Every horse should be able to run full speed, and know all the beauty and wonder of its strength.
Scroll down to read about where our horses are born, how they're raised, and how we can help you find your dream horse:
Where they're from:
All of our horses were born and raised in Iceland, and imported to the US once mature. Some were started under saddle in Iceland, and some were trained here by us. Nearly all of our horses were born and/or raised at Efri-Rauðilækur, in Northern Iceland. The breeding farm and training stable, owned and run by Baldvin ("Baddi") Ari Guðlaugsson and his family, are among the most successful operations in Iceland. Our trainer, Jess Haynsworth, lived and worked at Efri-Rauðilækur for several years, and developed a deep knowledge and love for the farm's broodmares and stallions, and for the unique and wonderful way that the horses are raised naturallyand allowed to mature at their own speed.
Click through the photos below to see life at the Efri-Rauðilækur breeding farm:
Upbringing and early training:
Our horses were blessed with a very special upbringing that simply cannot be replicated here in the US. They grew up roaming the mountains of Iceland in large herds with no predators, growing strong and learning survival skills from their parents and peers. As foals, their hooves grew tough as they took their first steps on this steep, wild terrain. Their joints, muscles, bones, and natural sense of balance began developing immediately as they learned to run and play in this wilderness. They were born into a large herd, and learned important social skills from the Efri-Rauðilækur broodmares and foals. Their mothers decided when to wean them, ensuring that they drank as much milk as they needed to grow strong. Once weaned, they moved in with the young stock at Efri-Rauðilækur, in equally big and hilly pastures (even the stallions grow up in this way, although they of course have their own pastures separate from young mares and geldings). In the winters, they received the best care and nutrition, closely monitored but still living outside and roaming the hills. In the summers, they ran totally free in the mountains of Northern Iceland - no fences, no humans, just horses and sheep climbing the tall peaks, learning to forage for nutritious grasses, water, and shelter in bad weather. This total freedom gives the horses a special self-confidence, a knowledge of their own strength and balance, and a native intelligence.
Horses born at Efri-Rauðilækur are strong, smart, muscular, and self-confident, before they even begin their training. When they come into the stable to begin their education as riding horses, they are brave, friendly, and ready to work with their humans. The horses are started gently, with every effort taken to ensure that they are not frightened or pressured. They are slowly and methodically strengthened and taught to balance under the rider, and run weekly in "reksturs" in which the entire herd runs freely across the riding roads, with riders in front andbehind to direct them. This is fun for the horses, and helps them develop fitness as well as their natural "joy-in-movement". Young horses started at Efri-Rauðilækur are relaxed, eager to please, and trusting, with soft mouths and supple bodies. They are well-prepared for whatever comes next - be that competition, trekking, pleasure riding, trails, or anything else.
Click through the photos below to follow our young mare in Iceland, Skvísa, through her journey from birth to early training:
Choosing our lesson horses:
All of our lesson horses were purchased from Efri-Rauðilækur. We chose our horses not only based on their superb characters, conformation, and gaits, but also based on our knowledge of their breeding, upbringing, and early handling. We know many ofour horses' parents personally, Jess has trained our horses' siblings, knows their parents, and in some cases we even their grandparents personally. Through this knowledge we can understand our horses' characters and genetics much more deeply, which is helpful when working with and training our horses. We know how our horses were raised. We know that they were handled gently and appropriately from day one by, exposed only to good horsemanship by people we trust at Efri-Rauðilækur. We know that they were never pressured beyond their capacities, never frightened through their earliest training. Our lesson horses arrived from Iceland baggage-free, with the best possible start to life - ready to work with us as our willing partners.
Click through the photos below for a snapshot of each of our fabulous lesson horses:
Our own horses are permanent members of our family, and will not be offered for sale. However, through our relationship with Efri-Rauðilækur, we are very pleased to be able to offer horse sales and imports to our clients in the US.
When it comes to choosing horses, we believe that knowledge is power. The more you know about your potential future horse, the more certain you can be sure that this horse is your best possible match. There are no secrets when you buy a horse through us. We will pass our deep knowledge of your new partner's bloodlines, upbringing, and training on to you. Our goal is mutual understanding between horse and rider, and we hope to create happy, lasting partnerships. We will listen to your dreams and goals, we will watch you ride to evaluate your style, and we will search for the happiest possible match - a horse that will not only make you happy, but that will also be happy with you.
Please contact us for more information!
The photos below show one of our students with her first horse, Brynjar, who we were very pleased to help her find:
Through our friendship with Efri-Rauðilækur, we have begun our own very small breeding project in Iceland. Closely mentored by experts we trust, we have chosen mares that we love, from bloodlines we trust, and have begun crossing them with stallions we admire. Jess personally knows the horses we are breeding, has experience training and riding their siblings, and knows their parents (and sometimes even their grandparents). This knowledge has informed our breeding choices. We hope to produce horses with excellent characters and abilities for use as lesson horses, riding horses, family horses, and competition horses - we believe that a good horse can do it all!
Click through the photos below to see pictures of our mares and notable horses in their lineage.