved horse.

Now Im from Iceland and Iv never heard that a saddle could make a horse gait... Im not sure what to say to that but I can tell you that no one uses a bad saddle just to make a horse gait better.

Saddels are as diffrent as they are many. I use Top Reiter 2000 if you like to know.. google it.

As for leaning back to help the horse to tölt... I know what you are talking about, its one of those thing that was done back in the days, but now there is no exuce to do that cuz know it is kown its not good, but leaning back a little is a sign to the horse to chance to tölt, then you lean back forward.. its the same if you want to chance to trot, you lean a little bit forward and them lean back as you were.

And finally the part I agree with you on... yeas I think SOME riders are to hard with the bit in the show ring but very few of them ride this way when training the horse, if they did they would have huge problems that could not be hidden in the ring.

What need to happen to stop this is to stop faver those how they are ridden.

And then Im gonna gets to the boots, they weiht less than your sneeker!
Its good to ride your gaited horse ones every two weeks with them to mix up the gait a bit and get it more pure.
It is also good to find out eny weekness yor horse is having, it shows right away if he is stiff or if one side is more sronger than the other.

And at last I want to clairiefy about the Icelandic word for "horse"

There is noe CONCEPT of a "pony" in Icelandic, and of cuz now evrey one knows what a pony is and even now a pony is little-horse in direct translasion.

Tuffy Horse said...

Sigrun wrote:

>First let me tell you that some things are true in your little text, but most are false and many many things show what little you know about this breed.

Looks like the pictures are very true.


>They are very very strong horses and can carry hevy men at speed.
The fact you say that some of the riders in the photos are to tall shows you know very little, have you even seen a Icelandic with youre bare eyes?

Doesn't matter what the horse CAN carry, it's a question of what they SHOULD carry. The people are TOO TALL. If your feet are below the horse's knees you are TOO TALL, I don't care how much you weigh.


>The Icelandic bit is very very old and is hardly ever used, nor should eny one use them unless they know what they are doing, Yes they cand cause pain but so can every other bit in the wrong hands.

Sure looked like it was showing up in a lot of photos, for something that was not used much. There is no excuse for riding with that type of bit and such heavy hands.



>Now Im from Iceland and Iv never heard that a saddle could make a horse gait... Im not sure what to say to that but I can tell you that no one uses a bad saddle just to make a horse gait better.

They are sitting on the backs of the saddles. Several photos show the riders on the loin. When the loin pressure is extreme the front of the horse will elevate, making the gait seem higher.


>As for leaning back to help the horse to tölt... I know what you are talking about, its one of those thing that was done back in the days, but now there is no exuce to do that cuz know it is kown its not good,


Some of the photos were listed as being taken this year, so people are still doing it.


>Its good to ride your gaited horse ones every two weeks with them to mix up the gait a bit and get it more pure.


If it's a natural gait then it doesn't need mixing up to be made pure.

A person doesn't have to know a whole lot about a breed in order to know a whole lot about abuse. The dropped nosebands and harsh bits are abuse.

Sigrún said...

Hi Tuffy

well there is truth to the text but its so badly put up and there is so many things that are there of lack of knowlige.. like the thing you said about the boots..

the Icelandic has 5 gaits. walk, trot, tölt, canter and pace

tölt and pace are very similair but not the same gait and some times a horse can go into what we call "lull" its not tölt and its not pace.
thats why breeding and riding 4 gaited icelandics is in fashion right now.. they dont have pace and there for their tölt is more "pure"

those boots weihgt so little, less than your shoes .. and like has been said here above a bell boot will do the same.

Im not gonna argue this any more, but ya there is a dark side to horse shows but like any where els this is not how most ppl ride

Tuffy Horse said...

Sigren,

>well there is truth to the text but its so badly put up and there is so many things that are there of lack of knowlige.. like the thing you said about the boots..


I didn't put anything up, this isn't my blog.
However, the text on the boots is correct. People do use gaiters to cover up chemicals on the coronet band, chain scarring and tack bands.


>the Icelandic has 5 gaits. walk, trot, tölt, canter and pace


So? Does this mean they deserve 5 times the abuse?


>thats why breeding and riding 4 gaited icelandics is in fashion right now.. they dont have pace and there for their tölt is more "pure"

Pure or not they don't need their mouths jerked off. And there is no need to have a horse hanging that hard on a curb bit.

>those boots weihgt so little, less than your shoes .. and like has been said here above a bell boot will do the same.

But those aren't bell boots, they are gaiters, which cause pressure on the heel bulbs and make the horse step higher.


>Im not gonna argue this any more, but ya there is a dark side to horse shows but like any where els this is not how most ppl ride

I find that hard to believe. Because my curiosity was piqued by the post I did some online research on my own and I'm appalled at the abusive riding I'm seeing on Iceys. I'm also offended by the stupidity of the people defending it.
Even the dolts on the Horse City forum are more inclined to defend one of their regular posters, despite the fact the photos show horses with their mouths be jerked on, dropped nosebands used with curb bits, huge adults on small horses and the loin sitting. The youtube videos I found showed more of the same. If people want to defend such abusive riding then they are just as bad as the people that endorse the abuse in the TWH industry.

People can deny all they want, but any true horseman knows that the horses shown in the photos are being ridden with harsh bits and heavy hands. Defending it is inexcusable.

IceRyder said...

>>those aren't bell boots, they are gaiters<<

Tuff, so that we can all understand, can you explain the difference between bell boots and gaiters? Can you point us to pictures?

Thanks!

Sigrún said...

Ya I would too like to know the differens...

I saw some where here above that TM says she/he cant find a video of good riding, well let me help you out..

I like to explain why you have contact with the horses mouth when rideing tölt (Im saying CONTACT not pulling) It hs to do with balance, for a horse to tölt they need to have good balance as you can imagin it harder to keep balance with a rider, all that has to happen is for or a horse to loos his balance, and there for "fall" out of tölt and into trot, is for the rider to lean just a liitle bit forward.
Then it helps to be in contact with the horse.. I think that thats what the person above was talking about .. help the horse to form a frame... and that is also what is ment by some horses like to have a "heavy hand", like was talked about above, that dose NOT mean the horse likes to be pulled nor dose it mean that the horse is being pulled and abused.
Those are horses with poor balance or horses that are stiff, this in most cases can be fixed with training.

in this video you can see a tipical icelandic riding (on a horse that is saied to be good for beginners)and you can see how the horse "falls" into trot when the rider tölts hand free, the horse is on a uneven ground and thats why he lost his balance. the horse dose not have boots on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8USYq04K_v4

In this video of a show horse (more upscale)and there you can see a light contact all the way on even ground with boots.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMe8ARIyZRU

Those horses are very different types, I own both types of horses.

Tuffy Horse said...

sigren,

>I like to explain why you have contact with the horses mouth when rideing tölt (Im saying CONTACT not pulling) It hs to do with balance, for a horse to tölt they need to have good balance as you can imagin it harder to keep balance with a rider, all that has to happen is for or a horse to loos his balance, and there for "fall" out of tölt and into trot, is for the rider to lean just a liitle bit forward.


Poppycock. I've ridden horse at far faster speeds, doing turns and even going down hill over fences and if you are holding your horse up that much you are doing more harm than good. Iceys loose in a paddock can gait just as fast, and just as well without someone tugging on their mouths.

>Then it helps to be in contact with the horse.. I think that thats what the person above was talking about .. help the horse to form a frame... and that is also what is ment by some horses like to have a "heavy hand", like was talked about above, that dose NOT mean the horse likes to be pulled nor dose it mean that the horse is being pulled and abused.


Poppycock again. Horse do not PREFER heavy hands. They get USED to heavy hands just like Walking Horses do. They are TAUGHT to lean into heavy contact, they do NOT enjoy it.

>Those are horses with poor balance or horses that are stiff, this in most cases can be fixed with training.

If the horse is that poor of quality then it shouldn't be shown. If movement has to be augmented by such artificial means then give the horse a break and don't waste time and effort to show it.

I've ridden "forward" moving horses that are still light in the bridle and don't need to be held up. it's all a matter of knowing how to train.

Sigrún said...

Is my english so bad that you dont undrestand me?

no one is talking about holding the horse.. and if you knew icelandics you would know that you dont tölt up hill or do turns.

and this isint about speed, ist about keeping balance.. and wtf is a artificial gait?

I trying to explain some missunderstandings that Iv seen here in the comments, Im NOT defending the riders on the photos or horse abuse

you know little of this breed nor the riding style, you are very judgemental and have decided that Im a person to dis-like.. please.. you dont know the differens of a bell boot and the boot that are used in the photos since you seem not going to explaine it for me and Icyrider.

you take every thing I say and twist it and choose to misunderstand me and you but words in my mouth..

Tuffy Horse said...

Sigrun,
>you know little of this breed nor the riding style, you are very judgemental and have decided that Im a person to dis-like..

I don't dislike you at all. I'm just not buying the fact that you say someone has to "hold" up a horse. Riding is riding is riding. It doesn't matter which style, which breed or which event there is NO excuse EVER to have reins that tight. I live in an area that has a majority of gaited horses. I see crapppy riding all the time.
I've also ridden, trained and retrained ex-racehorses, polo ponies, cross country jumpers, barrel racers etc. All are forward moving, all are strong and all take serious riding skill. And even on big powerful ex race horses you don't need to ride them in a curb bit with a dropped noseband and drag on the bit so hard their lips are ripped up to their eyeballs.

>please.. you dont know the differens of a bell boot and the boot that are used in the photos since you seem not going to explaine it for me and Icyrider.


Oh get off of it. I have been popping in and out most of the day because I'm trying to manage my weekend horse farm work. 20 horses do not stand around and wait for me to post.

Here are some of the major differences. A bell boot covers the entire hoof and is usually loose fitting so that is can "roll" around the hoof. This reduces the "strike" pressure and also reduces chafing from harder stiffer items.
http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-1843.htm
You can see the bell boot is smooth, round and made not to chafe the bulbs. In fact since the boot sits on tope of the coronet band and does not "wrap" the hoof the bell boot doesn't touch below the bulbs at all.


A "gaiter" or quarter boot, or quarter bell boot is more fitted and also "wraps" around tightly under the heel bulbs. So what happens when a horse steps down? The boot puts pressure right on the space between the heel bulbs, as well as the bulb surface and the horse picks up his feet faster, because he gets pinched every time he puts a foot down.

http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-0812b.htm

You can see the "point" in the inside of the boot that fits right between the heel bulbs.
I've examines these types of boots up close and they do have several specific pressure points that "encourage" the horse to pick up his feet faster.

I've also seen the sores and chafing caused by quarter boots. They are very popular in almost all breeds of gaited horses. They are not the equivalent of bell boots. They might offer surface protection if a hind hoof strikes a forefoot BUT the pressure would also send the points into the heel bulb causing a serious "poke" to the hoof. Some of the gaited horse trainers like to hide "tack" strips inside the quarter boots to intensify the pain so the horse picks his feet up even faster.


I'm not twisting your words Sigrun. I'm pointing out that there is NO excuse for heavy handed riding. There is NO excuse for using those curb bits with dropped nosebands. I don't care if it is tradition, it is WRONG.

Sigrún said...

Thank you for finally awnsering me with respect...

well that the thing I have been trying to say.. you dont hold the horse up, you have light contact.. like.. what to say.. live contact, it dosent hold the horses head up.. sometimes a horse can relay on the contact and use it to hold his head up.. but then the danger of a "bad moment" is bound to happen and this can be fixed..
yeas there hare ppl how have a heavy hold on the horse and that I dont agree with at all.. I was explaining the contact cuz I can see why to some it might seem as the horses head is being held up on a photograph..

riding tölt is like doing a effortless dance .. constant comunication between rider and horse

and no where was I defending the raines and nosebands.. and I dont use them.. nor dose any one at my stable nor any one I know personally.. I see one and one use it when out rideing but that is rare. the rainse are often used in shows, I dont think most of the riders dont use them for every day training or rideing..

In stallions shows when I see the Icelandic bit being used I wonder why, I wonder if the stallion is this hard to handel, and I think less of the stud.. many ppl think like this to (we´ll mostly younger folk do) In the icelandic horse comunity there is strong debate about theese bits and ppl are very awere to not to use them uless someone theces them first, we are very aware that this thing can hurt alot.

I would like to know how to use them cuz this is what was used for centuries over here, just to have the knowledge..


There is also a loud debate about abusive riding in the showring... I found this blog thruogh a chatroom and every one that commented agreed that there was truth to this.
But in the blog there is so mutch &/%(/#" too, this thing about the saddels is something Iv never heard befor (know you arnt the blogger, I knew that) and thins that are wridden in ignorence.. like as I pointede out befor said this
"If it's a natural gait then it doesn't need mixing up to be made pure."

What dose that mean.. dose that mean I can make a QH horse tölt?
no it dosent.. of cuz its a natural gait..

sure you could skipp all of the training and all that and just rely on the natural qulity of your horse.. some dont need a good rider to gait well under saddle but others do.. many things can cuz that, like lack of muzzle or simply poor breeding..

and my personal opinion about boots in shows.. skipp´em.. I like to see the real horse..

This winter Im gonna try out a bitless briddle and if it gose well that is what Im gonna use, cuz I know I wouldnt like wearing metal in my mouth every other day.

And to the owner of this web site, being realistic and post the truth and not misleading ppl would help your cause mutch more.. now cuz of the many wrong and misleading things you have said makes me wonder what I can and can not belive on this site and makes you un-credible. please do not undermine this cause.

P.S
Icelands greatest horse lover

IceRyder said...

Tuff, thanks for explaining the difference between bell boots and gaiters.

I appreciate it.

IceRyder said...

Sigrun, thanks for posting your comments and opinions. It's helpful to get a dialogue going so that we can get an understanding of what's going on.

>>raines and nosebands.. and I dont use them.. nor dose any one at my stable nor any one I know personally<<

Do you have pictures of you and your friends riding? It would be so helpful to see them. If you don't have a site to upload them, you can email them to me at iceryder @ gmail.com and I will put them up. Thanks.

>>There is also a loud debate about abusive riding in the showring... I found this blog thruogh a chatroom and every one that commented agreed that there was truth to this.<<

Can you let me know where that debate is located (which chatroom)? Thanks.

Tuffy Horse said...

Sigrun wrote:

>But in the blog there is so mutch &/%(/#" too, this thing about the saddels is something Iv never heard befor (know you arnt the blogger, I knew that) and thins that are wridden in ignorence.. like as I pointede out befor said this
"If it's a natural gait then it doesn't need mixing up to be made pure."

In my research I did find a lot of information about the tight saddles and how they pinch. I also saw a LOT of photos of people riding on the back of the saddle in order to "loft" the horse up. So I don't really think it is misinformation. Just because YOU aren't doing these things doesn't mean others aren't. I think there is enough photgraphic and video evidence to support every issue the blog owner addressed.

flying fig said...

Horses vs, ponies... is just terminology and I am not sure why it is such an issue for some of you. You would no more say "Icelandic pony" in Europe than you would say "Fjord pony"...

>>>She was told this position is 'to help hold the horse in frame'. WTH??? A horse with a natural gait that needs to be 'held in frame'? Seriously? I appealled to her common sense and sarcasm and compared it to her walkers, who when balanced and traveling in self carriage, did not need to be 'held into frame' to perform a natural gait. <<<

You friend obviously talked to an asshat... or else all the Icelandics I have seen tolt or pace in a balanced way, with self-carriage - were all figments of my imagination. And then you would have trouble explaining the tolt classes where the horse must be shown on a completely loose rein... and yet still look balanced and relaxed.

flying fig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flying fig said...

Crap. Had to redo that last post.

>>>I think there is enough photgraphic and video evidence to support every issue the blog owner addressed.<<<

But to present it as the norm is wrong - to suggest that is what everyone does - is wrong.

Instead of looking at old Landsmot or WC tapes and only seeing the bad - look at the good riders. Look how things have changed/are changing. And I have still never heard of anyone deliberately using a pinching saddle to "help" a horse gait. That would seem to be completely pointless as it would not work. But again - it was presented as the usual way of doing things.

>>> Just for shits and giggles I spent and hour on youtube scrolling through Icelandic videos. I didn't find a single rider that I would let touch a horse I owned. There was not one pair of hands that wasn't harder than hell. There was not one single seat that was in the center of gravity for the horse. <<<

Ah yes - *guffaws* - well we all know that YouBoob is a fine source of the highest standard of exemplary equestrian techniques and horsemanship. NOT. If it is on YouBoob - OMG!! It must hold true for all others... and again, in your search for shits and giggles you are likely to skip over that which was not shitty or giggly enough..

JMO. YMMV.

Tuffy Horse said...

Flying Fig wrote:

>Ah yes - *guffaws* - well we all know that YouBoob is a fine source of the highest standard of exemplary equestrian techniques and horsemanship. NOT. If it is on YouBoob - OMG!! It must hold true for all others... and again, in your search for shits and giggles you are likely to skip over that which was not shitty or giggly enough..

JMO. YMMV.


Gee, I guess that video of the European Championships was just so much fakery. And the photos of the websites of the top Icelandic trainers are just something to browse while waiting for them to put photos up that show a horse on loose rein. If the top people in the industry present the horses like that, then why expect it to be false?
Oh, lest I forget, the Icelandic government has an abusive photo on their own website, used to promote Iceland and the breed of horses. Guess it must be a photoshop job to show a small horse with a huge person, riding in a crappy bit and having its neck hyperextended backwards. Silly me to not realize that ANY country puts bad promotional photos on their website as a joke on the rest of us.


We can only see what people put out there. If the Icelandic industry trainers do not put better photos and videos out there then they can expect backlash.
No one held a gun to their head and said: Post the worst photos and videos you have, all while touting your champion horses and training methods.


Every time I read someone DENYING the problems exist I think of the priests/kids issue. I know every priest is not a child molestor, but the church ignored it for a LONG, LONG time and denied it even when priests were caught red handed. Now they are mad because that is what comes to people's minds and it hurt the overall image of the church.

Instead of bitching about one blog why not kick the butts of the trainers, judges and show personal that allow the abuse to exist? They have to clean their own closets first, and until they do the public image will be of horse abuse, just like the TWH industry.

Sigrún said...

Just wanted to piont this photo out.. there is nothing under the hoof

[IMG]http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii257/gigga85/Falki_vm_2003.jpg[/IMG]

if the pic. dose not show click here
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii257/gigga85/Falki_vm_2003.jpg

CER1389 said...

Ok so where on earth do I start!?

First of all, yes there are asshats in the icelandic world...find me an equestrian discipline where there isn't! However to suggest that all icelandic riders are like that is false. A lot of us only ride in snaffles, barefoot and in my case treeless...thus defying you're theory on the pinching saddles.

You highlight a lot of tall riders as being too big for their horses (at 5ft 4 this is not an issue I have!). I am not in your country, else I would allow you to come and ride my icelandic mare...then you might see how they cope. They are certainly not the childrens ride you expect of something 13.2hh and fluffy. They are high spirited and forward going. The breed has been kept pure and bred for this purpose: to create an adults horse, not a pony for anyone smaller than 5ft 2. Of course not all icelandics are suitable for a tall rider, it's all down to confirmation. Wide loins, a wide barrel, well sprung ribs and well set legs will carry weight much better than an Icelandic with narrow ribs and closely set legs.
Yes some icelandic riders do not take confirmation into account, I would never support this, in much the same way I don't support yearlings being ridden.

You fail to mention things such as the fact an icelandic rider will not break in a horse until it is approx 4, and do not start anything serious until it is 5, in order to give the horse full time to mature. You also do not mention the fact that the majority of yearlings are brought up 'naturally' to play and grow and just be horses - unlike a lot of the unnatural crap we see in the show world.

I have to pick you up on the head carriage thing, yes fair enough, a lot of the horses you pictured are over muscled in the wrong places. However please note some you picked up on are stallions which obviously adds to this illsuion. Then take a look at this picture http://www.filka-roarkhorses.com/horses/Pika%20with%20her%20foal%20Lagsi.jpg which shows a mare and foal gaiting. Both have a high head carriage. This is how they naturally tolt. I'm sure you understand this but I want to make it clear to your readers as well :)
There is also classes for "loose rein tolt" showing how naturally the horse will tolt, in which the rules state "showing no contact between the horses mouth and the rider" at the world championships the riders rode on the buckle, using their seat and aids to hold the gait (and no, not all of them sat back)

I can't explain why we ride with our legs away from their sides, if you ever rode one then you'd understand, it's all to do with the style of the saddle and the shape of the horse. It is particularly comfy :)

Finally the riding on ice thing. Well first of all they come from a country called "ICEland"... possibly a hint in the name really. They were first and foremost bred as a work horse, to carry farmers (ever seen an 8stone icelandic farmer or viking...no me either!) across farm lands, now these weren't all nice flat sandy tracks. The horses had to naviagte the frozen land and the solid lava trails. It's what they are designed to do - be sure footed. For demonstrations and shows on ice they wear special studs to help them balance and grip.

Yes you showed a lot of the stuff that goes on in the icelandic world that is uncalled for and is not promoted. However please don't condone all icelandic riders as doing this, and please don't pass judgment (such as the tall riders) on a breed you evidently know little about.

IceRyder said...

>>You would no more say "Icelandic pony" in Europe than you would say "Fjord pony"...<<

Plenty of places in Europe call them Icelandic Ponies and Fjord Ponies:

http://www.island-pony.com/

http://www.amazon.de/Keine-Angst-Islandpony-Krista-Ruepp/dp/3314014023

http://www.research-projects.unizh.ch/p3439.htm

http://www.norway.com/directories/d_company.asp?id=6075

http://www.pferdeecke.de/wissen/rassen/island-pony.html

http://www.kindernetz.de/oli/tierlexikon/island-pony/-/id=74994/nid=74994/did=82624/166mtsm/index.html

http://www.tiere-rassen.de/pferde/pony/island-pony/

http://www.pferde-wissen.net/island-pony.html

http://www.islandpony.ch/

http://www.world-of-animals.de/tierlexikon/tierart_Islandpony.html

http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Journals/Journal/450483

http://www.dhd24.com/extra/pferde-anzeiger/pferdemarkt/ponys/norweger-fjord.html

http://www.fjordpony.com/

http://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/933163_-fjord-pony-sigikid.html

http://www.reitforum.de/verkaufe-connemara-einviertel-fjord-pony-212500.html

http://suche.deine-tierwelt.de/tiere/11813/fjord-pony.html

http://en.mimi.hu/horse/fjord_pony.html

It shouldn't matter; it is what it is.

IceRyder said...

Hi Cer1389,

You said to take a look at this picture:

http://www.filka-roarkhorses.com/horses/Pika%20with%20her%20foal%20Lagsi.jpg

"which shows a mare and foal gaiting".

The mare is actually trotting, and the foal is cantering.

IceRyder said...

Additional notes to the previous comment about the mare and foal:

>>Both have a high head carriage. This is how they naturally tolt.<<

OK, neither one are gaiting in that image, but the mare's neck is not pulled up as in the show riding. She has a normal head and neck carriage for the breed.

The foal... as any foal, moves for a while after they are born, with upright heads and necks. Their young muscles aren't conditioned yet to hold themselves in balanced positions.

IceRyder said...

Hi Sigrun:

In regard to the picture that you pointed us to:

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii257/gigga85/Falki_vm_2003.jpg

This is an interesting picture.

The horse is in pace?

If the pace is a two-beat gait, should his laterals should both be on the ground?

He has on a shoe which has a little more weight to it than a keg shoe, and also has the quarter boot (gaiter).

Any weight on the distal limb will throw the leg out of whack. Sometimes it will throw it enough out of whack to get a gait that is timed better than the horse's natural timing. That's an artificial or mechanical gait.

Interestingly also about the picture, is the angle in which the front hoof is pointing.

In a two-beat gait (trot or pace) the limbs working together (either the diagonals or the laterals) should have the hooves at the same angle.

This horse does not have his left laterals at the same angle, nor his right laterals at the same angle.

One other point, that front hoof has the heel pointed to the ground. I would like to see if it's going to land like that (often they do) which hurts the horse. When the front foot flips up, either due to weight on the distal limb, or to too much laxity in the fetlock joint, it is called foot flicking.

More info on foot flicking here:

http://iceryder.net/flippingtoe.html

Sigrun, are you able to get any pictures for us of you and your friends riding without nosebands and such?

Thanks!

Trojan Mouse said...

CER1389 said...

>First of all, yes there are asshats in the icelandic world...find me an equestrian discipline where there isn't! However to suggest that all icelandic riders are like that is false.

I didn't suggest that at all. I specifically cited "show ring" examples. I didn't mention trail riders or hobby owners anywhere.


>You highlight a lot of tall riders as being too big for their horses (at 5ft 4 this is not an issue I have!). I am not in your country, else I would allow you to come and ride my icelandic mare...then you might see how they cope.

I don't want to see a horse "cope". I know horses can handle weight, and some shorter animals are actual quite sturdy, but that doesn't excuse riding a smaller animal when you are obviously too tall for it.


>You fail to mention things such as the fact an icelandic rider will not break in a horse until it is approx 4, and do not start anything serious until it is 5, in order to give the horse full time to mature.

A few years of enjoyable freedom, prior to a life of harsh bits, heavy hands and crappy training techniques is not a good trade off.


>I have to pick you up on the head carriage thing, yes fair enough, a lot of the horses you pictured are over muscled in the wrong places. However please note some you picked up on are stallions which obviously adds to this illsuion.

My sister has two stallions, one older and retired and even on his worst day you could not make him hyperextend his neck like that.

>Finally the riding on ice thing. Well first of all they come from a country called "ICEland"... possibly a hint in the name really. They were first and foremost bred as a work horse, to carry farmers (ever seen an 8stone icelandic farmer or viking...no me either!) across farm lands, now these weren't all nice flat sandy tracks. The horses had to naviagte the frozen land and the solid lava trails. It's what they are designed to do - be sure footed. For demonstrations and shows on ice they wear special studs to help them balance and grip.

I grew up in the Arizona desert. There are these things called "dunes". Sure horses native to the area can work on the dunes, but you can also get a lot of bowed tendons and torn ligaments from working in heavy sand. SO even though the horses were raised there, and even though they "can" work in the sand, its still "not" a good idea to work a horse hard in the sand. Just because something is a tradition does not excuse the abuse.

Sigrún said...

Hi.. he is in pace but as far as I can see they are slowing down.. this is a horse in the world championship so he must have been doing befor and after, and why do you think the bots have weight on them? you think there must be cuz it dosent pince?

do they even allow weights? Im not sure

I dont compete but I plan to.

no Im not gonna post a pic of me or my horses here I like to be anonymous.

I use a noseband, I ment I dont use the Icelandic bits.

What I have is kinda like this guy here has
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii257/gigga85/beisl1.jpg

Sigrún said...

But this is the bridle Im intrested in, I tryed it on my horse last winter and it went fine, this winter I gonna buy one and see how training with it gose.. if it dosent go well Im just gonna use it on trails and stuff..

http://www.bitlessbridle.com/

Chimera21 said...

I've just read through the comments and felt like mentioning...

When the ESL come here to try to explain things, it might help if we all didn't jump down their throats.

Responding to

"You fail to mention things such as the fact an icelandic rider will not break in a horse until it is approx 4, and do not start anything serious until it is 5, in order to give the horse full time to mature."

with

"A few years of enjoyable freedom, prior to a life of harsh bits, heavy hands and crappy training techniques is not a good trade off."

hardly encourages dialogue. Yes, heavy hands etc are bad, but it in no way relates to the previous comment and only encourages a 'agree with me or else' sort of environment. Instead of repeating the opinions of abuse already mentioned, can't we also acknowledge some of the advantages (late breaking, free range, allowing full development) these horses have over many show horses?

I'm not condoning ANYTHING here. I hate those bridles, think the weird center of gravity thing is ridiculous and wish some of those riders could have a nice piece of wire yanked through their mouths for a few hours.

But it seems like many of these Icelandic riders are trying to say 'we know it's bad, we're trying, I don't do these things and we are slowly making changes'.

This video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMe8ARIyZRU - shows a lovely Icelandic going through its paces, all without yanking. It was posted as a 'good example' by Sigrun. I think all he was trying to explain was that a Tolt requires soft but firm contact - I got the impression he was referring to the sort of contact you'd take with a jumper in the ring, not that he was advocating yanking the teeth out of anything.

And cultural differences do come into play here. Not, obviously, with the harsh bitting and nosebands and cruel riding position, but with things like rider height and such. I think a 6'4" guy on one of these is a bit much, but these horses /are/ bred to carry adults, and heels below the barrel does not seem cruel or unusual considering the history and purpose of the breed. Tolting on ice with shoes made for the purpose does not seem inherently cruel to me, either, no more so than jumping a hunter on a soggy course with studs - one could argue that a horse slipping in mud while jumping is potentially more damaging. Yes, improper riding and handling is abusive in this situation, but it can cause painful falls and injuries in /any/ situation.

The Icelandic people who've replied to this post seem much better than the TWH people we've seen called out. They've been polite, tried to explain why some things are done and how they're changing many of the things being addressed, and have given examples of what they think is the better, kinder way of going that I think we all can agree on.

Let's take some deep breaths and stop responding to *all* their examples with repeated claims of 'abuse!' I think they heard us the first time.

Tuffy Horse said...

Sigrún said...
>But this is the bridle Im intrested in, I tryed it on my horse last winter and it went fine, this winter I gonna buy one http://www.bitlessbridle.com/

I lke the bitless bridles, they work good on young horses and older ones that are soured on bits.

Tuffy Horse said...

Chimera123 wrote:

>But it seems like many of these Icelandic riders are trying to say 'we know it's bad, we're trying, I don't do these things and we are slowly making changes'.

It seems that way until you go to some of the official Icelandic boards and hit the translator. That's when you realize they are belitting every one that doesn't agree with their harsh methods as an idiot, stupid America, or just ignorant about horses. Once you go look at their boards you realize the majority of European Icelandic exhibitors have no intention of changing their ways.

Chimera21 said...

"It seems that way until you go to some of the official Icelandic boards and hit the translator. That's when you realize they are belitting every one that doesn't agree with their harsh methods as an idiot, stupid America, or just ignorant about horses. Once you go look at their boards you realize the majority of European Icelandic exhibitors have no intention of changing their ways."

THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME HERE have largely agreed with you. You cannot bash them for what OTHER people on DIFFERENT boards are saying, you can only take what they are saying and respond to it.

Overly harsh replies to people who agree with you because of what completely different people say in a different location is not likely to help your cause. It's a lot more likely to drive the reasonable people, however rare they might be, away thinking 'Oh, well, why bother, those people never listen.'

I am 100% on board with what has been said about what needs to change in the Icelandic show world, but reading the comments as an uninvolved third party has /me/ feeling frustrated and hopeless. What does it say about the reformers if the people who are trying to reform are shouted down because of those who haven't yet? 'The Majority of European Icelandic Exhibitors' didn't come to this board, those who do see point in reform did.

anniebanannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anniebanannie said...

someone said: The breed has been kept pure and bred for this purpose: to create an adults horse, not a pony for anyone smaller than 5ft 2.

Shetlands weren't bred for people smaller than 5'2", they were bred to go into mines and pull coal carts.

It's a pony. These horses were kept pure because they wanted to keep disease out of the population, so imports were forbidden. They are small because 1) they come from pony stock and 2) the harsh environment selects for smaller more thrifty animals.

According to Wikipedia "However, in most places, the breed is considered a "horse" and to call it a "pony" is likely to offend many breeders. mtDNA studies link them to other European pony breeds." (mtDNA is mitochondrial DNA or DNA from the female line; it is DNA that is used to trace lineages over time).

I don't care if the Icelandic people don't have a word for "pony." If I were in Iceland, and spoke Icelandic, I'd have to refer to Icelandic ponies as "hest", if I want anyone to understand to what I was referring.

But many (most?) languages do have a term for a small equine. If you're in Iceland, fine... it's a horse. But in the U.S. where we do distinguish between ponies and horses because we have more than one breed of equid, it's an Icelandic pony. When in Rome...

Solva-Icelandics said...

Anniebanannie - I just cannot believe that you are STILL completely ignoring the obvious abuse and are still whinging on about "Pony v. Horse", when even the Icelandic horse/pony breeders etc on here have said it really doesn't matter that much to us, at least those of us outside Iceland.

What is it with you? Don't you actually care about the abuse?

Sigrún said...

Id like to add to this pony vs. horse

Ok the reason many get offended when you call them ponies is becuz when you say pony you indicate that the Icelandics are "less" then they are.

If you would say about me that I ride ponies to some one that person would not quite understand what kind of a equine Im riding and think that its just this sweet, kind play thing witch to us is an insult to the horse..

you are not offending the ppl by calling them ponies but the equine its self.

You must understand that this horse literally made life possible for us for over 1000 years and you will not find a Icelandic person that dose not have a deep respect for this horse and calling them ponies kinda gives the feeling you dont.

If you call them ponies Im not gonna get upset, but I am gonna think you are dissrespectful.

Chimera21 said...

"If you call them ponies Im not gonna get upset, but I am gonna think you are dissrespectful."

But then you're just ignoring the English culture and terminology.

A pony isn't a 'lesser' horse. It's simply an equine that is under 14.2 hands high.

Shetland ponies made coal mining possible in the UK for many, many years. This does not make them less of a horse.

Welsh ponies are extremely handy, athletic and refined. Many adults show on the Section D (larger) size of this breed because they are a very complete package for many English riders. The 'pony' term does not make these horses any less desired, or any less expensive, and many can outperform large horses.

The Connemara pony is /extremely/ sought after for the jumping and dressage disciplines, and are often crossed with larger sporthorses to increase those horse's scope and ability. The 'pony' term in no way belittles this breed, either.

Calling something a 'pony' is not disrespectful, it simply indicates a height under 14.2hh. I'm sure you could turn the term into an insult by sneering it or rolling your eyes, but you can do the same with 'Thoroughbred' or 'Draft' or 'endurance' - that doesn't make those descriptors inherently distasteful.

Sigrún said...

LOL.. well Iv gotten used to them being called ponies.. as I was wrighting the responde this stupit pride came over me.. I dont take it as an insult but Id still pfered them being called horses..

I know ppl arnt meaning it as an insult, but I still get this "wait a min." moment

this is a thing about feelings and there is no reason in feelings.
If you know it dosent sit well with us calling them ponies and you still do it it can be seen as a disrespectful thing..

lol call them ponies all you want, just dont do in croup of Icelandic horse ppl, specially when they have beer ;)

IceRyder said...

We could make some positive forward progress if the riders and trainers would get rid of the nosebands and leave off any type of weight from the distal limb (FEIF *raised* the weight limit for shoes a few years ago).

Mechanical gaits are not inherited, so to me, it makes no sense to "evaluate" the horses for conformation and gait, when so many artificial aids are allowed!

The evaluation scores then mean nothing when a basically three-gaited horse is forced to "tolt". It sort of defeats the purpose of the whole system.

Natural gaits should be the foundation of the evaluations.

Sigrún said...

"The evaluation scores then mean nothing when a basically three-gaited horse is forced to "tolt". It sort of defeats the purpose of the whole system."

what? I dont think I got what you where saying.. 3 gaited?!?!

Icehorselove said...

It is impossible to make a three gaited horse tolt with the help of nosebands and weights.
Also, I really encourage people to attend an Icelandic horse show and actually see the horses and speak with the owners of the horses.

Tuffy Horse said...

Chimera 21 wrote:

>A pony isn't a 'lesser' horse. It's simply an equine that is under 14.2 hands high.


Considering that there are a whole lot of polo PONIES, that are well over 14.2 and worth thousands of dollars, I don't consider called an equid a "pony" the least bit disrespectful.

And what about cowponies, pony horses, trick ponies, Fell Ponies, Haflinger Ponies, ( both small draft horses)

A good cow pony is worth his weight in gold. And good polo ponies have to be bought with lots of gold!.

QuiltnGal said...

This situation is very disconcerting. I have two icelandics and they are both very gentle and not at all hyped up. I wonder what people would think about the pictures on this page http://www.icelandichorse.us/mares.html especially the 4th one down.

IceRyder said...

There is an article in the Iceland Review that references this thread:

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_life/?cat_id=21123&ew_0_a_id=312685.

It says that "some of the criticism on the website does seem to be based on misunderstanding".

I think this is a big problem, as our words and what we intend for them to mean, may be interpreted differently, and words from Iceland may means something different than how we interpret them.

Simple things can have very different interpretations. For instance, I think we have been indicating that the big bits and tight nosebands are not good, and Icelanders are basically saying they agree, and that they are not using big bits and tight nosebands, because "big bits" and "tight nosebands" may mean something very different to them versus us.

The Iceland Review also supplies a video (click onto the picture) http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/features/multimedia/?ew_news_onlyarea=&ew_news_onlyposition=13&cat_id=29473&ew_13_a_id=281693.

The words used in the video would be similar to words we would use and consider acceptable, but the meanings of the words (well, not the words themselves, but the actions that they portray, such as "take the young horse for a short ride") are different ("take the young horse for a short ride" might mean to us, to walk down the road for a mile, relax, loose rein, experience the area, and walk back, whereas in Iceland it may mean run down the road, heavy contact, run back, done.)

IceRyder said...

Sigrun, I mention three-gaited horses because I believe that Icelandic Horses are not strictly four or five gaited horses, but that there are plenty who are only three-gaited (either walk, trot, canter, or pace, pace, pace) and some of these, who may never show any type of gait at liberty, or only gait under a rider with the mechanical aids, are strictly three-gaited horses.

IceRyder said...

http://www.icelandichorse.us/pics/Markus-large.jpg

This is the image referred to a few comments above.

Definitely mechanical aids used here.

Sigrún said...

well, that pic you posted in your last comment is of a very very well known stallion, you cant "get" all horses to be like he is in the photot, thats why he is such popular stallion, they are breeding for this look... Im still not sure you understand how you get the horses neck so upright.. but in this photo there is heavy contact, more heavy than I would use... to get horses well upright you train them, you start on walk and reward the horse for carrieing his head up, with loose contact, as soon as he puts it down you use a more heavy contact.. this the horse learns, so he keeps his head up and there for is more comfirtble.
Then you start to go slowly faster but if you "loose" the horse down you start back on walk.

I have a horse that I dont think ever needed to learn this cuz he is so upright naturilly, again this is what is being bred for..

and ya I agree on the words part.. it just like this with the word pony. but takeing a young horse for a short ride dose not mean run run run with heavy contact. accully I have been asked to come along on a ride on a horse that was newly broke cuz I have such a light hand...
you dont put to much on the young ones.. you slowly work the horse up to where you want it to be... that can take years, with that said, most horses never get this bomb droped on them (I cant speak for all icelandic horse owners).. if you know what I mean.

iceryder I think I know who you are, I checked out your website and some of your videos a long time ago. I saw your video about artificial gaits and sent a pic of a horse doing the same thing by him self that you did not allow to be seen on the comments.

You have some very intresting ides but I can not agree with you on some of them.

also about what we mean by pace and tölt..

Tölt: 4 beats, 8 phases, sequence same as walk but different phases.

that all icelandics can do naturally (if they cant witch is rare, they are eaten)

Pace: Lateral gait, 2 beats (in some cases allowed to be 4 beats on high speed)

That not all icelandics can do, a slower 4 or 3 beated "pace/tölt" is what we call "lull" and is not in our book a gait. thats when the horse isint pure.

and I feel you ont the ide on 3 gaited horses, I have a mare that dose not trot, she has done it but Im always supprised when she dose .. but that dosent mean she is 4 gaited cuz she can trot, she just dose not choose to do it and Im in no doubt that I can get her to trot more.

Tom B said...

You admit that your horse experience is in the US Southwest. Before criticising the world, you should broaden your experience. Europe seems to have different standards, and certainly looks different to an amateur like me. If you really care about this issue, you should go to Iceland to see how they treat their horses. They are certainly no more cruel than American cowboys, or the whole rodeo business.
Ice racing may seem cruel to you, but it would be natural in northern Europe where there are a lot of frozen lakes to cross.
I am quite heavy, so normally ride what would be called draft horses in the States. Standard European horses are so tall that even normal people need a ladder to mount - and I get acrophobia. Icelanders have been recommended to me becaus they are very strong, but short, and have a gait that is good for old men.
Have you ever seen videos of Mongolian racing? Very big men on rediculously small horses - but both seem happy and race all day.
You should presume that most riders are as concerned with horse welfare as yourself.
And it is really not very mature to use so much profanity and insults.

Trojan Mouse said...

Tom B,

>You admit that your horse experience is in the US Southwest. Before criticising the world, you should broaden your experience. Europe seems to have different standards, and certainly looks different to an amateur like me.

Tradition and different standards do not excuse poor riding and harsh treatment. In this enlightened age that isn't a single reason why anyone would be riding with those bits and jerking the crap out of the horses. Trying to justify abuse by citing other abuses just points out how invalid the argument is.

>If you really care about this issue, you should go to Iceland to see how they treat their horses. They are certainly no more cruel than American cowboys, or the whole rodeo business.

In Iceland they eat their horses. So I'm not really interested in that aspect of horse keeping.

>Have you ever seen videos of Mongolian racing? Very big men on rediculously small horses - but both seem happy and race all day.

Yes an I read the article that the AAEP put out after their vets went over and treated all their horses pro bono. The references to spinal injuries, leg injuries and health problems was horrific. I also watched the Discovery Channel show on the horses in Mongolia and they are not happy and not treated well. They have life spans that are half of what the American horse enjoys.

>You should presume that most riders are as concerned with horse welfare as yourself.

I don't presume that at all. Afterall,if that was the case then the photos and videos I showcase on this blog would not exist.


>And it is really not very mature to use so much profanity and insults.

Oh bugger, I've bloody offended someone.

Sigrún said...

TM, about us culling "bad" horses and then eat them is a good thing.. look at the over population prob. of horses you are haveing in the US and this also ensures that mostly quality horses are bred.
we dont breed to eat like you would cows or sheep.

I understand that many are pro-slaughter if done humainly in the US becuz of this. Right?

and no, you didnt offend him, he was pointing out how childish it makes you look.

Dora said...

I‘ve been reading this discussion for a while and finally decided to sign up for an account to be able to comment ;o)
This topic is great and I thank you for bringing it up. It‘s a well known fact that it often takes a stranger to point out what needs to be corrected. The fact that we only have this one breed here in Iceland is a kind of handycap, it has us, in a way, boxed in and missing out on all the variety of the horsemanship. But that is changing though with better education.
First I‘d like you to explain to me what is so bad for the Iceys to have a tall rider if he‘s slim and well ballanced? It seems to me that it‘s mostly about you (or anyone not used to it) finding it awkward to watch. Many Icelandic people are tall but that doesn‘t always mean heavy. I am 6ft tall and weigh aprox. 170 – 180 lbs. My horses have no problem carrying me, but on the other hand I do not break the young ones in myself, I get someone lighter to that for me and when they have built up more muscle strength I start riding them.
I use Icelandic saddles and they do not hurt my horses or cause hyper-flexion to their neck. The saddle itself doesn‘t do that. Iceys are, for the most part, very comunicative and when brushing after a ride you can always tell if they are sore because they show you. But so many riders, in the show ring, sit on the cantle and that is obviously not using the saddle as it was designed for.
Here are links to some of the popular saddles in stores here.
http://www.icesaddles.com/index_en.php
http://www.lifland.is/category.php?idmc=9&idc=9
About the bits.... That first picture is simply dreadful , that bit looks nasty and using a flash noseband (not to mention how horribly tight it is) with it is discusting! The bits with the long shanks are also something I don‘t understand, there is a very long tradition of using them and some people seem to regard that as it being a good testament for them. There has been a debait over those bits for a pretty long time and I personally say they should be banned. I own quite a few of those, of different size and shape, and they are all hanging on my wall for decoration. The bit you call „a snaffle with a hard on“ are not common at all but sometimes used as a last resort (for a short period of time) when a horse keeps putting it‘s tounge over the bits and there for loosing the contact between it and the rider.
The most common bits are here: http://www.baldvinogthorvaldur.is/mel/hringamel/
The one with two joints like here: http://www.baldvinogthorvaldur.is/mel/bitamel/ are also common and are not designed to pinch or hurt, actually some of my horses prefer those over the one-jointed ones.
When using a dropped noseband you need to make sure it sits high enough above the nostrils, (no less than the witdh of three fingers) and loose enough so that you can put two or three fingers underneath it. That way it supports the bits and doesn‘t cause discomfort to the horse.
Tere are many extremely powerful and spirited Iceys that only a very experienced rider can handle. Those are often used in the showring and obviously a rider can loose control for a while, wich seems to me is the case with the pinto one in the two pictures you posted.
I recently found a site on the web that promotes great horse shoes and I would like to try on my Iceys. This one here: http://www.easywalkerhorseshoes.com.au/ Right now the variety of shoes is not so great, some have tried aluminum shoes but they ware out to fast in rough terrain and therefor aren‘t used here to any extent. Insted most put a pad between hoof and shoe that reduces the shock up to the legs.
Here is a picture that shows a foal in tölt, this is how the neck extends naturally, it should never be forced with rough hands or sitting on the canter of the saddle. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2249/2239967144_4a4fe73328.jpg (I‘m talking about the first dun one)
I could go on for pages .... but it‘s long enough for now.
I hope you can, and want, some day come to Iceland and experience riding and getting to know this wonderful breed.

anniebanannie said...

Solva-Icelandics said...

Anniebanannie - I just cannot believe that you are STILL completely ignoring the obvious abuse and are still whinging on about "Pony v. Horse", when even the Icelandic horse/pony breeders etc on here have said it really doesn't matter that much to us, at least those of us outside Iceland.

What is it with you? Don't you actually care about the abuse?


I already made my opinion clear. If you have really read my comments, you'd know that already. If you care to know my opinion, take the time to look it up.

I am not embarrassed to have an opinion about this topic nor am I loathe to express it. Although you wish to trivialize it, I don't really care what you think about my opinion.

Also, if we can't express an opinion on putatively trivial matters, then we probably shouldn't talk much at all. Over 99% of what most people say daily is trivial.

Also, people have already admitted that they feel that the term "pony" is derogatory. Pony is not a derogatory term, it is descriptive. However, if people continue to rail against the usage, when it perfectly appropriate, then it will become negative.

I ride a pony daily. I don't give a flying fuck if anyone thinks less of me for it. She's a better trail horse and hunter than most horses out there. AND she's a mutt mustang too.

Ride your Icelandic ponies and be proud. A good equine is a good equine no matter how tall.

anniebanannie said...

Tom B said...

You admit that your horse experience is in the US Southwest. Before criticising the world,{snip}

If you really care about this issue, you should go to Iceland to see how they treat their horses. They are certainly no more cruel than American cowboys, or the whole rodeo business.


STOP! STOP! STOP! JUST FUCKING STOP!

STFU! OMG! Will this ever stop! Just because other riding disciplines abuse horses DOES NOT EXCUSE ABUSE.

Holy savior on a stick people. This is like saying, "Hey, it's okay if I made my daughter give me a blow job, 'cause my neighbor has sex with his son and that ain't right."

anniebanannie said...

Sigrún said...

TM, about us culling "bad" horses and then eat them is a good thing.. look at the over population prob. of horses you are haveing in the US and this also ensures that mostly quality horses are bred.
we dont breed to eat like you would cows or sheep.

I understand that many are pro-slaughter if done humainly in the US becuz of this. Right?

and no, you didnt offend him, he was pointing out how childish it makes you look.


I do agree with Sigrun. However only some of United States equestrians are in favor of humane slaughter. Many feel that horses should get the consideration taht pets do (even though 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized yearly in the U.S.)

In my mind, eating horses is not criminal, wrong or repugnant. It's just how it is in other countries. As long as the killing done humanely, I think it's better to recycle up than down.

IceRyder said...

I generally call them Icelandic "Horses" as a matter of respect and formality since that is the title that we generally know them by, but I understand that they are ponies. I don't use the diminutive term of "icy", or "icey".

If someone compliments me on my *pony*, I'm glad and say "thanks"!

IceRyder said...

>>Tölt: 4 beats, 8 phases, sequence same as walk but different phases.<<

Yes, there are differences between tolt and walk; maybe more differences than similarities!

The sequence of footfall between tolt and walk is the same: LH, LF, RH, RF. However, walk is a square gait and tolt is a lateral gait.

Also the support phase is different: tolt is 1 foot / 2 foot support, and walk is 2 foot / 3 foot support.

Additionally, the frame of the horse is different: walk is a neutral back or in pretty advanced work it can be rounded back; whereas in tolt the back is hollow (ventroflexed).

So, there are a lot of differences between walk and tolt!


>> tolt... that all icelandics can do naturally (if they cant witch is rare, they are eaten)<<<

There are not many Icelandic Horses, at least not a preponderance of Icelandic Horses who gait at liberty. Also we do not see many who are gaiting without mechanical aids.

So, we don't see many Icelandic Horses who tolt naturally. They have not been eaten.

Perhaps we have a difference in the meaning of "natural" gait?

IceRyder said...

>>>Here are links to some of the popular saddles in stores here.
http://www.icesaddles.com/index_en.php
http://www.lifland.is/category.php?idmc=9&idc=9 <<<

There does not seem to be any pictures of the saddle on the horse, showing how it fits. I see the video of a horse being ridden, I assume, in the advertised saddle, but the saddle doesn't show under the rider and his coat.

Why aren't the saddles shown on horses? and shown how they fit the horses?

IceRyder said...

>>>I am quite heavy,... Icelanders have been recommended to me becaus they are very strong, but short<<<

Personally, I do not think that Icelandic Horses are the best choice for heavier riders.

I think it is an injustice for the horse / the breed, to recommend them for heavier riders.

See how the Icelandic Horse's back is affected by weight: http://iceryder.blogspot.com/2008/04/back-of-icelandic-horse.html

Three-gaited horses generally don't flex downward so much; I suspect Fjords would be better weight carriers.

Some Icelandic Horses *may* be good weight-carriers, but I would not make that a blanket statement about the breed and I think that it is unfair to those who aren't strong enough or to those who do not have the conformation to carry heavy weights.

There is more to weight-carrying ability: http://iceryder.net/weight.html

IceRyder said...

Re: Respect

In regard to respect of the Icelandic Horse: I find it a odd that some owners want the horse to be *respected* and called Icelandic Horse (rather than pony), yet easily recommend them for heavier riders, use questionable tack, heavy contact, and force them into frames that are unnatural, as well as recommend trainers who disrespect the horse by using these methods and equipment.

Re: Natural

>>fact that the majority of yearlings are brought up 'naturally' to play and grow and just be horses"<<

Why be so proud of raising the horse naturally and then tie the horse up with so much unnatural and hurtful equipment when he's ridden? Doesn't that seem at odds?!?!

Would it stand to reason to be proud of raising the horse naturally and then riding him as naturally as possible?

IceRyder said...

>>Here is a picture that shows a foal in tölt, this is how the neck extends naturally, it should never be forced with rough hands or sitting on the canter of the saddle. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2249/2239967144_4a4fe73328.jpg<<

Thanks for the picture! We have not been able to find many pictures or video of Icelandic Horses in tolt at liberty. This is nice!

IceRyder said...

>>I saw your video about artificial gaits and sent a pic of a horse doing the same thing by him self that you did not allow to be seen on the comments.<<

Sigrun, I don't recall seeing it. The comment function on the youtube videos is turned off, and the blog doesn't allow anonymous comments.

Send it to me at iceryder @ gmail.com

Thanks!

Sigrún said...

Hi, I also pointed out that I questuon your horses quality, I have a mare that will pace under her self and almost only do that.

then I have a 4 gaited one that will mostly trot under him self (he is poor breeding, but I still love him, and has trouble tölting pure)

and then I have my big guy, wow... what quality, he has all 5 gaits either trots or tölts under him self.

It was a bitter sweet moment when he broke out of his cart yesterday and I watch him tölt on high speed back to his herd.
beautiful, but I had to run after him and chatch him agian.

You are in the states right?
Im sorry to say that alot of your ides just dont add up and I think it becuz you only see a fracture of the breed.

you are telling me that my horses do not tölt with a rider unless I somehow force them, that just isint true.

Also as soon as you ride with a heavy hand a horse will start to keep his head down to try to escape the pain, I cant see why any would see his intrest in that.

How ppl ride in the showring is not how horses are ridden every day, not even the show horses them selves.

now befor any one saies "THAT DOSE NOT MAKE ABUSE OK!"
Id like to say "IM NOT DEFENDING IT"

I tried finding that pic, but I cant.

I have posted a link to a horse tölting on his own with a rider, I think thats plenty of proof

mariiah_sweden said...

Why are everybody so upset about riding the horses on ice? I live in sweden and in the winter it is icy all over the place at times. What should we do, keep our horses in the stable all winter? Of course we put studs in their shoes, and the studs sink into the ice in every step that the horse takes, witch makes it much better to move around on than asphalt or gravel.

But accidents happen, I have seen many many horses fall in maneges too, but nobody is objecting against riding in a manege even though a deep layer of for example sand hurts the ligaments much more than firm ground such as grass or ice. In sweden the farmers held iceraces with their horses for hundreds of years and I doubt that they would have done that if the horses were frequently injured since the horse was their most valuable posession. :)

mariiah_sweden said...

And one more thing, I can agree that some tall men shouldn't ride the smllest horses, but why are you convinced that longer legs on the horse= it's stronger? :S Some thoroughbreds and such have long backs (=week and often easily injurded) and long legs, but no more musclemass than an icelandic. I mean, on Iceland there are only icelandic horses and they have been ridden by grown up men for thousand of years. Back problems are soooo common in showjumping horses and dressage horses (look at some statistics) that maybe they aren't stronger than these shortlegged cuties? Maybe we shoud give up riding all together?:(

dem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dem said...

Perhaps riding itself is bad for the horses, and they should be left alone to live out their lives without human interference? You talk about weighted shoes being bad for the animals in the long run, well, what does the weight of even a light person do over time? Riding is an artificial situation for the horse, it's not natural. They have adapt to a lot...saddles, bits, halters, whips. Is any of really the choice of the horse? I hate to see animal abuse of any kind, some riders cross the line. No doubt the competition takes over with some of these people, and they are willing to hurt their animals in order to win. Others who think they are doing right by the horse, who advocate for them, those who ride treeless, barefoot, bitless....how do they know that riding isn't in itself harmful?

bosko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sigrún Hanna said...

I was reading both the article and the comments and I must say that the article was rather cruel. Of course we should not tolerate any type of abuse towards horses and other beings, and I appreciate your effort on making people see how horrible others can be and therefor decide not to act like them, but this really came out badly for you. The picture you painted of Icelandic riders in this article made them come across as cruel and evil. That is definitely not true. And about the saddle thing; I have never heard of a saddle like that. The saddles in Iceland are made to be good and harmless to the horse.
I am an Icelandic rider and I do not use the bit. Lots of other riders have stopped using the bit quite some time ago. Some even have their horses go barefoot.
So, next time you write something like this, please don't make it look like you're attacking an entire nation :P Because it really came out that way

applebottomedfi said...

Okay... I think you have some of your facts way the fuck off... I own, breed and train Icelandics, but for all of you out there inhaling a breath of horror, I train them from a dressage background. I DO NOT HAUL ON THEIR FACES. I do NOT use strong bits. ALL my horses are started and ridden, competed in... oh wait for it.... oh my GOD... a LOOSE RING, FRENCH LINK bit.... oh the terror... For horses that pull, they use a hackamore.. Poor little ponies... or horses... I am Icelandic myself and guess what? I do not abuse my horses to get them to gait more. They either have the high stepping gaits or they dont.
Pulling them into an inverted frame doesnt increase their gaitedness. Engaging them from the hind is what gives the rider higher movement.
As for the saddles, I havent seen ths saddles that you say are the norm.. Maybe I was in the wrong Iceland.. my bad.
Sure there are bad riders out there, but last I checked, the Icelandic horse world isnt the only place that is inhabited by shitty riders.
As for the heavy shoes you are alleging we use?? There are restrictions in shows that limit the weight of the shoes we use. I had on regular shoes that all farriers use, and they were too heavy for show. The boots they wear in show are also not weighted. Every boot is weighed before the horse is entered into the show.
What I really really want to know is where the fuck you get off bitching up a storm with your head up your ass.
Get an education.
As for the height of the riders, the Icelandic horse is the only horse in Iceland. Yes for all of you out there who are stuck on the under 14.2 HH is a pony, anything above is a horse, I get ya, I call mine a pony. But I've also ridden one in Iceland that was 15 HH, not a pony then. They are Horse by breed, but pony by stature... Happy?
Unlike horses here, there is no thoroughbred or arab influence in these Old World Horses. If you'd ever sat on one of these you would know that they are effectively short legged horses. but oh wait, you wouldnt do that would you... nooo... you'd rather make broad statements based on a few pictures you've found.. silly me.. expecting some basic intelligence. Ha.
sucks to be you. Your baseless rantings give no credence to your website.

Nicely dun said...

I worked with an Icelandic over the summer, he was the first I had met before. He had "six weeks training" on him...but he knew nothing. I rode him on a snaffle, and lunged him with a surcingle, working on having him accept the bit and relax. We went to a clinic, and a lot of the horses were just nutcases, but the boy I worked with went pretty well. He was much calmer, and rode with his head in a natural position.

I know this is an old post, and I understand that the icelandic "horses" (LOL) have it rough in reality, but the boy I worked with had it good I think. We rode in a regular ol english saddle also...

Love the blog.

IceRyder said...

"He had "six weeks training" on him...but he knew nothing...

The Icelandic-style training is designed for their style of riding, which is much different than ours. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with *horsemanship*. It's more geared towards demanding that a horse do this or that, without prior knowledge or training.


"the boy I worked with had it good... went to a clinic, and a lot of the horses were just nutcases, but the boy I worked with went pretty well. He was much calmer, and rode with his head in a natural position."

Kudos to you! My Icelandics are smart, and love western style riding, for which their conformation is very suitable.

They don't care to be micro-managed by the rider, the reins, the bit, etc.

They like to learn, and once they learn, they don't need to be micro-managed. Loose rein riding, bitless, whatever, they can excell at it!

Very smart horses!

ILoveMyHorses <3 said...

The bottom bit has a little tag on it so that the horse cant get its tounge over the bit. Im pretty sure of it.
I guess they have though of the fact that ice is slippers by putting the studs on the bottoms of their shoes but racing on hard ground isn't rite or natural.
I really dont think that your approach was very good towards this topic but you do have a point to it, although there isnt just one culprit for these horsey crimes.

Ann Kristin said...

About the riding on ice...
The icelandic horses come from ICELAND, and has been used on all kinds of terrain for thousands of years, also ice.

One must have studs on the shoes to ride on ice, but when one has, its not slippery at all.
The horse is more likely to slide on grass or frozen iceless ground.

It's not bad with shoes on the horses, as lang as its normal, GOOD shoeing. It's there to help the horses hoofs to not get soar/worn down.
There is no weight on the shoes in normal shoing, no long toe or anything. Don't think that everyone is like the bad apples you see and are showing, cmon..

If you are not gonna ride on ice, then you have to let the horse stand whole winter, spring, and most of the fall.
The horses LIKE being used, they LIKE traveling, and most of the horses are NOT used for competition!

Vilmoy said...

>In Iceland they eat their horses. So I'm not really interested in that aspect of horse keeping.

They eat horses in many places. And in the UK thousands of racinghorses are slaughtered every year because they dont have what it takes to be the best. Sad but true.

I read somewhere in the comments that they didn't know how much the gaiters weighed or how heavy the shoes are.

Well, the rule says that you can only have 300g of equipment on each leg. And thats all added up together, gaitors, legpretections, studs, you name it.

I don't really know how heavy the shoes are but on front legs the shoe can only be up to 10mm thick, whilst on the hind legs its aloud with down to a 6mm thick shoe.

You can only use studs if it says so in the invite to the show, if it doesn't you can be disqualified.
And its laws that say how many studs you can use, I think it's 4 on the front legs and 2 on the hinds.. :)

And I noticed that everyone is complaining that they cant find any pictures of Icelandics being ridden in a more normal way? You are then not good enough on the search engine. I find pictures of iceys with normal headposture, people riding bareback with only a headcollar on - with no bridle..

I do that with my pony, just ride her bareback and with a headcollar.. I usually never ride her with a saddle during the summer. We go swimming and everything.

Grace said...

Just so you know everyone Icelandic ARE horses because they descended from German and Swedish HORSES....They have HORSE BLOOD.... not pony..... Arabians used to be just as small or smaller than Icelandic Horses, but Americans have bred them to be bigger....."bigger is better"...... bigger trucks...bigger houses......why not bigger HORSES? I own 4 wonderful Icelandic horses, and I know much more than you about this site... Trojan Mouse or whatever the f you call yourself... For the record..Though I am sure you have heard this... YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HORSES........you are just an arrogant person who wants to look like they do.

Grace said...

By the way, The Icelanders ride their horses on ice because it is more interesting, and IF YOU KNEW ANYTHING, THAT IS THEIR NATURAL SURROUNDINGS IN ICELAND....... plus it is extremely safe because they had studded shoes on their horses!! And all that *!* about the riders being to big?? Well yes the horses are small, and the riders are tall, but the horses are comfortable with it. they are much more hardy and strong than those flimsy, delicate, unintelligent "Thoroughbreds"..... which are very UN thorough by the way because you can't even ride them out because you'll get spooked off... or those stupid over bred horses will break their delicate skinny little legs in the rough terrain such as grass.....oooooo

IceRyder said...

>>Icelandic ARE horses because they descended from German and Swedish HORSES....They have HORSE BLOOD.... not pony..... <<

Please be aware that Icelandic Horses have been mtDNA'd to PONY breeds:

http://iceryder.net/pony.html.

IceRyder said...

>>The Icelanders ride their horses on ice because it is more interesting, ... plus it is extremely safe because they had studded shoes on their horses<<

Pounding a horse's metal laden feet, with weighted boots, on hard surfaces, is not a good thing to do for the long-term soundness of the horse.

Studs also interfere with the natural action of the hoof to slide into place. Having the hoof grab the ground sends a torque up the leg.

Spavin and splints are problems with the Icelandic Horse. Which came first? the disease, or was the disease the result of the type of riding?

Read about the study entitled:
Bone Diseases of the Saga Horse - A 1000 Years Old Story at:

http://iceryder.net/spavin.html.

It's just a matter of common sense. If they want to chance the soundness of their beloved horse ("man's most useful servant"), that's up to them. But maybe others who value their horses and their health, don't want to take chances like that.

An Icelandic Horse falling on ice.

lee said...

I've been doing research on this breed for a long time and I agree many things about the riding are abusive. However, a few points.

The riders might look funny but there's no evidence whatsoever that they're too heavy. Basic physics - Shorter spans are stronger. "Ponies" can take more weight per pound than horses, plus Icelandics have evolved for hundreds of years to carry the weight they do.

As for the riding on ice, yes it's a bad idea because ice is so hard, but you're worried about the horses slipping?? They put ice caulks on their shoes, just like many other people who have to ride outdoors in the winter have done for decades. Not knowing that takes away from your credibility.

Please be careful not to demonize all the fans of this breed. Most Icelandic owners don't show at all, and some breeders don't use traditional Icelandic tack, shoes, or boots. (Use of the Icelandic curb bit is rare even in the show ring).

Very few treed saddles of any brand fit Icelandics, and
unfortunately there isn't enough of a market for anyone to make one. But there are alternatives, and some Icelandic owners spend a lot of time and money finding them. The noseband/bit issue is a tougher nut to crack, but again people are trying.

I applaud the concept of this blog. I think show horses are often abused as well. Personally though, I don't feel that swearing and using rude language is a good way to convince people that they should change their views on anything. Are you looking for a resolution or just a fight?

laggmble said...

The best way to get results is through the pocket book. If abuse costs more money than its worth, they will stop.
As for this blog. Intelligent people do not need to swear. I hate abuse too, but bad language never accomplished anything, it just makes YOU look bad.

zercath said...

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Ragazza_Italiana said...

I hate to see horses suffer such abuse. And personally, I think it is time to BAN those dropped nosebands that tie the horse's mouth shut so they can't escape the pain of heavy-handed riders or such severe bits. I would willingly sign any petition and fight any possible way against such abuses

david said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david said...

horse can be of any breed ,what should be the most important is accessories which are use on riding . The most important is the saddles, if saddles are good then you can have a good ride . i heard Australian Saddle are very good .

Synna said...

Oh, how lovely. An american know-it-all sitting in her room blogging about something she knows absolutely NOTHING about. How delightfully stereotypical ;)!

SOME people treat their iceys bad just like any other breed, but that doesn't mean you should slander off everybody. There's nothing wrong with boots and those bits and the saddles, as long as you use them correctly..

And before you go saying that a grown person is too big for this horse, maybe you should do some research? An icelandic horse has always been ridden by grown people, and they're very strong. You can't compare them to a mini-arabs or whatever you're thinking about. These horses are STRONG. Besides if they had such a terrible life, how come icelandic horses are one of the longest living breeds? Do you have an answer to that?

And yes, hightwise they are ponies, but the icelandic people call them horses, and that's just the way it is.

Krepsen87 said...

Like synna you are a know-it-all. You schould do some research before even posting this blog about Icelandic horses.

For the first. The DONT get riding on the ice, the get riding in the nature, like every other horse.

For the second. An Icelandic horse can hold a fully grown man, the are build to handle that.

For the third. Not evryone use the same saddles, we use different saddles on our horses. I use a dressage saddle fit for icelandic horses after a consult with a saddle fitter, and my horse dont have thise figures you have shown in your photos.

For the fourth. There are bad apples everywhere, not just in the Iclenadic world. Besides in comnpetition the rider gets yellow cards for bad riding, that doesnt all diciplines have.

But anyway. You scould get facts and information from people who actually have knowlegde about the Icelandic horse.

Im qoting synna here: "SOME people treat their iceys bad just like any other breed, but that doesn't mean you should slander off everybody. There's nothing wrong with boots and those bits and the saddles, as long as you use them correctly.."

Like I said, there are bad apples everywhere in every dicipline in the horse world. Thought avout that?

SonofSvarri said...

I must agree to the last two. In order to claim something it is better to know something, especially when you use foul language. Some Icelanders may abuse their horse in one way or another just like people in any other nation, but at least they do not kill little babies in other countries like our president does and the president before did him also.

No one can understand how strong these horses are before knowing something about what it has went through for a thousand years. Here are some chosen notes I took from a history thesis that I read about the Icelandic horse recently, quite astonishing shit to say the least:

In the years around 900 Norwegians settled in Iceland and early on they brought with them horses as well as other livestock. Many things indicate that no horses were brought to Iceland after the year 1100. It is generally conceived that the rough conditions the Icelandic horse had to tolerate for about ten thousand years has a lot to do with how tough it is today.

From settlement until the 1900s, poor Icelandic farmers had rarely enough shelters or hay supplies in order to provide for all their horses. Therefore, in Iceland´s frosty winters, horses were mostly left to survive completely on their own. Although horses did not often freeze to death literally, in long periods of great hardships to, horses commonly starved to death and the same applied to their owners. Thus, for many ages, it was automatically in the hands of the harsh Icelandic nature to cull the sturdiest ones out. The weaker ones were simply wiped out by hunger or other hardship such as volcano eruptions, earthquakes or famines which were always quite common in Iceland. One example of such hardship was a volcano eruption in 1783. Its sulphuric acids, fluorine and other poisonous chemicals killed around 25.000 horses or 77% of the Icelandic horse stock, let alone 20% of the population.

Carriages did not arrive in Iceland until the years around 1900s, so for centuries the Icelandic horse took care of all transportation by carrying it on its back. All year long it carried the people from one part of the country to the next, transported all goods from the most rural areas to the commercial areas on the sea coast and from there it carried food back home as well as other material goods such as building material etc. During such travels the Icelandic horse carried 100-150kg for days and weeks on, crossing every mountain and every river on their path.

In Iceland there are a lot of mountains as well as rivers of all sorts. There were, however, neither roads nor bridges before the 1900s. Glacier rivers are often around 300-350 meters across and extremely dangerous to cross for many reasons. Its currents can be strong, they are extremely cold, and in cases when the horses are not swimming, the bottom of such rivers are covered with wet sand which horses´ hoofs commonly sunk into and got stuck in. For ages, Icelandic people and their horses were commonly killed attempting to cross all sorts of rivers, glaciers or mountains, especially during wintertime.

Researchers conclude the unusual stamina and sturdiness of the Icelandic horse, has much to do with the unusual high ratio of red muscle fibres that it possesses. Red muscle fibres utilize oxygen better than white ones. In addition muscle cells of the Icelandic horse contain unusually much fat which is also likely to be a cooperative factor in order to empower the horse so far beyond normal standards.

Since the Icelandic horse has lived solely by dead frozen grass for ages during wintertime, it has developed a very unusual digestion. A typical stomach in an Icelandic horse contains only around two litres; opposed to 18 to 20 litres that researchers in 1988 expected themselves to measure when estimating with comparison to other breeds of similar size. Further results confirmed that the hinder parts of the digestion, the appendix and the colon, are much larger and more developed than commonly known among horse breeds.

Best Regards,
Son of Svarri

heba said...

omg you freaking freaks!!!!!!!! you know nothing about our ways!! are you trying to friking tell me i abuse my friking horse! my horse stjarna is an excellent icetölter and you know what? because she enjoyes it! im mean god!! maybe we should complain about everything you do? should we tell you that jumping horses is abusing them!? STOP IT!!

Iciechick said...

I have 2 Icelandic horses- They are incredible equine to say the least. To respond regarding the "pony thing" No Pony on the planet is as strong as an Icelandic horse, this horse is able to carry one third of his/her own weight. I don't know of any gaited pony breeds. If they're out there, please tell me about them. The Icies are 4 to 5 gaited.
My mare and I competed in the EXCA-NCR(Extreme Cowboy Association, North Central Region) we are the 2009 Non- pro champs.
We have also participated in cow sorting and gaming. We've never met a trail we didn't like.
Icelanders and most Domestic Icie breeder/owners don't start riding young horses until they are 4.5 to 5 years of age. I believe all breeds should do this.
I have worked with a few trainers from Iceland. I find that they emphasize communication and respect. I personally have never witnessed anything like the pictures on your site. I'd like to know where they were photographed.
Response to Bits and saddles; My two horses wear Myler english D's; my young guy has a level 1, my 16 year old mare wears a level 3. I personally ride in a Sensations treeless saddle, my husband rides a Free n Easy english saddle- (for the EXCA I use an Aussie saddle with a horn) We measured to ensure fit. Most Icie owners I've met and ride with; always ensure the comfort and health of the horse first.
As far as the horses on ice- ( I have never done this) I understand that the horses have shoes with studs to ensure grip.
In all disciplines and breeds- there are people that don't understand what their actions are doing. Education, not personal attacks is how we stop all equines from pain and neglect.

Iciechick said...

To continue:
I see abuse of horses in many disciplines. If you want to rant- hit all of them. Not just a breed and way of riding that predates most disciplines. I don't tolerate abuse of any living being. But I educate myself on what is happening, before I make a move.
Some on this forum admit to not knowing anything about this breed of horse, or the history of the country they come from. So go learn- then form your opinions. When attacked people come out swinging. This is having a negative effect. Any equipment can be misused or improperly used.
=This forum is Bashing The Icelandic way. If you were to research you'd find that Iceland has an enormous respect for their horse. Iceland is a horse culture! I feel any land and people who brought this great horse to be- deserves respect- not attacks.

John said...

Everyone know that horses and ponies don't understand the rule and regulations. Many times they break all the rules and regulation. But I think we should not be ban for these thing.
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J.J. said...

Listen you have no idea what your talking about! i ride icelandic horses and that is NOT AT ALL how you ride them! heres a thought: research first! the icelandic horses are hearty animals and more durable then those prancy delicate horses. Ive heard some pretty nasty stuff about other types of riding and training technique so dont go trash talking iceys when your no better yourself. Enough Said.

J.J. said...

oh and one more thing: icelandic horse are the most purest breed of horse in the world. they have never been crossbred. In iceland if a horse is bad tempered they put it down. once a horse is taken out of iceland they can never come back. You gotta admit they have the right idea.

Latu said...

I'm riding icelandic horses (we call them horses even tho they are ponies because it's straight translation from íslensk hesturr) in Finland, and I gotta say you have some point -but also I can tell, you haven't been in touch with icelandic riding! Well maybe America is full of horse-torturing assholes, but in here we have vets to check the horses before and after the race, and if the horse has some kind of an injury the rider is banned.

Also, the front leg boots aren't torturing, they can be very light sometimes. They're used here because judges can see horses front leg motion better when there's white in their hoofs.

And when I'm watching icelandics foal tölting on a pasture, some of them are tölting with very high movements and with their head raised. So if you see an icelandic horse with his head up (ofc without breaking his lips) and really high leg movement, it isn't torturing... like you said, they can gait really well naturally.

(Sorry for my bad english, this just made me crack. :C)

Unknown said...

First of all, I have Icelandics, and I do show, in fact I'm trying out for the Youth Cup. Those photos literally made me gag. I don't do these things, but I know some people do. The poor horses in the pictures deserve better. Their riders need a slap in the face, or better, in the ass.

I ride in a snaffle, with a light flash nose band and a wide icelandic saddle to fit my horse. I add contact only when my horse has worked up to it, use bell boots at most, and use weighted shoes only to correct problems.

I will assure you of one thing: these people are not normally getting good scores. Does that make their actions okay?

How do I know this? I've been showing Iceys since I was 9, riding since I was 6and judges will mark you down for your horse's head being too far out, or for your contact for being too rough. When I was little, I didn't understand contact, and when I pulled too hard, my horse's head went straight in the air. I got docked two points out of ten, and ended up with a 4 out of 10.

I would like to see what scores these horses got, and what the judges' comments' were.

In tolt, contact is needed. A collected frame is preferred, not a yanked, tensed one. You want the horse's head to lower, actually, more than the ones in the picture. My poor horse was trained with his head in the air and got muscles in all the wrong places. He's getting better now, and we're gradually reintroducing contact to him. By the way, this contact should in no way be hard. It should be light.
You do need to sit back, it helps the horse's balance. I know you guys are going to be all like "Oh, if tolt is so natural, why would you need to sit back?" Well, you sit forwards when you go up hills on trails to keep the horse's balance, so why is sitting back so bad? Sitting on the horse's kidneys on a thin, pinchy saddle is an ancient Icelandic style, not many people use it much anymore, you will be pleased to know. There is a growing popularity in treeless saddles.

Second of all, for those of you radical "anti-tolt" people, riding isn't exactly natural either. Tolt can come more naturally to others, and some horses can be three gaited. It is the way it works.

I am pleased to inform you that a lot of this has been banned, but PEOPLE DO IT ANYWAYS, ONLY DISGUISED in the form of new tack.

Generally, in the Icelandic horse show world, there are two kinds of riders: the bad ones and the good ones, like in almost all horse disciplines. Unfortunately, there are a lot of the bad ones that are favored as show horses, making it seem really, really bad. The pictures you show me seem to be the worst of the worst, which is a good thing, since to protest something you have to show someone the worst of the worst.

There is one problem with this, which is you seem to claim that all show riders are like this. We aren't. And don't think for a second that some of us like me are as upset about this as you are. We are working on it, but FEIF is stubborn (like our horses, but crueler than our horses).

As for racing on ice, the horses are not racing on ice at all. They kind of... have to ride when it's snowing and icy. If they didn't, the horses would be pudgy little things and would be rarely ridden. They know it doesn't harm the horses when they're on ice, so long as they wear studded shoes that won't hurt them if they fall. And on the size thing- there is no other breed of horse in Iceland. Guess what country has tall people? It isn't as if they have a lot of a choice. Those are a few errors on this.

Unknown said...

By the way, it would be nice if you did something on the overproduction of racehorses, how the jockeys that ride them break them down on the racetrack. This is a very convincing article, a real eye opener. I know it isn't directly show related, but it involves horses, and to me it makes the demonic Icelandic riders look like Christ.

kimberly said...

Most of the bits you have shown are simple snaffles, the shank on that bit has nothing to do with the main function of the mouthpiece which is actually a simple snaffle. And as for the "gag" bit, that is not a gag bit at all, maybe you should do your research a little better because then you would know that that is a french link snaffle with copper roller bars and french link snaffles are used on horses with sensitive mouths because they are very gentle on the horse and the copper rollers are to encourage salivation in the horse's mouth and generally speaking tastes sweet to the horse. Also, Icelandic horses have a naturally high head carriage, so comparing a cob like breed from black beauty to an icelandic horse is like comparing apples to lemons, yes they are fruit but they are totally different.

SonofSvarri said...

If Icelanders are not treating their horses well, then what would you say about this link here?:

http://www.hofapressan.is/is/read/2012/01/02/dyranid-af-verstu-tegund-i-usa

Robin M.Smith said...

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tolter said...

Re Robin's last post: i can't find a manual at that address. Can you provide more detail or another place to see one? Thank you.

Perla Kamilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keila Tejano said...

A couple of years ago, there were some ice-tolt competitons and exhibitions put on in North America. Althought this can be exciting for some, there are those who are concerned for the health of the horse, and stress as a bby-product of these types of exhibitions. And I agree, their health is more important than to horse training.

ndeewoods said...

I have an icelandic pony. I also have a quarterhorse and a foxtrotter. I can tell you my icelandic is stronger than both my other 2...they have denser bones etc. They don't ride them til they are 5, and they live longer. If you do a bit of research into their history you will find they were bred to be smaller, yet are the hardiest and sturdiest of horses.

As far as the bits...I ride mine in a halter and I do natural horsemanship with him so I obviously have no interest in defending the undefendable parts of your blog about tht bits and the heavy hands....go get em!

ndeewoods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildflower4757 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildflower4757 said...

Hi. I just wanted your opinions. I have a 5 year old KY Mtn x Icelandic cross horse. He is 14.2 hands tall. I am 5'1", but weight 200 lbs. Do you think he can carry me okay or do you think I am hurting him?

ndeewoods said...

Only you can answer that...is your horse struggling on hills? How heavy is your tack? There is an old adage that a horse can carry something like 20 percent of his weight...at 25% they start struggling. Maybe this will help you.
Icelandics can carry 200 lbs....but a cross might now have the dense bones that set an icelandic apart from other horses.
Dee

ndeewoods said...

This has been an interesting discussion...want to add a bit more.

1-noone mentioned the fact that iceys have denser bones for heavier loads? Did I miss that fact being mentioned? They also live longer on average.

2-my icey tolts like a madman....and I ride him barefoot, bareback and in a halter as I do Parelli with him. That should probably start a whole other discussion now bashing Parelli...laugh!

3-There are only 5 icelandic "Master" trainers in the world and we just had one come to our barn for a clinic and he did nothing but natural horsemanship for 3 whole days. He was the headmaster at Holar University for years and has the respect of the whole icelandic community. There are many sickening practices in Iceland as well as the US...but with men like Eyjolfur Isolfsson and his equivalent in the US and Europe...horsemanship is rapidly changing all over the world.

II try when I see horsemanship practices I don't like to give helpful suggestions instead that get people thinking instead of bashing them....sometimes people just don't know there are other alternatives.

By the way, I call my icelandic a pony. But then I call my quarterhorse and my foxtrotters ponies too...:)

Frieda de Werker said...

Not every pony can carry a growing up person....

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Lurking Fox said...

I stopped taking you seriously when I read that:

">If you really care about this issue, you should go to Iceland to see how they treat their horses. They are certainly no more cruel than American cowboys, or the whole rodeo business.

In Iceland they eat their horses. So I'm not really interested in that aspect of horse keeping."

You don't want to dialogue, you don't want to understand. You may be right on some points, but you're wrong on many others, but like many riders you THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING (just like the riders you criticize think they know everything and are sure they're doing things right).

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ckmadsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ckmadsen said...

You're pissing me off so much that I'm about to rip off your pretty little head, but let's get something straight first: this is BULLSHIT. You come from the outside, knowing nothing, and say all of this of how WE "abuse" OUR HORSES (because yes, as a matter of fact it is a fucking horse, not a pony, and you calling it a pony is just not cool) when you clearly don't know shit.

First off, you're putting EVERYONE in the same box for the things that a couple of riders do. Because yes, I agree with you that there is a lot of shitty riding out there, but I know for a fact that no one puts their saddle on the horse's loins anymore unless they literally have no brain - it was done a while back because it was said to make get the horse on it's hindquarters. Then we found out that that was bullshit, and yeah, people fucking stopped doing it, because who wants to damage their horses back?

And do you seriously want me to believe that you are so stupid that you think that these horses race on ICE wearing NOTHING to protect them from sliding? Just proves just how ignorant you are. They wear large spikes under their shoes to prevent them from fucking killing themselves while showing off on ice.

As for the Icelandic curb bit: it is NOTHING like a regular curb bit because the shanks can be shifted and turned which means that the curb-effect is very little despite the shanks. Have you ever SEEN an Icelandic curb bit in real life? Or do you just assume that, you know, we are abusers and use abusive equipment? It takes NOTHING to make a 45 degree angle with an Icelandic bit because the shanks are loose from the mouth piece - you can pull very lightly and it will make just that angle. So go fuck yourself with that abusive crap.

Sam M. said...

Just to make things clear, I'd rather rip your head off than make a comment, but since Im not allowed to do what I would like to do, Im choosing the comment.

This article is the greatest bullshit I've ever read.
You admitted you weren't knowing anything much about Icelandic horses. Then again you begin raging about exactly the thing you have no clue of. Does that make sense? No. Not really. But let's go on.
The worst problem I see with what you wrote is that you've got the common thought in your head "Oh hey, I saw something I don't like. So, everyone in this scene has to be like this!". And whoops, a fatal mistake was born. Of course, the pictures you posted aren't the bright side of gaited sports, but some seem to be split second shots. I promise, I could do some of these too on a "normal" horse competition. Really. At least, we let or horses breathe most of the time. LDR (Low, Deep, Round) isn't a common method in gaited sport, but in jumping, dressage (e.g) competitions, welll... we have seen it.
Then, you go on raging about too big riders, and that the horses have to go on ice. Oh well, let's start with a little geography maybe? It's called ICEland. So what do you expect on this island? Ice? Noooo way! What a surprise! It's in those horses genes that they move on rock, sand, grass, ice or whatever they have to cross, searching for food. For the big riders, watch the legs of icelandic horses. Do they look weak and pony-like for you? If they do, maaan then you're blind. Get glasses right away. Plus, riders straight from iceland usually are tall, but not very heavy...
Yep. Then I seeee rage, rage and rage about the bits (Oh and actually many people I know ride their Iceys bitless ...) and here we come to the saddles then (or earlier? Who cares, seriously.) I agree, they are wrong saddles to be seen on competitions, but these are the bad riders. More people really care about their horses backs, get them round and relaxed in daily training and put very good fitting (better than much normal horses saddles) saddles on their back. What you clearly also don't know, is that toelt and pace are gaits that can be ridden 'over the back' too! It's a real relaxed gait, and to just mention it, people who rip their horses heads up don't get anything for their riding. Never seen someone winning our championships. Hnokki frá Fellskoti is the world championship winner. He looks great, and not a bit like the horses you've shown. Although images shown on google show his mouth opened too sometimes. This doesn't mean anything by the way, since even my horse pulls on his reins horribly sometimes. No matter how long I hold them. Icelandics can be bitchy.

-To be continued ...-

Sam M. said...

Oh and then my favourite part!
The bits.
You seem to know nothing about the pictures you added. First one is an icelandic HALF-curb. It's not even as bad as a western curb. Many people use it for "show" on competitions. My friends does ride with it, and her horse looks pretty happy with it. Of course, it is something you have to know how to ride with.
Second picture shows a 3 ring curb, which has been forbidden on cometitions to use. It causes a nutcracker effect, thats why it's been banned from Icelandic sports.
Third picture. I really had a great laugh about your comment. Never seen it before, eh? It's a special bit for horses who continuously put their tongue over the bit. It's very dangerous for tongue and the whole mouth, so people try to avoid their horses doing it with this kind of bit. It doesn't allow a horse rolling in its tongue to push it over the bit.
I see, you know very much about our sport :) As much as I know about the deeper mathematics of timetravelling.

To built a little conclusion:
Stop writing shit, and do some research before you spread hate and make people laugh about you. I agree that theres rough riding in gaited sports, but hey, let me show you some nice pictures out of normal horse sports:

http://www.crays.de/pferdeverhalten01/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/13.jpg

http://file1.npage.de/010301/22/bilder/gegen_sporen_1.jpg

http://www.yourhorse.co.uk/upload/21273/images/Blue%20tongue%201.jpg

http://www.sustainabledressage.net/rollkur/why_not/nijmegen_forward.gif

Do you really think this is better?

Sam M. said...

Oh and I just saw your shitty video link to the horse falling on ice. Every other horse is totally fine with it. Tho, the poor thing stepped into its horseshoe and stumbled. They would've fallen on every ground. It just happens.

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Stormy Sequirea said...

Actually, icelandics tolt which is their gait- specifically for ice. It developed over thousands of years specifically because of the icey terrain they live in. This is why icelandics are often ridden on ice, its showing off nature's beautiful job on these horses. Having an Icelandic horse, I can tell you that I've seen him tolt for hours on ice- both in the field and under saddle- and never once has he slipped. It's actually amazing.

Stormy Sequirea said...

Well said!!!! It's sad this blog is trashing on the Icelandic riding world. It's actually a very great horse industry, despite some random not so great people. Icelandics also have the most beautiful conformation! This blog is literal shitposting and ignorance.

ndeewoods said...

I think icies are the all terrain vehicles of the horse industry! My icie puts my quarterhorse and foxtrotter to shame in the mountain goat category! LOL!
My granddaughter now has a second icey temporarily....his owner is older and has to have a couple surgeries so Sierra has been training her youngster. They are doing amazing liberty work together...icies love to play!:)

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Diva the Pony said...

Wow! Those people are too big and heavy - it should be done on weight. I was always taught that rider + tack + gear on a FIT horse should equal no more than 20% of the horse's weight. Some people say up to 25%, maybe even 33%, depending on who you ask, but personally I much prefer the more conservative estimates. So my New Forest who is 12 hands weighs about 250 - 300 kilos; this means she can carry, when fit, a load of NO MORE THAN 60 kilos. I'm 56kg, so I cannot (and do not) ride her with a saddle. Maybe with some saddles I could do it but I don't ride her often enough to merit purchasing another saddle, maybe 3-4 times per year walk/trot around the paddock.

Your average six foot guy weighs, what? 180lbs? That's EIGHTY KILOS.

EIGHTY.

I mean actually most icelandics are actually about 13 hands, so maybe 350 kilos. So they could carry a rider and gear that totalled 70 kilos. Yet these men alone are 80 kilos - that's 10kg over. How far over the weight limit with tack eh?

Diva the Pony said...

It's worth mentioning, Diva - yes, the horse my account is named after - is 15.0hh and about 500 kg, though she's fat right now; this means she could carry a rider + gear totalling 90 kg (going off what she SHOULD weigh, not what she does right now!)
So I am well within her weight limit just in case you were thinking I make a habit of riding ponies I'm too big for - I don't! x

Unknown said...

They wear special shoes with traction studs in them. I really wish people would do their research before condemning.