Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And again....another noseband

Jesus Christ! Tie that noseband around your arm that tight for five minutes and see how long you last.

Here's the link to the original pic. Does anyone notice the tight noseband...nope...they all comment on what a wonderful picture it is. Have I suddenly woken up on Mars?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Here we go again...

Yes...lets strap that bit down nice and tight... Does this horse look like he's enjoying himself? If you look close enough you can see where the bit rings are digging into the side of his mouth. Poor poor horse..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Harsh Hands II

What's wrong with you? How about taking off that nose band and harsh bit, and actually try some TRAINING? If a horse needs tha much pressure to gait...perhaps he's NOT gaited. Go torture something else...

Harsh Hands

Three more pounds and you'll have that bit pulled up to his eyes you asshole!

Oh wait...that must be the goal...Icelandic horses are not supposed to see where they are going.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Loin Sitter

When riding, one must always remember to make an attempt at sitting on the horse's actual back.

Monday, December 15, 2008

There are no words...

Where do I begin? Why does a big fella like this need to strap that poor little soft nose down so hard? Man...find a horse that fits you! AND stay off those frigging loins. Ease up on the reins..
When you get off, hit yourself in the head with a baseball bat, just so I feel better.
This little horse is just trying so hard..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Feet are WEIGHT Manipulation!!

Saints preserve us!

Since when did Icelandics develop feet the size of draft horses? Long toes and big feet are a sign of weight manipulation. If you see feet like this it means the horse may or may not be naturally gaited. If you purchase a horse like this, expect that his gait will disappear as soon as a farrier with half an eye and an a**hole trims him appropriately.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Too tight

Tell me why this horse has to be yarded on to the point taht the bit ring digs into the side of his face? Not only that, the leather from the nose band has left white hairs on the side of his face. Note his feet, he's being hauled on so badly that he can't even land his feet properly. His toe is flipping.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Protection? I don't think so

Would you consider buying this horse for your breeding program? If s/he needs that much assistance in attaining a gait - is this horse truly 'naturally' gaited? Not only that, but if you look carefully, these feet are quite long (which also adds weight)...then you add the shoes, and the boots...and in about 5 years (probably a lot less time) you'll have a horse that has torn all of his tendons and is no longer sound. But had a 'balanced' gait for a while there didn't you?

If you are considering purchasing any horse that needs this much help to gait...back away slowly. If you are considering purchasing a horse that needs you to cantle sit in order to gait...back away slowly. If you are considering purchasing a horse that needs you to yard on the reins with say...25 lbs of pressure constantly...back away slowly.

A gaited horse should be easy to ride, and easy to keep in gait as long has s/he has been brought along carefully and with some consideration to conditioning and appropriate training. DO NOT have your horse trained by a 'traditional' 'certified' Icelandic trainer. Any local trainer can train your horse, just don't have them mess around with gaits...babies simply can't be expected to maintain a gait for very long. That comes with time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

STOP Ice Tolts

I live in Saskatchewan Canada. We deal with ice 6 months (maybe 5 if we're lucky) of the year. What idiot thought that taking a horse out into a skating rink or a lake was a good idea? What kind of idiocy is it to zoom your horse as fast as you can across a sheet of ice? Believe me, when it's icy around here...NO ONE takes their horse out onto it. It's too easy for your horse to suffer a life affecting injury...and it can happen in a moment. Horse people that care about their horses know better...period...there is no debate.

Please start using your brains and don't go riding when it's icy. Pull your horses shoes and give his feet the required time off during the icy winter months....don't put ice calks on him so you can squeeze a few more riding days out of him. Quit being a freaking cheep skate, and stop treating your horse like some kind of machine.

AND yet all of this is sanctioned by FEIF...they have competitions in Ice Tolts! For Gawd's sake, just because someone else jumps off a cliff...doesn't mean we have to.

Check out their news page...they have TWO competitions on ice.. Please...

Write them a letter and tell them to stop being ass hats...(nod to Fugly)...I love that expression.

But use nice language...because apparently bad language offends them. They can use narrow saddles, sit on loins, tie mouths shut, yard on reins, and edge toward big lick practises...but they don't like bad language. And for heavens sake when I brought this up with one european trainer. She was highly insulted, because the people that ride in the european championships...were her friends. Friends that should probably be charged (and probably will be charged some day)...with animal abuse. Believe me. It's coming. If FEI thinks the dressage world is bad...just wait until they focus their attention on the Icelandic competitions.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Too tight

I'm so glad she loves her horse. Oh the beauty of it all.
Maybe she'll get off him and actually LOOK at him and realize he's in distress over that noseband.
Does anyone ever look at their horse's expressions anymore?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What is a cantle..? AND what is a loin?

If you can imagine...the woman depicted in the colour photo was actually teaching a clinic on 'cantle sitting'. I hope her students didn't pay a lot for this advice. I wonder how many horses went home with sore kidneys that day?

This is where a LOIN is. Stay off it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teach Your Children Well

Okay, I don't like picking on kids...I'm picking on the adult behind the camera.

Who taught this lovely little girl to manipulate gaits? Who taught her that it was correct to cantle sit and hold a tight grip on those reins? Some adult should be very ashamed.
Children are such talented riders that it's an absolute crime that someone told this impressionable young girl that this was the correct way to ride a gaited horse. It's too bad, I think she might actually be a fairly decent rider if she could unclench her jaw, and relax a bit, and put her behind where it belongs. Just imagine how lovely she would look if she were taught to ride with her seat and legs?

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams,
The one they picks, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

Let go

Hey! The pony has stopped. You can let go now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Little Lick

So what direction is the Icelandic horse world going? Here's a picture of some loin sitters riding a few high action horses.

Here's an example of two Big Lick Riders.

So what's the difference? Just missing the long feet and the padded hooves?

Here's a pic of a top stallion in Europe. I guess the Icelandic show world is at the 'Little Lick" stage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tight Reins

Hey...when you are just standing around relaxing with your horse... LET GO OF THE FREAKING REINS! Learn about the value of 'release' in horse training. That pony isn't going any where, and if he does...teach him to stand when you ask.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tight Nosebands - Pitch them in the garbage!

Now lets imagine for a moment that this horse has a rider that pulls back on the reins with say....10 lbs of pressure. Can you imagine the pain that would cause on the cartilage of this horse's nose? When the noseband sits on the soft portion of the nose like's also cuts off air when pressure is applied to the reins. So not only does the horse experience pain....he can't freaking breathe! Horses CAN NOT breathe through their mouths! So when they open their mouths they are not trying to breathe...they are trying to get away from the pain of the bit... If they happen to have their mouths closed, they are putting up with the pain of the bit for a moment so they can actually breathe.

The person who took this picture actually thought the noseband was okay because she could fit her fingers under it. She actually thought it was okay.

Of course it's okay while the horse is standing still and no one is actually engaging the reins!!

Oh...this same vacationer also likes to loin sit apparently. Could that saddle be digging any deeper into that poor horses loins? But at least the rider in the picture was smiling and having fun. I guess that's the main thing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Loin Sitting - Not a Good Practise

EquiSearch's Ask the Vet: Saddle Too Far BackDr. Joyce Harman outlines the negative effects of placing a saddle too far back on a horse in this edition of's Ask the Vet.
By Dr. Joyce Harman

Question: What scientific research has been done that proves placing a saddle too far back on a horse will cause pain? I own gaited horses, and one of the tricks of some trainers is to place the saddle too far back (in my opinion), and then sit on the cantle. What effects will this have on the horse?

Answer: Very little true scientific research has been done on the effects of gait and the placement of the saddle in gaited horses. However, much clinical data has been gathered on the effects of saddles on back pain and function in gaited horses. When you place a saddle in the lumbar area and also add the rider's weight, you are actually sitting on the weakest and least supported part of the back. Think of your own lumbar area or your friends who have back pain--much of it is in this part.

The anatomy of the back in the lumbar area (see skeleton photo) shows just how unsupported the lumbar area is. Think of an abdomen full of intestines inside pulling down, and then add the weight of a rider pushing down from the top. Then add speed, which increases the effects of gravity, all pulling down on that area. The part that is most likely to be affected is the transition zone where the ribs stop and the lumbar vertebrae begin. When the horse is gaiting that small spot takes a great deal of force and is usually the most painful place in the back.

If you look at the photo of the saddle, you can see the lowest point where the white marker is--that is directly over the last rib and first lumbar vertebra. So the rider's weight is focused there, but also spreads over a larger area because people are bigger than my white marker. The horse's rib cage provides support for the rider's weight and is the best place for the horse to carry the rider.

If you look at the photo of the saddle, you can see the lowest point where the white marker is--that is directly over the last rib and first lumbar vertebra. So the rider's weight is focused there, but also spreads over a larger area because people are bigger than my white marker. The horse's rib cage provides support for the rider's weight and is the best place for the horse to carry the rider.

When the horse hurts at the thoracolumbar junction (the technical term for the anatomy we have been talking about), he cannot bring his pelvis underneath him to gait properly. And when he hollows his back, he has to trail his hind legs out behind slightly or compensate for the pelvis not being able to move correctly, all of which puts stress on the hocks and stifles. So the cycle of hock or stifle pain begins, and we keep injecting these joints, but the real problem starts up in the back.

The next piece of anatomy we have to look at here is the gluteal or large butt muscles of the horse. This muscle group provides the power of the stride. In horses a piece of this large muscle group actually comes most of the way through the lumbar area. Sometimes on a thin, fit horse you can see this muscle while lunging, it appears like a flat piece of muscle laid on top of the entire lumbar area. When you sit on this muscle you are affecting the movement of this important gluteal group, which is a muscle designed to work hard. Weight and pain in this area cause the horse to shorten his stride, again starting the cycle of hock or stifle events discussed above.

The best way to see or feel these things for yourself is to ride or watch your horse go with the rider's weight on the lumbar area with a traditional saddle (English or Western), then to put a dressage saddle on the horse. The dressage saddle, providing it fits somewhat well, places the rider's weight over the center of the horse's back. The rider can lean back, which negates the good effects somewhat, but if there is no saddle pressure in the lumbar area the horse will move better. It is amazing to see how well these horses gait when the rider is in balance and not interfering with the stride.

The Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book (English) and The Western Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book. Also explore for excellent information about rider balance and some gaited horse clinics, and search for clinics given by Diane Sept that are devoted to gaited horses. We must interfere the least amount possible with our horses' gaits and allow them freedom to express themselves.

Dr. Joyce Harman is a veterinarian and respected saddle-fitting expert certified in veterinary acupuncture and veterinary chiropractic; she is also trained in homeopathy and herbal medicine. Her Harmany Equine Clinic is in northern Virginia. Visit her online shop

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Hreggur

My Hreggur........this poor old guy came to me as a rescue. Look at the muscle atrophy on his back from wearing too narrow a saddle all his life. His feet were so contracted when he came, the farrier thought he might have navicular. But after about a year and a half his heels spread enough so he finally got his hoof function back. He wore shoes all his life before he arrived here. Look at that wonderful roman nose of his. Can you imagine how much he must have suffered while wearing a dropped noseband? There was no way a dropped noseband would not slide down onto the cartilage of his nose. I should know...I experimented with it before I finally stopped using a dropped noseband. I've kept it though, just to show people who are thinking of using one, just how awful they can be.

A new day has dawned...

  • Hello all...I have decided that from now on instead of remaining silent when people make complaints to me about the awful riding in the show/competition world of the Icelandic horse.. I will post the comments here. I will post the pictures they send to me here. Yes...all the 'water skiing' pics and examples of bad riding will be posted here for all the world to see.
  • I'm tired of trying to explain to people outside the breed who practise classical riding that no...I'm not like that.
  • I don't yard on the reins like my life depended on it.
  • I don't water ski or ride in a chair seat.
  • I don't ride on the loins.
  • I don't purposely use saddles that are too small so my horse will ventroflex in gait
  • I don't tie his mouth shut and cut off his air and then use a harsh bit to put him in pain and panic mode so he looks 'flashy'
  • AND I don't ride on freaking ice and call it an 'ice tolt'. I live with ice and snow six months of the year and there isn't anything glamorous about risking your horse's life by purposely going out on it. But then my horses are part of the family. They mean a lot to me.