The Ramblings of Icelandic Horses in the New Forest

I am not the only Icelandic Horse living in the UK, though I am sure I must be the most famous. Icelandic horses were bred for transport over long, and rough terrain, and also for eating, but I don’t like to think about that! Icelandic horses can do lots of things, but I think rambling is what we are best at. So, in the midst of all the preparation for the Spring and Summer Shows, I thought you would like to hear from two of my cousins, who love their rambling as much as I do. Here is their story.

Hello, LVH fans. It is a great honour to be asked to write this blog on LVH pages. My name is Flo, which means Flea. I am nearly twenty-three years old, and live with my long lost daughter Flicka, whose name means Girl, near the New Forest, in England. Flicka and me was separated in Ireland, but ten years ago she came back to me. I was so pleased, we now live together and go everywhere together. We are looked after by our ‘mate’ Colin, who we are training to understand his role in life, which is of course to look after us. I have been with him for fourteen years, and think he is nearly trained. We are both Viking horses.
Like LVHs mate Roger, Colin has a mobile stable, and he puts us in it and takes us to the New Forest, a place called Ashley Walk. He parks in the same place, and gives us some hay while he sorts himself out, which can take ages. We have to be very careful of our hay, the wild ponies try to sneak up on us, and sometimes the long eared ones. Colin has to keep chasing them away. After our hay, he takes us to a small river to drink, then he gets on Flicka, sometimes with a struggle, and we go off on a ramble! I usually start ‘in hand’.

Wild ponies after our hay

Wild Ponies After Our Hay

Colin has to chase the 'long-eared' ones away

Colin Has to Chase the ‘Long-Eared’ Ones Away

Flicka, who Colin calls ‘my friend Flicka’ most of the time, and when she tries to run off with him, ‘the Flicka monster’, can be very keen at the start. It’s a bit of a hill, and she tries to run up it, not always in the direction as Colin and me was going. I love this, as he sometimes drops the rope and it takes him a while to get it back. I have a lovely chomp on the heather, while he tries to get it from Flicka -great fun!
We climb the hill ,and soon have a nice tolt on a track where the ‘bouncing bombs’ were tested. Last year Colin fell off me up there, unlike the bombs he did not bounce, but he did explode! Before he hit the ground this yellow Jacket became very large, Flicka said he looked like the ‘Michelin man’, but I don’t know what that is? Then he made hissing sounds, and we ran off. He caught us, but seemed very lame, and hobbled back to the mobile stable. He did not ride us for a long while, we need to try this one again. It’s on Youtube, to watch Flo and Colin falling, click here.
We usually get a lovely rest under some trees. Flicka has a roll and we share an apple with Colin. We share it fairly, one slice for Colin three slices for me and Flicka. That’s fair, we have done all of the work.

 A rest at the half way point

A Rest at the Half Way Point

Flicka after a roll

Flicka After a Roll

 

Sometimes he brings blond ‘ yard friends’ with him, both have black dogs, we like black dogs. One has a lovely pony called Sexy Simon, I fancy him, but Flicka tried to bite him, and recons he is above his station! The other one came a couple of times, but neither come anymore. I hope it was nothing I did! Apparently they are both looking after us, while Colin goes to Iceland later this year. We wonder if we will get extra treats if we look hungry. Colin can be mean with the treats.

Sexy Simon admiring his reflection

Sexy Simon Admiring his Reflection

Flicka thinks Sexy Simon is above himself

Flicka Thinks Sexy Simon is Above Himself

 

There was another blond, again with a big black dog, who had been out on me a long while back. She was at our home last week, I thought she was coming riding, as she has ridden me before, but she came and stuck a large thing in my mouth, and did things to my teeth . Apparently she is a vet. Moral beware blonds with black dogs! We like her really, our mate Willow, an Arab princess, was very lame, and she came and made her better again very quickly. We love Willow, thank you Helen, the vet, and her black dog!

A Blond Rider for Flo

A blond rider for Flo

Apparently another blond is going to ride me soon, but not very far, she has a big dog as well, but he is brown. She is only a little Flicka herself ,and needs her mummy with her. I have promised to be good.
Anyway, back to our rambles, we sometimes go up on a mound, it from the war again. We can see for miles and miles. Flicka thinks we can see Ireland, were we was born, but she is just dreaming, it’s Dorset, where Colin lives.

On the War mound looking at the view

On the War Mound Looking at the View

We come down through some woods, to a lovely stream with fresh water, we play a lovely game here. Sometimes Flicka goes through the water, I stop for a drink, Colin drops the rope, I have a drink, Flicka will not come back, Colin gets off, we both have a drink, and then a munch on the heather. A week ago a dog walker took a photo of this game. Her name is Susannah, she worried us a bit as she does ‘endurance’, and takes her Arab pony on very long rides. We don’t want Colin thinking he can do endurance – not with us he isn’t!

The Water Game

The Water Game

Sometimes we see strange things, they are called ‘Drifts’, where the wild ponies are chased by men on ponies, really fast. Flicka got caught in a drift once, with Colin, she was very good and stood still, despite charging ponies. Colin fell of a horse called Drift once,  in Iceland – but that’s another story.
Sometimes we scare other horses and people, but we don’t mean to. We did this to a man, all dressed up on something called a ‘Hunt’. He was with lots of girls on ponies, but had a very tall horse – it shot sideways – he said we was dragons! We are not dragons, we are Viking Horses, just like LVH!

We are usually tired when we get back. Colin takes the saddle off ,and I have a roll or two, then we go back to the trailer, and like LVH, we have to meet our public. Seems to be lots of ‘tourists’, with little Flickas and boys, who want to say hello, and often have their photos taken. We have have met people from, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, USA, Pakistan, India, and even from Wales. Only the Germans ,and the Finns knew we was from Iceland.
Anyway, then its back home, to tell Willow our stories , snooze in the sun, and watch the tall horses go round and round in the ‘school’. We don’t understand this ‘school’, why would you want to be in the school, there is no heather to eat if the rider falls off!

Flicka takes a rest

Flicka Takes a Rest

 

With thanks to Flo, Flicka and Colin, for sharing their story.

 

 

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