Monday, March 28, 2016

Colors of the Icelandic Horse and the Development of the Modern Horse

The staff at Iceland Magazine, December 24, 1915, published a summary of research from Journal of Nature Genetics (which requires money to read the full article) in which the wide range of color of the Icelandic horse was used to investigate the development of prehistoric horses.  Over half of the 1800 horses used
Dun horse from Lascaux painted about 17,300
years ago--Wikipedia
were Icelandics.

Per the article, "Freyja Imsland, who participated in the research, tells the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that the scientists believe the colouring of early horses was dominated by the dun-gene. A classic dun is a grey-gold or tan, with a body colour which is between sand yellow and reddish brown, a darker stripe down the back, a darker mane and tail and a darker face and legs. Other colour variations are believed to have emerged only after humans tamed horses.
Freyja argues their research shows early colouring of horses was probably more diverse than previously believed. 'And the Icelandic horse helped a lot, due to the great variation which we find in the colouring of the Icelandic horse.'"
Scientists hope that this research will also contribute to research on melanomas among humans.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Beauty of the Icelandic Horse

Robert Hock produced this lovely video of the Icelandic horse in Iceland.  I always love seeing the variety of horse colors in the fantastic Icelandic landscape.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Icelandic Horses are Strong, Beautiful, Fast, Fluffy, and Funny

Rookie Photography has just released a beautiful video about the Icelandic horse--very much a mood poem in tribute to the breed and the country of Iceland.  Enjoy!

What additional adjectives would you use to describe Icelandic horses?  You can leave a comment by clicking on the "Comments" link below.  (Or if you are the first to respond, the link may say "No Comments.")

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tailoring and Lapstraking

I made myself a lined jacket from Vogue pattern 9096.  The jacket has petal-like overlays on the right side.  The effect is very much like the clinker or lapstrake construction technique using overlapping planks for the hulls of Viking ships.

Gokstad ship, Viking Ship Museum,
Oslo, Norway-Wikipedia

I am going to make another version of the jacket using brown material to emphasize the "planks" and then add a Viking dragon prow that curls around my neck and rests on the opposite side.  This will be either very strange or very cool or both.

What do you think?
Prow from Oseberg ship
burial grave for two women
Norway 820 AD

Friday, March 11, 2016

Four Generations of World Class Icelandic Horse

Here is an amazing video of four generations of world class Icelandic breeding from Kronshof farm in Germany.  The mare Næpa, dam or granddam of the other three horses, is 19 years old at the time of filming.  She is described as the ToltQueen.  How wonderful to see the fitness and athleticism of this older Icelandic horse .  As the announcer shouts multiple times, "Fantastic horses"  Næpa, Teigur, Óskadís and Óðinn.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Nancy and Tyja and Odin's Grace

Photo used with permission of C.L. Cloutier
Here is my friend Nancy and her lovely mare Tyja participating in a trail ride.  Tyja is sporting a saddle pad that I made for Nancy.  The design is  based on old embroidered saddle pad dated 1879 from Iceland.  Nancy and Tyja look great together!  They are the perfect models.

The flower is Geranium sylvaticum or wood cranesbill which grows all over Finland and Iceland.  It is known as the Midsummer flower because of when it blooms.  It tends to grow in swamps and bogs. Traditionally it is used in folk medicine to treat inflammation, intestinal ulcers, and arthritis.

The flowers can produce a blue-gray dye that was used in to dye war cloaks.  It was believed that such cloaks would protect the wearer in battle.  Therefore, wood cranesbill is also known as Odin's Grace.