As the days begin to brighten here the workload begins to increase. Endless assignments and a lot of preparation for a week of giving riding lessons to school kids next week! We are practicing ‘smalabraut’ a lot at the moment with our school horses. It’s basically an obstacle course and a part of building both trust with our horses.
We have a competition series within the school and I took part with my school horse mostly to enjoy it and also to put a little bit of pressure to her and see how she would handle it. Fortunately I’m happy to say I both enjoyed it and was pleased with the outcome which for those of you that know me better is quite something.
Outside of school I have 3 other horses that I am training in my extra time to both practice what I learn and to have something to do other than just studying.
At the moment I am studying the feeding of sport horses, practical teaching, riding and anatomy. That will all change after a few weeks when I have exams in the feeding and anatomy courses, then there is some more riding and one less ‘classroom subject’!
We feel the full force of winter here in the north of Iceland often having to just hope that the road is where you think it is when driving. It’s not uncommon that there is too much snow to ride outside and some days I can train my extra horses because the riding ways haven’t been cleared! So whilst the Icelandic winter may look charming and beautiful it’s mostly just a nuisance!!
There has been A LOT more to do in Hólar!! Since I last wrote I have passed two of my subjects with higher than average marks and completed a seat test in my basic riding course. I am currently writing 4 assignments all due within the next week, just completed a first aid course today and am also preparing for the final exams in four subjects that are coming up over the next 3 weeks.
At the moment, I am engrossed in a feeding course studying about how to manage the exact feeding requirements of the Icelandic horse and how the digestive system of the horse functions. It is a course that can be challenging at times but is extremely interesting. With this I am also studying about teaching and the psychology of teaching which I can assure you really makes you think about what you´re saying!
Of course, we are still learning on horseback too! We are practicing how to be precise in dressage exercises and trying to push ourselves to try things and find feelings of how exercises work and how they affect the horse. We are following a rider training program involving gym exercises as well as the occasional dodgeball game as a group. We have an upcoming beep test at the end of this week to test our stamina.
Better get on with my teaching plan…oh, and there is a lot of snow here in the North!
One month in Hólar
One month in. Here I am in the north of Iceland studying riding and riding instruction! Who’d have thought it!! 😉
Hólar is a small but close community where you soon discover that there is always someone to help you with a favour in return for a favour.
I have spent a lot of my first month here in the classroom and on the ground, needless to say, I’m brimming with new knowledge already! Between Behavioral Science, Biochemistry and Basic Riding one finds that being out here in the middle of nowhere doesn’t really make a difference.
As first years, we spend a lot of our time in this first term going over our seat and bodies on horseback. Seat training (on the lunge with only a saddle) has included exercises such as ‘around the world’ (doing a 360° turn in the saddle) and riding trot with both legs away from the horse and knees as high as you can get them. We have also begun in riding lessons now working on correct use of the aids and our seat as well. It is extremely rewarding to be in constant training when I am riding and the difference in such a short period of time is quite something!
As my first month comes to an end – my horse has arrived 😊
The coming winter shall surely be an exciting time here in the north of Iceland!