Here you can find out about each of the herd. If you are new to Little Viking Horse this page will give a good overview, and if you are a long term follower then this is a great place to catch up on your favourite stories.
So here is a proper introduction to to the herd, Team LVH, past and present. Fans and followers know them as Little Viking Horse (LVH), My Mare Gydja (MMG), Blondie, Big Fat Cob (BFC) and more recently New Boy Jandi, who has since become Good Boy Jandi, so I guess that means his name is not settled yet. But who are they really?
First a few words about Icelandic horses names and breeding. Icelandic horses full names include information about where they were bred, and in the UK the tradition of naming Icelandic horses with Icelandic names is usually maintained. You can read a little more about naming conventions and the meaning of names on Fleygur’s Fact File, just click on this link – Fleygur Fact File no. 7
A genuine Icelandic horse must have a passport which shows its bloodlines can be traced back to horses in Iceland. If the horse is bred in Britain the passport will be from the Icelandic Horses Society of Great Britain (link to IHSGB website). All registered Icelandic horses across the world are entered into WorldFengur, the international database of Icelandic Horses, containing all sorts of information about the horses breeding. Members of the IHSGB have free access to this database.
Icelandic horses are either four or five gaited, and this natural ability is present from birth. Some Icelandic horses favour tölt and some trot. More information about the gaits can be found on Fleygur’s Fact Files, just click on this link – Fleygur Fact File no. 2
Little Viking Horse himself.
Full name: Fleygur from Siamber Wen. Fleygur means ‘the flying one’
Breed: Icelandic. Registered on WorldFengur. ID No. GB1999100590. Five gaited. 13.2hh
Born: 1999. Britain. One previous owner in addition to the breeder. Purchased 2010.
Colour: Black with white crescent moon and snip
Parents: Móna frá Sandhólaferju (Dam) and Falur frá Gislholti (Sire). Móna, Fleygur’s Dam is also the great-grandmother of Svipur (aka Blondie!)
Breeders: Siamber Wen Icelandic’s. Here is a link to their – website
Awards: UK Elementary Tolt Champion 2014 and UK Elementary Combination Champion 2014. Click on this link to read Fleygur’s report – 2014 Show Report.
Special Talents: Being awesome (in his view), capacity to maintain and even put on weight when all those about him are losing it, adept at untying his rope and a fast learner. A very even and reliable tölt and the ability to do this very fast, though only when it suits him, and so not usually on the Oval track in competition as he tends to have other things on his mind (see ‘issues’ below).
This is Fleygur in action
On his good days, out hacking he is so tuned into his rider that Roger just has to think something and Fleygur does it. Sometimes Fleygur thinks so fast he does something before Roger has even thought of it, such as stopping at the place Roger stopped at yesterday for a break (or even months ago)! He is a very forward and powerful ride, and has recently rediscovered his lovely strong trot. Perfect gentleman on the ground and for mounting, loads well and easy to do in all respects.
Place in herd: . Second in command. He was second in command to Beanie (aka Big Fat Cob), when BFC was here. Being smart Fleygur knows when discretion is the better part of valour, he would have quite liked to be boss, but Beanie was bigger, stronger, and absolutely sure he is top horse. Without Beanie around we thought Fleygur might move up to top spot, but our new horse Jandi had other ideas.
Issues: Does not like to be separated from his mates. Rides out alone happily, but if left in a field on his own he will get very agitated, and shout – a lot! At competitions his separation anxiety hampers his concentration and performance. Roger has worked on this, and he is a lot better and calmer now than at his first show experience. Fleygur is not really a novice ride as he can be very strong and as we all know he is very opinionated! However he is very well schooled and not spooky and happy with his mates so in the right circumstances he is great for letting people experience the tölt as it is so natural to him.
Svipur (aka Blondie)
Full name: Svipur from Siamber Wen. Svipur means spirit or ghost
Breed: Icelandic. Registered on WorldFengur. ID no. GB2007113004. Five gaited. 14hh.
Born: 2007. Britain. Bought directly from breeder in 2013
Colour: Palomino with white blaze and one white foot.
Parents: Spóla frá Húnavöllum (Dam) and Trausti from Siamber Wen (sire)
Breeders: Siamber Wen Icelandics. Here is a link to their website – website
Awards: A fair collection of rosettes, the latest being a first in the beginners tölt in the 2015 Easter Show. For Fleygur’s account click on this link – Easter 2015 Show Report
Special talents: Being beautiful! In summer his proper palomino golden coat positively shines. The most human focused of the herd, Svipur has a lovely nature and loves to be fussed over. He also has a nice tölt, but sometimes becomes pacy. We have recently found his trot and it is getting stronger. He has been placed in classes in the Loose Rein Tölt. Not at all spooky.
Place in herd: Bottom! Even below Gydja, though there are signs of him beginning to challenge the others. Svipur is not as shrewd as Fleygur and took a bit of a beating from Beanie before realising the horse meant business and he had better run away! Read about Svipur’s arrival on this link – Svipurs arrival, and see him saying his first hello on the video below.
Issues: Being a palomino he gets very dirty and being an Icelandic his winter coat is especially hairy and thick!
He sometimes ‘tunes out’ when out hacking so has to be ridden positively to keep his attention.He can get a bit excited around other horses so we need to give him more experience of this. We are also working on getting him to relax more when out and flex more at the poll so he can stretch through his top line. He can become pacy so this needs constant attention.
My Mare Gydja
Full name: Gyðja frá Króki, Gydja means Goddess
Breed: Icelandic. Registered on WorldFengur. ID no. IS1996286632. Five gaited. 13hh.
Born: 1996. Iceland. Imported to Britain 2002, aged 6. One previous British owner. Purchased 2012. We bought Fleygur and Gydja from the same person two years apart. You can read about Gydja and Fleygur being reunited on this link – reunited here .
Colour: Black with white star and tiny snip
Parents: Hungrún frá Kópavogi (Dam) and Toppur frá Hvergerði (Sire). Gydja’s great grandfather is a famous Icelandic horse called Ófeigur frá Flugumýri (more about him later!)
Breeders: I am looking for information on this.
Special talents: Looking cute, Gydja is an incredibly sweet natured and gentle horse and an expert at introducing small humans to horses. At first we thought she was four gaited, but at a clinic when asked to canter in a circle she paced instead, so she is in fact five gaited after all. She prefers trot to tölt and is very fast in gallop, even faster than Fleygur. She is about as bomb proof as you can get, and even coped with a full parade with marching bands at a local Fayre where she and Fleygur appeared with the Vikings of Middle England. Read the story on this link – here
Place in herd: Third in line, she still gets to boss Svipur around, but gets bossed around by the others, though she and Jandi are often to be seen sharing a hay pile. She knows how to look after herself and keeps out of the way.
Issues: It’s hard to fault Gydja, she is such a lovely character, easy to do, very gentle and hardy. Her issue is that as a young horse she had an injury and an operation, which was apparently successful. However as she gets older she sometimes seems a bit stiff, and has been occasionally lame in one hind. Rest resolves both and we have her in light work. Recently she has gone barefoot, and she is coping well and her feet look great.
In 2016 Gydja was confirmed as having Cushings, which is the explanation for her very hairy coat.
Jandi (aka New Boy Jandi or Good Boy Jandi)
Full name: Dynjandi fra Efri-Raudalaek
Breed: Icelandic Registered on WorldFengur ID no. IS2009164490. Five gaited
Born: Iceland 2009, imported to England 2014, purchased 2015
Colour: Black. No markings. Freeze mark of breeder
Parents: Spyrna frá Hellulandi (dam) and Galsi Sauðárkróki (sire). Dynjandis grandfather is Ófeigur frá Flugumýri, Gydja’s great grandfather and Jandi’s great grandmother Hervar frá Sauðárkróki is Svipurs grandmother!
Special Talents: A lovely horse, seeking to please. The least complicated of our horses to ride and very calm. Will load himself on the trailer on verbal command, and I feel sure he will accumulate some other useful tricks soon.
Place in herd: Top! He was very assertive with the other horses when he arrived, though we never put him in with Beanie, after our experience with Svipur and Beanie and seeing how determined Jandi was to stand up to Beanie it didn’t seem wise! Now he has settled he is not aggressive with them, but definitely in charge. He plays a lot with Svipur but can been seen grazing most with Gydja and they share a hay pile.
Issues: Sadly shortly after arriving with us he showed signs of Sweet Itch. Currently his appears mild.
Although he is a calm horse, he really didn’t like traffic when he first arrived, but after some desensitisation work he has improved hugely.
On the Bench
Beanie (aka Big Fat Cob)
Full Name: Jackobean aka Beanie, The Bean and Big Fat Cob. Mostly called Beanie. Two previous owners, that last one from when his was five (or possibly four) years old. Purchased in 2009
Breed: Welsh Cob, Section D according to his passport but this can not be verified.
Born: 1997, according to his first registration in 2004, but he could be a least a year younger. 15hh
Parents: Not known
Breeders: Not known
Special talents: Jumping! Beanie has been known to jump five bar gates, and extra high electric fencing. The photo is at his first Trek event, and I had hardly jumped before. He basically jumped everything I pointed him at and I just tried not to get in the way. However neither of us particularly like jumping, so Beanie is just a nice horse to hack out on. He is a friendly and co-operative horse – with people!
Place in herd: Most definitely the boss, all the hay is his, all the treats, and the mare too!
Issues: Jumping! It’s hard to keep him trim in spring as he just jumps in and out of any paddocks we make as it suits him. More recently he has jumped out of fields in order to be with his mates. He is very dominant, and will defend his food and ‘his mare’ from other horses. Introducing new horses to the herd has to be done with care, as can been seen in the video above showing Svipur’s arrival.
After several attempts to move him to the other side of the village (he jumped out and came home!) we were finally able to gradually separate him from the Icelandic herd and introduce him to his new field mate (The Old Grey Horse). In his new home his weight will be easier to manage, and he can still be seen by the herd often, just two fields away.
Although he won’t feature in the blog so frequently now he may put in an occasional appearance.
He is also not keen on tractors, and doesn’t like going into the trailer. He was a problem loader when we bought him, and once we had to delay our holiday by a day, having spent more than two hours trying to load him. The application of the methods taught by Richard Maxwell reduced our loading time from two hours to five minutes. He hasn’t been loaded recently, but this method seems the best, so here is Maxwell in action in case you have a BFC too!
So, that’s Team LVH. Hope you enjoy hearing about their adventures.