Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

The Story of My Favorite Day Ever

This is a picture of my favorite day ever. Here is the story.
My favourite day ever
Twelve years ago I was living happily in the north of England, with my previous humans and My Mare Gydja. I was very loved and well treated, but I had noticed that I wasn’t being ridden as much as I used to be.
One day Roger – he wasn’t My Mate yet – and the Woman arrived for a visit. They both rode me, took photos and made a fuss of me. They were kind and seemed to like me, but I didn’t like being taken away from My Mare Gydja for the riding. I pulled, tossed my head, shouted and was generally pretty naughty.
Back in the yard Roger turned to my boss and said, “We’ll take him”.
“Are you mad?” said the Woman, giving him a funny look. “He’s got no brakes!”
There was quite a bit more talking and then Roger and the Woman left.
Maybe they didn’t like me after all. I didn’t mind. I still had My Mare Gydja.
But the next weekend they were back!  They collected up my stuff and packed it into their car. I followed Roger into the Stable-on-Wheels, but something didn’t feel right.
Gydja! Where are you? I whinnied.
I could hear voices, and I could still smell my lovely mare, but when the doors were closed and I was driven away My Mare Gydja was left behind! We had been together, just the two of us for five years. She was my herd, the only friend I had. I called for her as the trailer pulled out of the yard, but I couldn’t see or hear her, and eventually I couldn’t smell her either – or anything familiar.
I came to live with Big Fat Cob. After he had chased me around the field a bit and pointed out that all the hay was his we got along fine. Eventually I settled into my new home. But I never forgot My Mare Gydja
Then, two years later, one cold November day, the Stable-on-Wheels was taken from the field by My Mate Roger and the Woman. They were gone all day.  When they re-appeared we wandered over to see what they were up to. I could hear something moving around inside our Stable-on Wheels, and as the Woman opened the side-door a little black fluffy nose poked out.

I couldn’t believe my nose and eyes – it was My Mare Gydia!

My Mare Gydja and I were given a special paddock, just me and her, to get re-acquainted. I was so happy that I galloped around and around the paddock tossing my head and nickering to her. She was impressed, I could tell. Big Fat Cob didn’t like being left out of the action and he played up something rotten.
I didn’t care. My Mare Gydja was back, that’s all that mattered.
Over the years I have had to learn to share her with the others in my herd, but the Woman has promised that we will stay together now until the end of our days.
Story first told 2013. Updated November 2021
Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

Celebrity Life Style Part Two – It’s all about Boot Camp

I can do absolutely nothing for hours and hours but unfortunately doing nothing is not an option as Spring approaches. This is not, I have to point out because I am “full of Spring grass” or My Mare Gydja is “in season” or any other equine related biological explanation. No, the excessive level of activity in the Spring months is all created by a devious human invention. Boot Camp.

My Mate Roger tells me it’s preparation for the Shows and calls them ‘clinics’ but whatever cuddly supportive name he wants to give them it basically means being dragged all over the country in the Stable on Wheels and then having to go round and round in circles while various humans comment on the finer points or otherwise of my gaits. My gaits are fine just the way they are Thank You!

Home again its me

Various tricks can be used to deter the humans from taking you Boot Camp. There are obvious annoyances like losing a shoe just before said event or going ‘a bit lame’, though it has to be said that these are more a case of happen-stance than careful planning on my part. More often than not I have to accept that the Boot Camp experience has to be endured but no one said I had to endure it quietly. I make it my habit to shout, often and loudly to my mates. As a result of this behaviour My Mate Roger decided on one occasion that it was a good idea to take me to Boot Camp on my own, I was not impressed. I shouted all though the night even though there were other horses nearby and My Mate Roger was camped right next to me. By the morning I was a bit tired and My Mate Roger hadn’t got much sleep either. I don’t think My Mate Roger was happy with my performance on the track that day as this silly plan has never been repeated and one of my herd always accompanies me now when I go away.


My Mare Gydja has her own clever method for making the humans look silly. It basically involves performing perfectly the very thing your human has identified as ‘the issue’ on the first ask at Boot Camp. She went to Boot Camp a few years ago as a ‘four gaited horse who possibly due to an injury as a youngster didn’t like to tölt’. The Woman wanted her assessed to decide whether to accept that the tölt was lost or whether it could be trained back. ‘Let’s see you try the tölt’ said the trainer. She watched for a minute and then gave her verdict. ‘Nothing wrong with that tölt at all’. The Woman was dumbfounded. For an encore My Mare Gydia showed flying pace when asked to canter round the corner of the school which is not bad for a ‘four gaited’ horse! She’s a clever mare who likes to keep the humans guessing. I have my own version of this trick. I spent years pretending to My Mate Roger that I was such a tolt machine that I couldn’t trot.

There are some benefits of Boot Camps though. Fleygur Fans come to visit and give me treats, I get to stare meaningfully at the tent entrance so that the humans feel obligated to feed me hay as soon as they get up, still wearing their pyjamas


….and then there’s the horse whisperer. She dispenses wise words and wisdom to My Mate Roger but what she whispers to me is for my ears only and I’m not telling.

Check out what she says at 3mins 30secs

Boot Camp season approaches!

Read “Celebrity Lifestyle Part One” Here https://littlevikinghorse.com/2015/03/01/a-celebrity-lifestyle-part-1-its-all-about-food/



2015 Rider Rankings Announced

The Icelandic Horse Society of GB has announced the Rider Rankings for 2015 and through my amazing talents My Mate Roger is ranked first in the FIPO Elementary Four Gait. Maybe that will stop all the musing about retiring me from competition, it’s quite exhausting all this ‘will we, wont we take him to the shows’. Blondie helped the Woman achieve first place in the non-FIPO Elementary Tolt too, so he must be following my example.

The GB Ranking is a comparison of results of the Icelandic Horse Society of GB members at sport events. After every competition a new ranking list will be computed by taking the result of a rider in any discipline (FIPO (and/or World Ranking), non-FIPO or Gæðingakeppni) and is based upon the average of the best results with any horse in the respective discipline over a certain number of years. Riders have to go on competing to keep their position in the ranking list. The results used for the calculation per rider may be achieved at different events with different horses. At the end of each year, the highest ranking rider in each class is announced

Okay, I get it, the horses do all the work and the riders get the praise!

For more details on the GB Rider Rankings Click here

Apparently though I am going to the shows this year and My Mate Roger is already talking about getting me fit, I have a horrible feeling this is likely to mean more Boot Camps too.

003Fleygur Ranking 3Roger and Fleygur 2015 RankingCatherine and Svipur 2015 ET Ranking

Little Viking Horse Blog

New Track and Trail event at The IHSGB 2015 Summer Festival and British Championships

The Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain are holding their 2015 Summer Festival and Championships on 19th – 21st of June at West Tarf, West Linton, Peebleshire in Scotland click here for details of the event and classes. My Mate Roger and the Woman are organising a special class called Track and Trail.

The Track and Trail class is intended to show a true partnership between horse and rider. The class will demonstrate a versatile Icelandic horse by combining a simple gait test with a test of the horse’s obedience and trust in their rider. The Woman say’s

It aims to be an all inclusive class and provides a great opportunity for those of you who have limited or no experience on the Oval track to have a go in your best gait, and receive a mark and comment from a qualified judge. The obstacles in the trail section are a good test for any horse, things we should all be able to do while we are out hacking, so this provides a real test for those who usually only compete on the Oval track.

Blondie has a go at the 'Bridge'
Blondie testing out the ‘bridge’ on the trail


Practising at home


I am sure I would be awesome at this class, but as My Mate Roger is the Judge and the Woman has designed the course I am not competing in it. I do apparently get the very important job of testing the course and setting the optimum timing.

Fleygur in tolt
Little Viking Horse strutting his stuff on the track








Here is the course that the Woman has designed



West Tarf, West Linton, Peebleshire EH46 7AA

Track and Trail class
Rules and guidance, and course outline

We are very pleased to confirm that this class is sponsored by Massage for Mobility click here for their website The winner will receive a massage for their horse on the Sunday.


What it is not

The Track and Trail class is not just a ‘handy pony’ class for children, though of course children are encouraged to enter too. It’s not ‘just a fun class’ though we would like you to have fun and enjoy the experience, and the judges and volunteers will help and guide you.

It is not a ‘Le Trek’ event and will be scored differently (more simply) though experience at Trek events will have been a good preparation for this class.

This will be the second time we have run the Track and Trail event at the BC’s and its existence depends on volunteers and people being committed to providing a diversity of experiences for people attending the show.

What it is

The Track and Trail class is intended to show a true partnership between horse and rider. The class will demonstrate a versatile Icelandic horse by combining a simple gait test with a test of your horse’s obedience and trust in your guidance as their rider.

It aims to be an all inclusive class and provides a great opportunity for those of you who have limited or no experience on the Oval track to have a go in your best gait, and receive a mark and comment from a qualified judge. The obstacles in the trail section are a good test for any horse, things we should all be able to do while we are out hacking, so this provides a real test for those who usually only compete on the Oval track.

It is also open to lead-rein and in-hand entries, which will constitute a separate class.
Section 1 Track

Choose your best gait and decide on which rein you are going to enter. You will be asked to inform us of your chosen gait before the class commences.

Enter the track and begin your test before you reach the first corner, making clear nod to the judge when you start.

If you are showing canter you may start your test at the first corner.

For trot, slow tolt, fast tolt or canter show one complete circuit.

If you are showing walk (including lead-rein and in-hand entries) you are only required to show walk along one long side. When you have completed this please turn around and exit the track as quickly as you can.

If you are showing pace you complete one circuit showing pace on each of the long sides. You will be scored on your best attempt.

As soon as you have completed the Oval Track section proceed to the waiting area for the Trail section. Depending on the number of entries there maybe a delay before you ride the second section.


Section 2 Trail

It is planned that this years Trail section will be laid out along the Pace Track, however you are not required (or permitted) to ride this section in Pace!

You will not be permitted to ride the course before the class opens.

There will be ten obstacles (see below) and a maximum time allowed for each entry. This will be confirmed on the day after the course has been tested, but is likely to be around five minutes. It is not a race and the timing will be ample to complete the course but is intend to keep up momentum.

If you are unable to complete an obstacle you will not be permitted multiple attempts and in most cases the scoring is designed to give a zero mark after a set number of refusals. If you wish to ride a failed obstacle again for your horses’ education we will try and accommodate this at the end of the class, depending on demands on the Pace Track.

Obstacles should be ridden in walk, trot, tolt or canter. However this is not a speed test and you should note that if you go past an obstacle this will count as a refusal. The course should be approached in a calm manner with the aim completing the obstacles smoothly and giving a good experience for your horse. Points will be deducted for rough riding or for excessive use of a stick/crop.

Maximum mark for each obstacle is five.
1. Bending Poles

Why? Responsiveness to lateral aids and flexibility, co-operative led horses.

Five poles (or equivalent) in a straight line, weave through the posts. After passing the first post there is one point for each subsequent post passed on the correct side. Minus one point for any missed posts, and for each incident of stepping over the edge of the Oval track or marked line. Plus one point for riding this in trot, tolt or canter.
2. Jump/step over
Why? Willingness and ability to negotiate a blockage on your path.
5 points – Jumped or stepped over clear with out knocking
4 points – cleared but knocked once (jump stays up)
3 points – one refusal (stopping or running out) but then jumped/stepped clear.
2 points – Obstacle is cleared but jump is knocked down
1 point – one refusal then knocked down, but still completes the obstacle
0 points – more than one refusal or failure to complete

3. Rein-back
Why? Do you have a reliable reverse gear? The ability to guide your horse backwards in a straight line to get out of a tricky situation.
Enter the marked path and ride until the horse front feet are over the second line. Walk backwards until horses front feet are over the rear line. The judge will guide you. 5 points maximum. Minus one point for each time the poles are knocked by the horses’ feet. Minus one point for one step outside the pole. Two steps outside the polls scores Zero for this obstacle.

4. Carry the Flag
Why? Riders balance and ability to control the horse whist carrying or lifting something, calmness of the horse around things that move and flap!
Pick up the flag from the first receptacle and carry it to the second. 5 points maximum score. Minus one point for missing the pick up (maximum of two misses allowed), minus one point for each miss of the put down (Maximum of two misses allowed) Zero score if flag is dropped, or you exceed permitted misses.

5. Side Pass
Why? Responsiveness to aids, ability to control your horses’ feet. The side pass and rein-back are two building blocks for opening gates. Carry the Flag will also assist in prepartion for gate opening.
Position your horse with front feet one side of the pole and hind feet the other. Ask your horse to walk sideways without knocking the pole.
Maximum mark 5. Minus one point for each knock or step over. Two step overs = Zero points.
6. To be confirmed (Likely to be ‘Bridge’ or curtain)
5 points maximum. Minus one point for each step off or refusal.

7. Dismount and stand
Why? Ability to leave your horse untied/ not held briefly. You never know when you might need to dismount and let go of your horse to deal with something while out riding.
Place horse in marked position and ask them to stand still. Walk to the designated point and wait. One point for each second your horse stays in the marked place.
8. Mount from the right, using a mounting block
Why? For safety reasons your horse must stand still for mounting. You should be able to mount your horse from either side, as when hacking it may not be possible to mount from the left side as people mostly do. Mounting from a block, or anything convenient and suitable is better for your horses back, so the ability to place them next to a block is important.
Position the horse next to the block, mount place feet in stirrups and wait 3 seconds. The judge will guide you. Maximum points 5. Minus one for each reposition of horse or movement during mounting.

9. S bend
Why? Responsiveness to the aids, control of your horses’ feet and ability to manoeuvre the horse in restricted space.
Ride through the marked S-bend. Maxium 5 points. Minus one for each knock of the post.Two steps out of the S-bend = Zero points.

10. Walking over tarpaulin
Why? You need to be able to walk your horse over any surface your need her/him too to be able to deal with the unexpected when out riding.
Walk straight over the tarpaulin. 5 points maximum. Minus one point for each refusal (stepping back or sideways), up to maximum of 5 attempts.

The course outline is provided as a guide and we will keep as close to it as possible. However the course designer or Event Manager reserve the right to amend this course prior to the class starting, depending on local circumstances. Please check notices at the show for any changes.