Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blessi Intelligent Disobediance

Gotta love Mr. Blessi who thinks for himself so he can keep his rider safe. Karina was schooling him today to refresh his lateral work. As a lovey light, dressage trainer, she carried a crop, not to hit or tap, but to touch or motion towards his hindquarters to remind him that his hind legs can cross over and his butt keep even with his forequarters.  As a special treat at the end of the lesson, Karina got to play with my medieval lance and attempt to spear a pig (a chunk of styrofoam). 

You need to hold the lance in a certain way so you don't break your elbow when the weight of the stuck pig carries the lance backwards. This is usually hard for a newbie to grasp how to handle a 10 foot lance on horseback. Karina whacked Blessi in the butt multiple times learning this skill. He never even flinched or moved since he makes the distinction between crop handled by dressage instructor and lance in newbie's hands--even when it is the same person.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

No Wool, No Sails, No Viking

From the article: "Viking life must have been like this—frigid, wild days in an open boat, constantly watching the waves and clouds to avoid disaster. Wool was as much a part of that life as the sea and the ships. The Vikings were great sailors and fearsome warriors, but they couldn’t have left port without wool. It provided the raw material for their clothes, their blankets, even the sails that harnessed the wind for their ships." And women were key to the Viking explorations and raids. The ship could have been built by two skilled boat builders in weeks but two women worked for a year to make the sails.

"Researchers at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, calculated that by the mid-11th century, the Viking fleet—fishing boats, coastal traders, cargo ships, and longships—carried roughly one million square meters of sail, requiring the equivalent of all the wool produced in one year by about two million sheep."
Fascinating article!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Beach Riding with Icelandics near Burra Scotland

Dorothy Sales of Houlls Horses and Hounds posted this amazing video of riding Icelandic horses along the Simmer Dim on the East Isle near Burra Scotland.  I think this is a ride that you can book via the UK Trip Advisor.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Riding Icelandics on the Beach in New Zealand

Ever want to ride Icelandic horses on the beach? Here's a twist--Inga Currey runs Icelandic horse treks near Christchurch, New Zealand. You can start watching the video at 15:10 minutes or you can start at the beginning and learn about farming and earth moving in rural New Zealand.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Ram Truck Commercial with Icelandic Horses

How cool!  Jeremiah, a farrier, has racked up over 500,000 miles on his Ram Truck.  But even cooler, at least to Icelandic horse aficionados, are the frequent appearances of Icelandic horses.  There is even footage of an Icelandic horse tolting.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Blessi and the Fountain of the Unicorn

I was invited to design a SCA Noblesse Oblige Tournament--think of a trail obstacle course that includes weapons. My chosen theme is The Hunt for the Unicorn Tapestries, now exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each obstacle ties back--however loosely to one of the medieval tapestries.

One obstacle, based on the Fountain of the Unicorn, involves a tarp on which I painted silver ripples and a fountain that I made out of pompoms. The rider needs to cross the tarp and deposit a "commission from Anne of Burgundy" into the fountain. Since Blessi is not going to the tournament, I decided to test out this obstacle because if Blessi had problems with it I would need to do some redesign. Here is Blessi's first attempt at the fountain as ridden by Karina. The tarp still smells like spray paint and Karina need to pull on the reins to prevent Blessi from dismantling the fountain.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

mounted archery on a camel

Today my smart phone slipped into voice dictation mode so I decided to try it out. The phone typed "Blessi and I are going to mate a camel." No we are not going to play chess with a camel but we were going to meet the camel Eli who will be competing in mounted archery.   Unfortunately, we never got to meet Eli the Camel.  But here's a video of mounted archery on the camel Zachir  from Poland.

And since the phone transcription totally mutilated that infinitive, I have decided to stick with typing by hand.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Pudder Dudder the Hen

For my friends who like chickens, here's Pudder Dudder, the hen who thinks she's a dog.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kimni from Tolting Treasures

Kathy offered me a trade---the honor of naming her youngest filly in exchange for one of my Tolting Treasure offspring to be auctioned off for the benefit of the club.

Meet Kimni from Tolting Treasures. This palomino filly with light amber eyes certainly lives up to her name of Humor. She tolts her way from emptying my tack box to pulling on Blessi's tail to chasing Chico the barn dog. Kimni will make you laugh with her antics. She is 5 gaited with a nice, high stepping tolt and animated trot. Kimni is weaned and introduced to a halter. She's coming to Kathy's stable next week. Just hide
any bright and shining things since she likes to go a vikring.

Materials: Teddy bear fur, leather, polyester stuffing, wool roving, vintage glass and rhinestone buttons (possibly 1920s from France) This toy is not for young children since roving is fragile and cannot be combed and removing an antique French button from a nose can be expensive.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Making a Maze to Show How a Creature Thinks

"We don't understand them," [Wendy Alexa] continued. "Try to make a maze that will show how this creature thinks. We don't even understand them enough to test them. Maybe mazes aren't the way to study them. Science can only say so much. I know they watched me. They followed me. But proving that intelligence is so difficult. There's nothing so peculiar as an octopus." 
Quoted by Sy Montgomery in The Soul of an Octopus.

Ha, I bet you thought I was talking about horses. And in a way, I was. Some of the surprising recent research that has recently come out about equine cognitive processing (using symbols to indicate choices on blanketing, using glances to try to get people to put treat bucket in paddock with horse, figuring out how to open a box with hay by observing another horse) is the result of scientists building tests based on better understanding of how a horse thinks and communicates.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What is a brave horse

What is a brave horse? Some very interesting research showing that a horse that seems calm and nonreactive when faced with a startling situation may be scared but trusts his rider. Conversely, a horse that reacts may not be scared as evidenced by a low heart rate.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Black Horse Logo of Lloyds Bank

I am being conditioned to tear up every time I see the black horse logo of Lloyds Bank. Check my previous post for how the horses were trained for the amazing ad.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Training Horses for the Lloyds Bank advert

Here's the behind the scene's look at how the trainers worked with the black horses to film the follow up ad for Lloyds Bank in Britain. There's some really good insight for how to humanely train horses, including use of special shoes for galloping on hard surfaces.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Black Horse of Lloyds Bank

Llyods Bank in Britain has created a touchingly awesome about how their logo of a black horse is transmuted into a real horse to accompany and support people at major moments of their life through the 250 years of the bank's history. At what second did you tear up?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Horse of Iceland by Guadalupe Laiz

Guadalupe Laiz has opened a major exhibit of her photographs of Icelandic horses.  She admires their majestic presence and endearing personalities.