Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ultrasound of Two Icelandic Mares

Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, conducts an ultrasound on two Icelandic mares to determine if they are pregnant.  The mares belong to Bernie Sanders in Alaska.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Equine intelligence as success factor in harness racing

Personally I think equine intelligence is often underrated.
Harness racing--Source: Wikipedia

Researchers in Sweden and Norway have been examining harness racing success among Norwegian-Swedish Coldblooded trotters based on eight genes, relating to physical qualities and intelligence. Equine brains do matter.

As the author of The Horse article notes: "Sure, a harness race winner needs to be fast. But he’s also got to adjust to—and even anticipate—his driver’s demands, navigate around other horses and their sulkies, and, most importantly, not break into gallop even when trotting at high speeds. And there are genes for that—ones that code for intelligence."

Trotter success in the study was related to the genes related to the horse's ability to learn and remember possibly because such horses adapted faster during the race, were less stressed, and adapted to driver's signals faster.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Ford Commercial with Icelandic Horses

From Norway comes a commercial for Ford trucks used in the filming of "Horse Powers from the Land of the Vikings," an entry in the Equus film festival of 2016.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Icelandic Nature and Horses

Here's another gorgeous video of Icelandic landscapes and the horses that inhabit them.  Many thanks to The Nature, The Nature for sharing.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bridless Mounted Archery with Icelandics

Alex Schwartz shared this video of her practicing mounted archery on Icelandics Kongur the King and Tinja the Shaman without a bridle.  Eventually,they will be shooting in the forest.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Blessi and the Argentinian Fry Bread

Some friends and I went to an Argentinian themed lunch.  The group insisted the last piece of fry bread be saved for Blessi.  Judy fed it to him as a treat after a lovely ride.  Blessi thought this was the best "doughnut" ever.  He was willing to bow and do other tricks to earn more.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Horse Research over Past Five Millenium

Bayeaux Tapestry
On May 2, 2019, almost 100 researchers across multiple countries published a years long study on the horse genome in the past five millennium using about 1/3 previously unsequenced equine skeletal remains.

The major results are:

"-Two now-extinct horse lineages lived in Iberia and Siberia some 5,000 years ago•
- Iberian and Siberian horses contributed limited ancestry to modern domesticates•
- Oriental horses have had a strong genetic influence within the last millennium•
- Modern breeding practices were accompanied by a significant drop in genetic diversity"

Sarah Sloat in a popular summary in Inverse magazine states:
"Today, domesticated horses reflect the traits that were selected during this time period for body shape. Think of the Icelandic horse:  a small, hairy, and hardy breed. The horses that lived across Europe during the 7th century looked like them, but today, they look like much more the horses Islamic conquerors were breeding for favorable traits."

There are lots of interesting facts buried in this research such as:

  • Mules were being bred as early as the Iron Age despite the cost implications of breeding sterile offspring.
  • The Paleolithic cave paintings of horses in Europe that look like Przewalski’s horses are more likely ancestors of the Tarpan horse that went extinct.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Purrfect Ride

Emma Massingale has trained her pony Comet and cat Louis to go on long rides together.  Emma also took her two Shetlands on a sail back to the Shetland Islands to visit.

So Blessi and his cat Mittens are not unique.  Do notice that the cat, like Mittens, has discovered that the best place to perch is facing forward on the sweet spot where the saddle would normally sit.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Riding Icelandics on a Camping Trip in Sweden

An enchanting video about riding Icelandics on a camping trip toward Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Strandbeest--wind eating beasts on the beach

This is awesome!!! And think about how it would make a wonderful bombproofing exercise for horses.