Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

I’m a Rambler (Little Viking Horse Version)

Sing to the tune of ‘I’m a rambler’ by English Folk singer Ewan McColl

Chorus

I’m a rambler. I’m a rambler from Shrop-shire way
I get all my pleasure the tolt-ing way
I may be a Fat Pony weekdays
But I am a Sports Horse on Sundays

I’ve hacked o’er Cardings, and galloped the Long Mynd
And grazed on the Stiper Stones as well
I’ve rested at Wenlock, and tolted round TheWrekin
And many more things I can tell
My Mate Roger has oft been my rider
He makes sure that I am watered and fed
And sooner than part from our rambling
I think I would rather be dead

The day was just ending as we were returning
Along a bridleway permitted by law
When a voice cried “Eh you”, in the way people do
He’d the worst face that ever I saw
The things that he said were unpleasant
In the teeth of his fury Roger said
Sooner than part from our rambling
I think I would rather be dead

He called me a waster and yelled, “get off the road”
Well I thought, but I couldn’t see
Why the old by-ways, and the lanes round about
Couldn’t take both the young lout and me
He said, All this land is my father’s
At that Roger stood shaking his head
No man has the right to own byways
Any more than the deep ocean bed

We once entered a show, to see how far we could go
And we practiced from April to June
We are a great partnership, My Mate Roger and I
But the deadline, it came way too soon
On the day that I should have been Champion
We went for a ramble instead
For sooner than part from our rambling
I think I would rather be dead

So I’ll tolt where I will, over mountain and hill
And I lie where the bracken is deep
I belong to the mountains, the clear-running fountains
Where the grey rocks rise rugged and steep
I’ve seen the wild rivers in the gulley
And the skylarks flying high over head
And sooner than part from our rambling
I think I would rather be dead

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Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

British Icelandic Horse Championships

Firstly, I have to start with an apology to all Fleygur Fans for the delay in this report. I have been recuperating from what proved to be a stressful and exhausting venture into competition. Based on that experience, I might have to seriously consider my aspirations to be a sports horse. Rambling is greatly under rated you know.

My Mate Roger and I, along with My Mare Gydja and the Woman had been preparing for the British Icelandic Horse Championships for some weeks. Some might suggest that this was the start of the problems and that months, or even years would have been preferable. Anyway there it is. The day had arrived and My Mare Gydja and I were loaded into the stable on wheels. The Landy was packed to rafters and we were off…….all of three miles up the road.

Something was not right. Progress was not as it should be.

There was a smell of something burning and we ground to a halt. Obviously the nice man who had come to the field a couple of weeks earlier to fix the stable on wheels, had not. Fixed it that is.

The stable on wheels was abandoned on the side of the road. Well, locked up like a security van and plastered with signs, saying “NOT ABANDONED”…”waiting to be fixed”, “hands off”……and so on.

The Woman, My Mare Gydja and I walked the three miles home, and My Mate Roger set off in search of the “nice” trailer repair man, and/or an alternative mode of transport to get us to the show.

The next day, in a borrowed stable on wheels we set off again. It was a bit dark and rattley but finally after four hours we arrived in Deepest Darkest Dorset. The stable on wheels halted. There were voices, we waited. More voices…..and we waited. Finally we were driven to a remote part of the the farm. It seems that My Mare Gydja did not have the proper papers and could not stay on the show ground, so we were put in isolation, away from all the other horses!

The indignity. I am a celebrity horse you know, this was not an auspicious start.

Isolation

The next morning it was time for my first class. The Intermediate Tolt. In this class a small group of horses display slow tolt and then change the rein and show any speed they choose – though technically the rider should actually choose the speed rather than the horse. I tried to stay calm before the start but it is hard whilst also trying to maintain constant vocal communications with My Mare Gydja. She didn’t answer, but she must have been there somewhere, so I just kept shouting to reassure her that I was coming back.

My Mate Roger tried really hard to keep me focused, but I was still worried….where WAS My Mare Gydja!

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Finally it was my turn to go onto the Oval Track……..I have never seen one of these before and arriving a day late meant that we had not been properly introduced. I did my best, but I failed to make the final and didn’t manage to secure a rosette even though this was probably my best performance! However I didn’t come last so I can’t have been that bad.

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Straight after this this I entered the Zack Tack Happy Tolt, where some special kit is attached to your bit and you have to tolt round the track. Easy peasy. However the catch is that if your rider pulls too hard on your reins the Zack Tack breaks and you are eliminated. Great for teaching the humans to be lighter with their hands. My Mate Roger and I almost made it all the way round, but I do confess I was going like a steam train and still calling out for Gydja, so right at the last minute “snap”, and we were eliminated. Still My Mate Roger did look a little happier……and we got a special rosette for coming “joint second”!

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After the exertion of the day it was back to the little paddock, in isolation with My Mare Gydja, though it was a bit disconcerting listening to the stallions calling nearby, especially when My Mare Gydja answered them. Really no loyalty!

The next morning My Mate Roger arrived early and we went for a ramble around the farm. This was his ploy, to lull me into thinking I was just out for a ramble like at home. It didn’t work. I called and called and called to My Mare Gydja and by the time of our next class I was really “warmed up”. This class was the Best of Four. A class for everyone who didn’t make it into a final. Apparently all the other horses who had qualified for this class were too scared to compete with a celebrity horse like me, so it was just me and My Mate Roger.

We were supposed to walk, trot, tolt and canter as directed by the judges. The lowest scoring gait would be disregarded and and overall score awarded. It was early in the morning and not many Fleygur fans turned up to watch – well about two actually. That was probably a good thing. It wasn’t my best showing. I didn’t trot when asked and for the first time ever I cantered on the wrong lead. My Mate Roger has been trying ever since to get me to canter on the left lead and I just can’t seem to do it. All in all it was a bit of disaster. But being the only horse in the class I did get my first ever first rosette – though it is probably true to say I wasn’t really concentrating on that!

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After that performance My Mate Roger decided that I had probably had enough and we gracefully retired from the Speed Pace class. My friend Helgi’s stable mate, Erro won this class and Helgi did ok too, getting his own rosette in another class.

There are some photos of the “professional horses” on my Facebook page, so take a look to see how it should be done!

Finally the day came to go home. The show had ended and everyone else had left so finally My Mare Gydja and I got to go on the Oval Track together. I did some lovely four beat tolting and didn’t scream once. Unfortunately there were no Fleygur fans there to see me. Though the nice man who owns the farm was very nice about my performance.

So, we were finally ready to go home. The Landy packed to the rafters again and My Mare Gydja and I were given a last meal before the trip. Tied to the stable on wheels………the borrowed stable on wheels.

It wasn’t my fault my rope got caught round the trailer lights. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to pull back suddenly to reach the nice lush grass near by. I don’t see why it was my fault that we had to wait for the AA to come and were very late home as a result.

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In fact none of this was my fault. My Mate Roger should have been better prepared!

Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

A New Addition to the Herd

Fleygur Fans following me on Facebook will already know that we have a new addition to our little herd. Those humans who already have Icelandic horses will know by now that they have been infected with ‘the addiction’. There is no cure and no hope. The only way forward is the treatment, and the treatment is tough.

More Icelandic horses. You have the collecting bug, you have no choice.

I got a clue that something momentous was going to happen to us when Mini Fleygur  (see Fleygur Immortalised post) started sending postcards from somewhere in the north. Apparently My Mate Roger and The Woman were visiting Midfield Farm, in Cumbria.

Mini Flegur at Midfield

This is the home of my breeder and many of my relatives. The collecting bug had taken hold and without a word to their nearest and dearest they had secretly planned this visit. Other Icelandic horse owners had spotted the signs and knew what was coming.

My Mate Roger was introduced to one of my brothers Fylkir and yes, you guessed it, he was for sale.

My Brother

But it was my nephew Svipur who really caught their eye……a blond whippersnapper.

Eye shadow

And so that was it.  The deal was done (well, after a few rides, lots of questions and some tough haggling from My Mate Roger). The young whippersnapper was soon to be on his way.

My Mate Roger and The Woman made preparations, which much to my annoyance including cutting my paddock in half with electric fencing. My Mare Gydja was selected as the babysitter apparently because she is the quiet one and least likely to bite him, and she disappeared in the stable on wheels for several hours.

Blondie in the trailer

When the stable on wheels returned Big Fat Cob went to inspect. He was not impressed that this intruder was so close to My Mare Gydja. You see while My Mare Gydja is MY mare Gydia, Big Fat Cob likes to thinks she is his. I find it easier to let him think that. He is a 15hh Cob, wouldn’t you do the same?

So the Baby Blondie was finally here and introductions were made. Big Fat Cob was not at all polite .

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He took every opportunity to let the Baby Blondie know he was not welcome.

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I, on the other hand behaved impeccably. This young whippersnapper was going to need training and I am the horse for the job.

Hello Blondie

Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

Fleygur Immortalised!

A few weeks ago The Woman announced she had commissioned a model of me – I was to be immortalised!

My Mate Roger said I should not get over excited, and that The Woman was full of good ideas that didn’t always amount to much. My Mate Roger said I should wait and see the finished product. Big Fat Cob was unimpressed and My Mare Gydja just gave me one of her strange looks.

Trafalga squareBut I was already visualising my statue, I thought I could mount it in Trafalgar Square,

Some fans pointed out that it would get covered in pigeon shit. I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe it could be shown in the British Museum, it would be under cover and there are other status of small riding horses, which look a lot like they are tölting. I’d be in good company.09 01 12_0657

The Woman said the statue was under construction, and I had visions of a grand unveiling

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But the Woman also said I should not get carried away and it was more of a model than a statue. My mate Helgi said he would be disappointed if it wasn’t full size. I was getting a little worried myself.

But finally it arrived….in the post! Can’t be very big then (sorry Helgi)20130406-145714.jpg

The time for the grand unveiling had finally arrived…..me, at last, immortalised….20130406-145906.jpg20130406-150836.jpg

It’s cute don’t you think? Just what I had in mind.

Mini Fleygur made by Sheepycreations (on the left!) http://www.facebook.com/SheepyCreationsMini Fleygur

Me (on the right!)

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Fleygurs' musings, Little Viking Horse Blog

Big Fat Cob proves he really is Welsh

Last night dinner was late. Very late. My Mare Gydja, Big Fat Cob and I waited in the usual place, at the bottom of the ramp, but nothing happened. No rumbly Landy engine, no torch bobbing along the path, no clatter as the bolt on the gate is drawn Nothing. Nada.

My Mare Gydja said we should just move off to the night rest spot under the trees and forget about it. Big Fat Cob just kept staring at the gate. I was getting worried.

Then voices. My “Late” Roger and The Woman. What sort of time in this?

Apparently they had been watching a human ritual involving men in white shirts and men in red shirts fighting over a funny shaped ball. I said it wasn’t on and hay should take priority. But Big Fat Cob said he didn’t mind because Wales had won – and being Welsh himself that was the priority.

Strange attitude for a horse I thought, but by then I was too busy eating hay to comment