As is customary, I will start this blog with a statement of disbelief/apology regarding the length of time since I last posted. Two years. I have surpassed myself.
I actually almost forgot about this blog. I’ve rediscovered a couple of draft posts I’d started and subsequently discarded lying in my drafts folder (one on my bear making, and one on Brass Banding and Up Helly Aa) maybe I should finish those up some time too.
I’ve been inspired to post again now after a Facebook discussion regarding (surpise!) Icelandic horses, and the affect discovering them had on me as a rider. I remembered I’d blogged about that once, and so went to dig out the link. Reading it back, amongst the gushing about Hordur, and the general virtues of iceys, one line caught my attention.
I’m hooked. It’s only a matter of time before I get one of my own now (I hope that time is short). They’ll have some big shoes to fill after these guys, but I’m confident that there’s an icey out there with my name on it.
Turns out I have quite a talent for prophesising on this blog.
I wont lie – I did go icey hunting. I headed out to Thordale to meet Frances & the subjects of her blog. Mostly I just wanted to meet more iceys, but I also wanted to get myself on her radar as I knew she was breeding and a little bit of me hoped that maybe one day one of her foals would be mine. She introduced me to everybody, including 4 year old Esja, who she had imported from Iceland as a yearling, and who would be starting training sometime soon.
That evening I went home, and told my husband I thought I might have met my horse today. I didn’t know how, or even why, but I was very struck by this little horse. She wasn’t what I wanted (I wanted an older, experienced gelding, not a green mare!) – but there was still something.
Fast forward 2 months, Frances posts this blog about the little mare’s first ride out. She’s wonderful. Sensible. Taking it all in her stride. Jokingly, I sent the link to my Mum. Does she want to buy me this horse for Christmas?
The reply comes back – go and see her, then we’ll talk.
After almost exploding with excitement, I organise to go and see her, and before I really know what I’ve done, I’ve put a deposit on her. I just bought my first horse.
If I’m perfectly honest, I did then a few days wondering what on earth I’d done – was I really the best person to buy a baby horse? Were we going to click – would she be as good as Hordur? As it turns out the answer is a huge, resounding, YES.
She is wonderful, everything I could have asked for, and then 100 times more. I am a very lucky girl.
However, I don’t intend to start blogging again only to gush about how wonderful my horse is and how lucky I am to have her, and then stop again. My reason for resurrecting this blog has more to do with an unexpected side effect of me re-visiting its pages, and then reminscing about what followed shortly after.
Looking back at Frances’ blog post, and then subsequently at the various photos of me and Esja since I brought her home in April 2016, I’ve realised how far she has come – how much she has changed, and most importantly, how far we have come.
So, I am making a little resolution for myself. Every now and then, I will come on here post a little photo, and update on our training, achievements and progress. It should be a good space to reflect on what I have learned, and to record what we intend to work on. A record of our journey together as it develops. Maybe that will spur me on to write about other stuff too (the bears, the island, the band, the dogs, you name it – I intended to write about it once upon a time), and it’ll get me back into the habit of writing for fun, not just because I have to!
So, for now here we are – Lauren & Esja…
Gaits – 5(ish)
- Tolt (pacey)
- Trot (intermittant)
- Canter (good uphill, pacey & unbalanced in the school)
- Walk (rushed, getting better)
- Pace (there, but untrained)
Condition – fit as a fiddle!
Shoes – 3 (hrumph!)
Foibles – will not put her feet into anything bigger than a puddle.
Currently working on – half halts & reducing stiffness (mine & hers), working through her back, loosening up to find trot, understanding that canter is another gait, not just an excuse to go faster.