Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Recent Movies Filmed in Iceland

Iceland has become extremely popular as a filming site because of its strange and fantastic landscapes.  If you follow the link to article in Iceland Magazine, you can watch a video of movie clips from recent  films: Rogue One, Captain America - Civil War, Jason Borne, The Huntsman, Noah, Prometheus, Oblivion, Secret life of Walter Mitty, Thor - The Dark World, Fast and Furious 8, Transformers, Sense 8, The Last Witch Hunter, Flags of our Fathers, Star Wars The Force Awakens and Justice League.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Jónsson and Katla's Masterful Ride

Bergur Jónsson and his Icelandic horse Katla frá Ketilsstöðum won a master horse riding competition in Iceland. This beautiful ride included--not only the typical slow tolt, fast tolt, trot, and canter--but some lovely shoulder in and leg yields. The horse is free and easy in his movements as demonstrated by the relaxed tail and lack of gaping at the bit.

For those of you new to the Icelandic breed, Katla is wearing protective boots. The weight of any protective boots and shoes must weigh about the same as a normal keg shoe per FEIF regulations. Traditionally the Icelandic horse is ridden without using spurs so the animation and spirit comes from the horse.

If you watch carefully at the end of the demo, Jónsson drops his reins and Katla continues with that lovely high stepping tolt.

Here is an article with more information.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

How Portland Welcomes Snow

Here's how the Unipiper celebrates the first snow of winter in the Pacific Northwest.  Perhaps there is a reason for the quirky TV show Portlandia.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Skuggi Counts To Ten

Here is Skuggi and his math instructor Jónína Valgerður Örvar. Skuggi can "count" to 10 and even do some simple addition--just like Clever Hans.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Treat training for Hippo Milking

I have been told by certain horse trainers that I should never feed Blessi treats. A Nile hippo named Bibi gave birth to a 6-week premature baby Fiona. The zoo attendants had to milk Bibi to get the necessary colostrum to provide the baby with necessary antibodies to protect against disease. How do you milk a hippo? You provide lots of treats (probably introduced much earlier as part of a clicker training program). Hey if treats are OK for Bibi, Blessi wants you to know that they are OK for him. And after 24-hour care for several days by Team Fiona, baby hippo is now doing fine as shown below. How cute is that baby hippo?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tea Party for Tyra

Blessi would dearly love to go to a tea party. Someday he may get his wish. Meanwhile, enjoy the mare Tyra at her first tea party. She is still learning the proper etiquette. Or maybe tea etiquette is different in Iceland?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Icelandic Banquet at Olympic College

Olympic College in Bremerton WA offers a culinary arts program as part of its curriculum.

As the Pièce de résistance of his/her certification, each student has to design, plan, and execute a menu based on the cuisine of one country. The theme was Icelandic. Here's the menu:

My friend Judy joined me in this culinary adventure. I was totally blissed out. Gourmet food for the
gourmand. Total cost for the meal was $11 -- no tip accepted.

Here's a hint for your Memorial Day potato salad. Try using apples instead of onions and add a touch of curry to the dressing.

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Norse Burial with Bridle in Denmark

Danish archeologists have found a burial of a rich equestrian dating from around 950AD. The grave chamber contained several harness and a bridle with gilded mounts. The Skanderborg Musem set up a wonderful website about the burial. Check out the wonderful artwork of a mounted warrior on what is a tolting Nordland/Icelandic like horse sporting a reconstruction of the bridle. Blessi says I need to make him a bridle like this to join his collection of Norse bridles.

This link takes you to a slideshow providing more details about the site, the burial, including photographs of the bridle mounts and a drawing of the reconstructed bridle.

Here's a link to an article in English:

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Grand National on Shetlands in Front of the Queen

Kids ride their Shetland ponies in front of the Queen of England to win the pint-sized version of the Grand National.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Icelandic and Rocky Mountain Cross

Here are two Icelandic - Rocky  Mountain Crosses.   This particular set of cross breeds are adorable!  There are "rural rumors" that the Rocky Mountain and Kentucky Mountain breeds may have some Icelandic ancestry.  There were some Icelandics imported to the US in the 1880 to 1920 time frame.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Caution: Icelandics and Sedation

Many Icelandics can be sensitive to sedation.  Blessi usually takes about 1/3 the dosage
recommended for his weight.  Once, the vet gave him a full dosage and Blessi experienced breathing problems.  For cases like Blessi, it is better to have the recommended dosage "to effect" permanently noted in your horse's vet records in case you forget to mention it to your vet.

Some Fjord horse owners have experienced the same problems with sedation.  Here is a link to an article by a veterinarian experienced with the breed.  He typically gives a lower dosage for this breed.

This interesting sedation study by Pfizer Animal Health (note drug company for both humans and horses) indicates that the equine dentist or vet will lose money and time if they need to re-sedate during a procedure. Hummm..I would re-consider my use of a vet if he or she would not at least try to use a lower dose to start with.

Here is a vet report that sedation dosages will very by both individual horses AND BY BREED with cold blooded breeds typically requiring less tranquilizer.

"Donkeys and mules typically respond differently to sedatives and tranquilizers. They tend to be less sensitive to the drugs and thus require higher doses to achieve the same effect. Different breeds and individual horses also show different sensitivity to these drugs. In general “hot bloods” like Arabians and Thoroughbreds require far more sedation than cold bloods (draft breeds), for the same effect."

Some Icelandics do well with suggested doses of sedation calculated by weight.   But if you are new to Icelandics, talk to your vet about sedation dosages.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why Vets Like Icelandics

Here's Blessi after his teeth were floated. As he recovers from sedation, he always reminds me of that happy, blissed out frat brother.

When I got home, the vet had sent me the following email "It was wonderful to visit with you and Mr Blessi today. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide his health care. He is a true joy!"

How does Mr. Blessi earn such kudos? By being a typical Icelandic.

The vet and assistant pulled up in their van. When the assistant pulled out the four foot long drawers in the back of the van looking for supplies, the gelding in the pasture next to Blessi bolted off as if he were saying "Those things are going to eat me." Blessi tried to move forward to investigate since there might be carrots in those puzzle boxes.

Meanwhile the vet pulled out the buckets and head rest which went rattle, clash, bang. The mare in the pasture on the other side zipped off. "Ah, it's the Spanish inquisition--run away!" Blessi really tried to convince me that he could find treats in those interesting items.

After the float, the vet did a sheath cleaning. The assistant and I got into a conversation. When we looked over, there was drunk Blessi standing in the corner of his shed all by himself--no cross ties and with the lead line tossed over his shoulder--as the vet was cleaning away.

That is the joy of Icelandics.

Friday, January 5, 2018

More from Tacoma Art Museum

More art from the Tacoma Art Museum.  If you are in the Seattle area, you should definitely visit.  The emphasis of the museum is on a broader representation of cultures, genders, and historical experiences that is representational of the varied cultural backgrounds in the history of the Pacific Northwest rather than the "old masters."

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Art--Feeding Herring to Icelandic Horse

During a tour of the Tacoma Art Museum,  my friend Lori re-titled this painting "Feeding Herring to Icelandic Horse."  Unfortunately, I forgot to note the original title and name of artist.