Experience how to use dressage to balance the horse through classical exercises while maintaining the spirit and freedom that characterizes Icelandic horsemanship. Our training concepts are rooted in the idea of gæðingafimi, meaning “dressage for the great horse,” where you flow between exercises in a way that brings out the best possible gaits and movement in your equine partner.
Group lessons Working as a group on classical dressage exercises giving each rider an opportunity to both practice and observe.
Private lessons Working on how to flow in between exercises in a way that brings out the best gaits in each individual horse.
Lecture and/or demonstration Explaining the concepts of flow in a training session or program and the intricacies of dressage exercises.
Your program Develop with the instructors and then perform a program that you design for your horse. Programs are video taped.
Review your program Class review with instructors of the programs to further your understanding of exercises and flow while learning more about you and your horses strengths and weaknesses.
Video follow up (optional, $50) Send us videos as you continue to work on your program for follow up feedback after the clinic.
ABOUT THE CLINICIANS
Laura Benson was the first American to graduate from the 3-year program at Hólar University in Iceland and become a licensed Icelandic riding instructor and member of FT. She graduated with the high point 'Astund Reiðmennska' award for best horsemanship. She has been riding since she can remember, but at the age of 13 she met Gudmar Petursson and his Icelandic horses and never looked back. Laura has devoted her life to the training, education and promotion of the Icelandic horse in North America. She has trained many up and coming riders such as Caeli Cavanagh, Ayla Green, Lucy Nold, Madison Prestine and Carrie Lyons Brandt who are now young trainers themselves with great results in National and International Competition. Laura is famous for her bridleless riding performances on her gelding Stjarni frá Blönduósi. Laura is an avid competitor and has worked with many acclaimed Icelandic Horsemen such as Guðmar Pétursson, Mette Mannseth, Eyjólfur ísolfsson, Sígurður Sígurðarsson and Halldór Guðjónsson to name a few. In her ´free time´ she studies Portuguese classical dressage with world renowned Portuguese trainer, Carlos Carneiro. Laura travels around the US and Europe teaching clinics and is a partner and performer in The Knights of Iceland Show team. In 2005 she independently founded the Valkyrie Icelandic training program and riding school in the Northern California Bay Area.
Carrie Lyons Brandt is the second American to attend Hólar University. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree and is a licensed riding instructor and member of the Trainers Association of Iceland (FT). Carrie was received the Morgunblaðið Award for best riding and horsemanship throughout the three-year program. She has been the highest ranked rider in Five Gait (2013 and 2014) in the U.S. Icelandic Horse Congress National Ranking and has qualified numerous times for the U.S. Icelandic Horse World Championship team. Carrie is also a partner with Gudmar and Laura in the Knights of Iceland Show Team, performing across North America to promote the Icelandic Horse. Along with her husband Terral Hill, she owns and operates Taktur, a business dedicated to educating horses and people toward a harmonious relationship on the trail and in the show ring.