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Re: [RC] [RC-Digest] Icelandics - Sundaez

In a message dated 01/09/2003 11:14:49 AM Pacific Standard Time, a.yovich@xxxxxxxxx writes:

I'm very interested in owning an icelandic in the future. I'd like to hear how they do in endurance, if they get their coats terribly early and just how they take to the rigors of the work in general.

The person to talk to is John Parke. He has done some incredible things with his Icelandics. John is very helpful in answering questions to Icelandic owners that distance ride. He has been a great help to me. His Remington has over 5000 miles and Skoldur has over 2000.

I've only ridden 4 LD's with mine but I will share with you what I know about Icelandics in general.

You HAVE to body clip if you are going to ride these horse. The haircoat is just too thick...even in the summer, especially if the horses are imported. Also braid mane and tail.

Icelandics are easy keepers but you still have to feed a well rounded diet if they are in training.

Their feet and legs are like iron. Jenni has an 8 inch cannon even though he is only 13 hands. I don't think I've ever seen a lame Icelandic!

My Icelandics are very easy to trailer and camp with, and are pretty mellow on the trail. Don't confuse mellowness with laziness though! You want to find an Icelandic that the Icelanders call "Willing" ...another word for forward or goey. Some Icelandics are too  laid back for this type of work IMO.

Some Icelandics pant...but do get better when clipped or in good shape. One of mine pants if it is over 75 on the trail no matter what. If they are in good shape they stop panting as soon as you get water on them.

I wouldn't want to ride an Icelandic in tolt for any length of time on the trail. I usually start in tolt but after a few miles go to trot. 

Steep hills are hard for Icelandics and it is better to get off and walk up. THey can go pretty fast down though at a "shuffle."

The most important thing to remember is keep the body temp down! No hair, lots of water, slower pace.

Mel @
Golden Gait Ranch
Poway, CA
See my Icelandics and Congo African Greys at:

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