Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Green-broke horse

Question: My seven-year-old green-broke horse has been out to pasture for the past three years. Can he be retrained? I want to ride again.

Answer: If you have a lot of experience and confidence riding (even after a three-year absence) get busy and start riding that horse! If not, get back into riding with more experienced horses first. Take lessons at a local stable or go trail riding on a friend's horse.

While you're doing that, your horse needs to be getting some experience, too. This is the tricky part. Who's going to ride that horse? If you hire someone, be sure you're comfortable with the approach he or she takes. Be there and watch. At some point you will feel that both you and your horse have the experience necessary to be good partners.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trekking in Iceland

Our recent trip to Iceland was billed as “The Vacation of a Lifetime,” and it was. Twenty of us spent four days at Landsmot, the big dog of Icelandic Horse festivals, three days at Holar University in a riding clinic with training guru Gudmar Petursson (at right), and four days “trekking” in the magnificent Vatnsdalur Valley with “Hawk” (at left). That's me in the middle. A trek is like a cattle drive, except you’re herding horses instead of cattle and every few hours you trade in the horse you’re riding for one from the herd. It’s a great way to hone your tolting chops and see some spectacular countryside.

We got lots of video (including some very cool helmet cam footage) and you'll see that when our new TV season kicks off in November. In the meantime, this week’s radio show is my audio diary from the trip. Listen.