About Riding Clinics
at The Icelandic Horse Farm
Great people, expert instruction, delicious food, beautiful scenery, and of course fun, friendly, 4 or 5 gaited horses; all come together to make for an unforgettable riding clinic at the Icelandic Horse Farm. For over 20 years the The Icelandic Horse Farm has been offering annual Icelandic riding clinics in 2 to 5 day formats. [Note! See more photos in gallery below.]
Regardless of length, the clinics give participants the opportunity to learn Centered and Connected Riding skills on a variety of Icelandics, suitable to individual skill levels. Using these techniques to increase horse and rider body awareness allows riders of all levels to better influence all the gaits of the Icelandic horse with subtly and finesse.
As a warm-up to riding sessions, basic Connected Groundwork is taught to help release tension and bracing in the horses body with easy to learn, gentle suppling exercises. This warm-up allows horses to be better prepared to carry their riders in a more bio-mechanically correct way that supports physical and mental stability and longevity.
In addition to group lessons in the arena one or two times a day, participants are also introduced to TTouch bodywork to complement their work under saddle, as well as improve relationships with their own horses at home. Participants receive hands-on instruction in this non-invasive yet effective bodywork technique that is useful in releasing body tension, increasing flexibility, and even supporting the healing process due to injury or illness.
Four or five day riding clinics often include drill riding which tests the riding skills, coordination, and cooperation of the whole group, while having a lot of fun. The horses seem to love it, and it gives riders the exhilaration of tölting along, sometimes 8 or 10 abreast, as if there was a crowd of thousands cheering on.
If weather, time, and group skill permits clinics sometimes include a final trail ride with the entire group, which gives everyone a chance to put into practice the lessons learned in the arena in a less contained situation. The joy of tölting along en masse with the “black and decker” racquet under foot is only matched by the rush of cantering along rolling hills, while the horses seem to be smiling from ear to ear.
Every year we have repeat participants attend these highly popular clinics. Lessons are taught in small groups of 3 or 4, divided by ability. The teacher to student ratio is high, usually at least 3 assistants, so there are always activities going on, even during another group’s lesson.
The Icelandic Horse Farm is a fun learning environment in a picturesque setting that strives to help riders find success and enjoyment with every horse they ride. The amount of knowledge disseminated is only matched by the amount of understanding and support offered by all instructors, human and equine alike.