Young Horse Starting Clinic

It is the first experiences that are the most important!

Oct. 31st – Nov. 2nd


This was our last clinic of the year and a very special clinic.  Horses first experiences with humans on the ground and then the first steps under saddle are some of the most important moments in a horses training.   When done right these experiences are positive and lay the foundation for a successful career as a riding horse. Here in the US most horse owners do not have the option of leaving their horses untouched until a trainer handles them like in Iceland.  This means that it is very important for breeders and young horses owners to know how to work with their youngsters in a positive way and also understand what we as the trainers will be working on when the horse comes to us for it´s first rides.

Terral was the primary instructor for this clinic and Carrie taught along side him.  Terral comes from a background in natural horsemanship and has extensive experience starting young horses both in the US and in Iceland.  Many recognized trainers have said that he is one of the best they have ever seen with the youngsters.   Carrie studied young horse starting at Hólar University and specializes on the gradual introduction of the bridle and more precise control under saddle.  Together they make a very special team for teaching this clinic.

The clinic involved a variety of demonstrations.  These including approaching, haltering, and teaching a young horse to lead for the first time, round pen work, work in hand with the rope halter, the first ride and transferring control to the rider, and introducing the bridle through work in hand.  The students did ground work with their horses twice daily.  The final day all the horses completed an obstacle course and two of the horses were ridden for the very first time.  Since all of the horses were very green that came to the clinic Léttleiki school horses were used for the students to practice and understand concepts further along in the training of young horses such as working in hand with the bridle and riding in a rope halter.

This was a very exciting clinic and we hope to make it a yearly tradition due to the importance we place on this phase of training.  We had a mother and daughter who traveled from Iowa and another participant that came from Pennsylvania.  We are always amazed by the dedication of the Icelandic horse owners willing to travel so far with their horses to learn.  Not to be forgotten were the local participants Kathy and Ellie.  Kathy´s support is endless and we are lucky to have such a talented young trainer like Ellie working with us.  So cheers to young horses and Icelandic horse owners!