A year ago I attended the Iowa Horse Fair, and one of my goals was to watch the Icelandic horses
and visit the horse barn to interact with these horses up close. My friend Mary had seen them a year earlier, and laughingly said I should consider an Icelandic, as they are gaited and short. There certainly is a lot to like about them—their reputed level-headedness, gentleness, friendliness to people, and smooth gaits—their small stature and flowing manes and tails are a bonus. At 69 years, I found myself joking that I needed a “My Little Pony,” but not knowing whether it was even realistic. Because most are imported from Iceland, they are more expensive than many horses bred here.
A few months after the Horse Fair, I tentatively called the woman I’d met there, Virginia
Lauridsen, owner of Harmony Icelandics in Truro, IA. She listened carefully to what I was looking for at this point in my life, and I soon went to visit, experienced riding “Icelandic,” and tried out several different horses over the next few months. Buying the right Icelandic isn’t quick and easy; in the US there are fewer than 5,000 out of approximately 9.2 million equines. Luckily, Virginia, who is dedicated to promoting the breed, kept looking for the horse who would be right for me.
She looked in Iceland, Colorado, Georgia and various other countries and states, keeping me posted on likely prospects, sending videos and describing their pros and cons as she felt it related to what I wanted. Within 4 months, she found a 15-yr old pinto mare, Flauta. She rode her and told me what she liked about her and why she might be a good match for me. Flauta was soon in Iowa, available for me to ride, along with a few other horses she thought I should try.
Once I rode Flauta, I knew she was for me.
Now, a year after first seeing the Icelandics at the 2017 Horse Fair, I took my new Icelandic
mare, Flauta frá Ytra-Valdarási, aka Tina, to the 2018 IA Horse Fair. We rode in a couple
Icelandic events. Other, more experienced members of the Toppur Icelandic Horse club participated in an Icelandic drill team, showed off the beer tölt, and helped to showcase the many facets of the Icelandic Horse. It was so fun to participate, and I’m happy and still somewhat amazed that I’m the proud owner of an Icelandic Horse!