W H A T P E O P L E D E S I R I N G TO P U R C H A S E H O R S E S
need to know
W: Wild... horses are wild animals; this must be understood and respected.
H: Horses are herd animals, they enjoy and need the company of other horses to thrive and be happy.
A: Attentive...the needs of horses must be attended to by owners. Horses are not able to communicate their needs so owners must be aware of them.
T: Training... horses must be well trained by experienced qualified trainers.
P: Prey...horses are prey animals. As such they are innately cautious and sensitive to their environment and everything in it.
E: Experience...there is no substitute for experience. If you’re interested in buying a horse make sure you first experience the animal, repeatedly.
O: Observe...do not take a sellers word for anything concerning a horse you’re interested in. Observe first-hand every aspect of the animal.
P: Predator...you are a predator (unless you’re a vegetarian) to your horse. As such you must work hard to gain his or her trust.
L: Love...most owners of Icelandic horses truly do love their horses and the horses sense this
E: Experience...make certain all professionals that serve your horses’ needs have plenty of experience. This includes Vets, trainers, farriers, handlers
D: Daily...horses need daily contact with people and other horses. The greater the contact the better the relationship.
E: Exceptional...the Icelandic horse is an exceptional breed from many perspectives. Most important is that it is exceptionally human friendly.
S: Smell...the horse’s sense of smell is it’s most keenly developed. It can remember a person’s smell after a twenty year absence, hence blowing in a foal’s nose begins a life-long relationship.
I: Intuition... horses are very intuitive and are constantly on the watch for danger. If a person is fearful or angry or relaxed the horse will sense it.
R: Respect is fundamental in a horse’s life. In the herd there is always a pecking order and a clear leader. You MUST be herd’s alpha. Therefore, earn the horse’s respect BEFORE you try to become its friend.
I: Initiative...always take the initiative when riding your horse. You must be and remain in control throughout the ride.
N: Needs... make sure you know all of your horse’s needs and meet them. Worming, shoeing/and or trimming, feeding grain only AFTER hay, providing mineral blocks, are all needs we can't ignore.
G: Gaited...one of the most desirable attributes of the Icelandic horse is its unique gait, the tolt. The hoof pattern is similar to the walk only much faster. As such it provides an unparalleled comfortable riding experience. Unlike some other gaited breeds the Tolt is completely natural to the Icelandic horse.
T: Training...the single most important factor to enjoying your Icelandic horse. To be effective training must begin at an early age and be performed by a qualified trainer. Insist on knowing the specific history of training of any horse you are considering for purchase.
O: Objective...consider all available objective information before making a purchase decision. In the case of Icelandic horses there is a wealth of information available on-line through Worldfinger.
P: Practice...to become a better rider you must ride and take lessons. It is essential that your horse be ridden on a regular basis. Not only is this important exercise, but the horse will become stronger and better mounts.
U: Understand...take the time to understand the cause of your horse’s behavior, and you can often solve the problem. For instance if your horse refuses to be trailered, leave the trailer open with feed in it for a few days before you plan to trailer him. Never leave a horse in a trailer unnecessarily.
R: Relief...everything a horse does when being ridden is for relief. It stops, not because you are pulling on the reins, but because it wants you to stop pulling and knows you will if it stops.
C: Contact...horses thrive on contact with their owners and other horses. The process of caring for the horse deepens the relationship with the owner. Regular brushing, bathing, feeding and riding are essential to maximizing your relationship with your horse.
H: Healing...horses do get sick and injured, and in most cases do not complain. Colic is a primary cause of premature death. If a horse stops eating assume it has colic and seek immediate treatment. With only one stomach and the inability to regurgitate, colic leads to bowel obstruction and possibly an excruciating death.
A: Aids...horses have an acutely developed sense of touch. Riders communicate with horses through aids that largely involve touch. A well trained horse will respond to aids. However, if the rider is not well trained most will confuse the horse.
S: Sight...the sense of sight is one of the less developed senses a horse has. It can’t see anything directly in front of it which is why one should never approach a horse from directly in front of it.
E: Experience...to become a better rider you need to ride, and ride on a regular basis.
H: Hearing...like most prey animals horses possess a very keen sense of hearing. As such they can be trained to respond to verbal aids. Tone of voice plays an important part in all communication.
O: Obedience...as a herd animal, horses vie for position within the herd. You must be the leader and enforce discipline, if you don’t, you will lose control over your horse.
R: Reliance...your horse relies on you for its various needs including health, food, exercise, companionship, comfort and a positive state of mind. Meet these responsibilities and your horse will reward you with years of enjoyment and companionship.
S: Safety...always put safety first. This is particularly important when non-horse-people are around your horse for the first time, especially children. Remember, horses are wild, prey animals and people are potential predators.
E: Etiquette...treat your horse with respect and demand respect in return