Ambassador Horses: A Legacy
While we love and appreciate all of our horses, there are always some that seem to attach themselves deeper into our hearts. Some are true "hooves on" ambassadors who have carried countless riders for their first joyful rounds of tölt; others have just been done everything go anywhere horses or are just characters with unforgettable horse personalities. The following horses are a few of those amazing horses that remind us why we fell in love with this breed in the first place.
Skrekkur fra Vindheimar
[Note! See more photos in gallery below.]
Imported from Iceland in 1979, Skrekkur began his riding career as an extremely nervous horse, with an unfortunate tendency for rearing and bolting, requiring at least one, but better yet two people to hold him while the rider mounted.
By the end however, Skrekkur was known as a smooth tölting machine that practically anyone could ride.
Within a few years in Canada, Skrekkur had settled down and grown into the role of tölting machine. Flat in movement, but smooth as a Cadillac, Skrekkur disappointed many Peruvian owners in many champagne glass classes, by winning over and over again, making them eat their words that Peruvians are the smoothest horse on earth.
Skrekkur seemed to have a perpetual expression of surprise. While he was somewhat timid on the ground, when it came to de-worming time he acted more like a rodeo bronc; under saddle Skrekkur was reliable and obedient yet sensitive, carrying both Mandy and Jesse through many horse shows.
Skrekkur was always a favorite in the clinics, giving hundreds of people their first experience of the tölt, never trotting until his mid twenties. His softness and lightness convinced quite a few riders that Icelandics are the breed for them. On the trail, Skrekkur was goey and spirited, loving the speed-loving nature of young Jesse, although sometimes having less reliable brakes than even a 7 year old boy wanted. However, he always made sure that the rider got home safely with a smile on their face and a story to tell.
In his last summer at the farm, Skrekkur spent it with a great deal of freedom, too stiff to live in a large herd, Skrekkur freely wandered the property, usually staying out of trouble, choosing to spend the nights nestled in the hay barn on a soft bed.
Skrekkur passed in 2004 at age 30, but will always be remembered for his eternally young looking face, love of speed, and obsession with tummy rubs. He is buried beside the track and sometimes it seems he is giving the younger horses pointers as they tölt past with clinic participants. He truly seemed to love his job and knew how important he was to us.