News in English

19.07.2014

Stallions at Álfhólar 2014 

We've got variety of excellent stallions here with us this summer for breeding. 

The super talented Þrumufleygur is here and the stallion fee (incl VAT) for him is 125.000 isk. 

Here's a video of him taken in the spring. 

Here's another video of him at the annual Stóðhestaveisla (Stallion show) wich was held this winter.

Another exciting horse wich we offer breeders is Eldhugi frá Álfhólar, sired by the super talented four gaiter Kappi frá Kommu and after Gáska frá Álfhólar wich has bred greatly talented offsprings. Eldhugi is a highly promising colt that seems promising as a stallion judging by his first offspring. The stallion fee (incl VAT) for Eldhugi is 70.000 isk. Great opportunity, a super promising young fourgaiter with excellent blood lines, at a nice price, for breeders. 

Eldborg after Eldhugi and Dimmuborg frá Álfhólar

Íkon frá Hákot is also here. He is sired by the great Töfri frá Kjartansstöðum and the famous mare Bella frá Kirkjubær. Íkon is also the father of the one and only Kolka frá Hákoti. The stallion fee (incl VAT) for Íkon is 50.000 isk. 

Dimmir frá Álfhólum after Tígur and Dimma is also here. The stallion fee (incl VAT) for Dimmir  is 65.000 isk. Awesome horse with great gaits and willingness. 

Djarfur frá Álfhólar is a very charistmatic 3 year old stallion, wich we are super excited for, after Dimma frá Miðfell and Herjólfur frá Ragnheiðarstaðir. Djarfur is a halfbrother to our very own Díva and Dimmir frá Álfhólum. 

Written by Sara Ástþórsdóttir

11.07.2014

Landsmót gets Thunderstruck!

Þrumufleygur and his talented rider Þorvaldur Árni took part in the exciting and enormously strong B-class finals on Sunday at Landsmót. You can surely say that they did not let the bad weather conditions bother them at all. The par got stronger and stronger with every obstacle and, at the end, received the outstanding marks of 9.11 and second place at Landsmót. Better marks then many of the previous Landsmót winners in B-class!

 

Outstandin trot!

 

In the qualifiers Þrumufleygur received the sixth place. It was a great result in some aspect but we knew there was plenty of room for improvement. In the preliminaries the results were even better with the mark of 8.75.

 

It's been a really fun to watch these two together on the track and we would like to thank Þorvaldur Árni for his excellent work with Þrumufleygur. It's also a fun fact for breeders and other interested that these movements of Þrumufleygur are all natural. We use only 8mm shoes with 150 g boots.

But now Þrumufleygur get´s a well deserved holiday from competing. Now it´s time for him to take care of a all the mares waiting for him here at Álfhólar. 

Please contact us if you want your mare to join the company. Þrumufleygur is very polite and there is no issue with putting new mares in with him anytime. 

26.02.2014

"The horse on fire"

This post was originally to be called "I think I'll walk home" since that´s how I´ve felt for the last times riding this colt. As the old and wise say that you should come of the horse when it´s as it´s best. 

You could say that it is there a new "queen" in the stables, except this time she is actually a three year old stallion named Eldhugi after Kappi frá Komma and our nice pinto 1st price mare Gáska frá Álfhólum. Eldhugi was broken in in the first week of November and instantly was a favorite horse with the staff. He injured his foot at the end of the summer and therefore we had to take a little pause riding him.

I start training him in January and start teaching him how to Tölt. I knew he was quite open since he had showed me Tölt all through his childhood. I soon found out that his big leg movements were giving him trouble in learning how to Tölt so I took his shoes of for 10-12 days while he was getting his Tölt rhythm and carriage down properly. Last weekend we had a few visitors hereby and we decided to show them Eldhugi in his third ride since getting his shoes back. This young horse seems to possess a unique balance on Tölt, with such lightness, carriage, rhythm and great speed. And his foundation is nothing short of great with an extra high canter and flying trot.

Sara Rut (Our friend who´s studying now riding at Hólar University) got to try out Eldhugi and described it as sitting on a powerful and smooth lion.

I was not so happy when Eldhugi was born since I was hoping for a black pinto stallion that would possess his mother's extraordinary lightness and got this big red guy running after his mom here at the swamp at Álfhólar. He later became extremely fun to watch and I with time forgave him for being so very reddish since he was obviously very talented. 

It´s also quiet positive that I don´t have that many red breeding mares so this fairytale may just have a very nice ending. As you can hear I'm just starting to prepare myself for using Eldhugi in my breeding if he continues to improve so drastically. I am expecting a very exciting foal after him and Dimmuborg sister of Díva after Bragi frá Kópavogi and Dimma frá Miðfelli next summer. But it 's one thing to be promising and another to be good and it 's just something that only time can tell. I can only look forward to more of happy hours training Eldhugi and see where it will lead us next summer.

2.2.2014

A nice start

You could say that Landeyjar, where Álfhólar is placed in Iceland, has two sides to it. One, that some find rather unexciting, is the one that appears when you look south from highway 1 and everything seemes maybe a little flat with not to many landmarks. And the other one is when your near the ocean and look towards the north facing a mountain view in good weather.

The title of this blog "nice start" is supposed to work as a motivator for me to be more productive in writing blogs with news from our farm. Everything is going great here at Álfhólar, we are training many talented horses and we always have a great variety of quality famlily horses for sale as well as horses that are outstanding material for both competition and breeding for demanding buyers.

We at Álfhólar got a visit from a tv crew two years ago when I was taking part in The Champions League. I stumbled on it a few days ago and wanted to share it with you. The silver dapple mare that´s jogging so freely around me is called Meyja (Virgo), she is from our nice silver dapple breed and her sire is Dimmir frá Álfhólum. As you can see Landeyjar can look quite good in nice weather.

I want to wish all of you the best for the new year - better late then never  - I´ll write more soon.

Written by Sara Ástþórsdóttir

22.10.2013

Lay me down.


Team Álfhólar went to a seminar with Iben Andersen on how to break in young horses to see how we could improve our training methods. The seminar was very instructive and it was great to get such inspiration at this time because we are now breaking in all our young horses. 

We started out with a 3 year old stallion prospect after Kjerúlfur frá Kollaleira and our 1. price mare Móeiður frá Álfhólum. It was over quickly and Verena rode him easily right away without much help from me. A very nice horse with great character.

Next in line was a 3 years old gelding after Fróði frá Staðartunga and our mare Móna frá Álfhólum, mother of Móeiður. He took a little bit longer to realize what was going on but after a similar period of time, about a half hour, Verena was riding him.

Recently we got a wild one, a gray colt from another farm, totally untouched, unless he had been castrated. To make a long story short, Iben´s methods worked out great and the colt just played along our every step. Here you can see how everything worked out. 

The choice was simple either walk on 3 feet or lay down.
.which was much preferable. Only took a few minutes to realize that.


.and a few minutes more to lay down completely.


..and get a complement from Verena. It was amazing to see how quick he was to accept the unusual circumstances and was totally relax laying down flat. 


How can he know that we aren´t just gonna eat him" I said to Verena.

The trust was won and he was ok with pressure form all sides and he did not even stand up with Verena on his back but.


...she jumped bareback when Gray stood up and rode him bareback a few steps.


It will be interesting to see how the next few days will go. But we are happy with our first day of practice and eager to learn more new things.
 
(Sorry about the quality of the images, they were taken on a cell phone.) 

11.10.2013

The volcanic crater that didn´t erupt...
 
 

It's always nice when horses rise up to their full potential as this red one with the blaze surely has. He was named Sprengjugígur (loosly translated - Volcanic crater) when he was a foal since he had verypowerful and high movements, but it's safe to say that he wasn´t very promising when he first came to training. He was castrated because of that.
 
We started training Blesi (Sprengigígur) again when he was 5 years old and Verena used him i.e. as a herding horse, to collect the traininghorses from the fields in the morning. But he gained my respect when I saw him this fall and rode him myself. He had been trained by Sara Rut over a period of 8 months and she had tried him out in some fivegait competitions. I tried him since we were planning to sell him and I have to say I was a little surprised what was in store for me.
 
I felt immediately that Blesi was full of possibilities, his willingness was finally there. He got more powerful with every week even though I did not ride him more than once or twice a week. He even gave me goosebumps when a rode him and that does not happend every day for me!
 
He has excellent and easy pace, really idiot proof - He is also were fun and easy to ride.
 
What can I learn from this? I really think that you can judge a horses quality from his foal year, Blesi was a strikingly good foal and although he was not very promising in the beginning of his training he has now grown into an outstanding horse.


Sprengigígur is a 6 year old gelding after Glymur frá Skeljabrekku and Gýgur frá Ásunnarstöðum. Gýgur´s sire was Blakkur 999 frá Hafnarnesi so he has a little of the blood from Hornafjörður running in his vains. 

Sprengigígur´s dam, Gýgur, was an extra willing mare. She has now past away but we have in breeding a daughter of here and Parker frá Sólheimum, Herská frá Álfhólum. Herská does not have the best breeding score, like her dam, but she has very good ground gaits and high leg action.  

20.01.2013

A newborn prins from Álfhólar

This wonderful boy is the newborn son of Sara. He was born on the 8th of january and therefore shares a birthday with stars like Elvis Presley and David Bowie. In the picture he is only 10 days old. Mother and son are prospering and we believe there are bright times ahead here at the Álfhólar farm with this new familiy member joining all the girls here.

But the horse life goes on and the training continues with Hrefna María now in full swing at Fákur riding club and Sara Rut stepping up to the plate as the new head coach and manager of the stables at Álfhólar. at least until Sara returns back in the saddle :-)

Picture: Hrefna María and Silfurrún frá Álfhólum training, in Fákur this week. Silfurrún is for sale, she is a calm and safe four-gaited mare.



More pictures of Silfurrún frá Álfhólum HERE.

22.11.2012

I´m back!!!

Our webpage has been pretty lifeless recently so maybe it istime to give Facebook a tiny break and start working more on my webpage.

But, anyway, "back to business"!

I am going to start by sharing with you two short from ourbreeding show at last Landsmót. There we were awarded the prize as the secondbest breeding farm at Landsmót the second year in a row.


From the Friday show.I was a bit nervous over this whole show as our horses were not all in top condition as our country horses got sore feet after eating all the new cut grass in Landsmót´s stables. Something we had not jet come across at home. We also did not know if Þrumufleygur could participate in the show since he got injured on a trailer on his way to Reykjavík and was pulled out of the B-class competition earlier in the week.

But when push came to shove everything went perfectly and we just want to thank everyone who cheered us on - it was pure magic! Last but surely not least, we would like to thank all the riders and other who made this all happen!

 

From the Saturday show. We had such a good time riding in this event where we competing against the fantastic breeding farm Blesastaðir, whose riders took there shirts of as a climatic finish. The boys in our group were a bit disappointed with me for not asking them too to take all the clothes off - Then we would have surely won :-)

 

Photo:  Inga Dröfn

Flying! Siggi Sig was quick to take full control on my stallion Dimmir, Díva´s brother. This has to be one off my all time favorite pace pictures! 
 
Photo: Inga Dröfn

Indía is a fist price mare, getting better with every year in training!

Photo: Herdís Reynisdóttir

Sóllilja charmed Siggi Matt last winter, as well as every other rider who has ridden her. It was therefore a joy for him to ride her in the exhibition and join the fun with us all!

 

Photo: Valgerður Valmundsdóttir

Cool riders on cool horses at the Friday show, Siggi and Sóllilja, Hansi and Gáta, Elvar and Álftarós and Hrefna María and Indía.

  

Photo: Valgerður Valmundsdóttir

Gáta looking good with Hans Þór Hilmarsson!

 

Photo: Magnús Ingi Másson

For the Saturday show my friend Saga was so lovely to lend us her great mare Myrkva which came with a fresh breeze to the show. Elvar Þormarsson rode her and gave the young and super talented Álfarós a bit of a break after already competing in her group of 5 year old mares the days before.  

 

Photo: Anna Linda Gunnarsdóttir

Þrumufleygur did awesome in the show with his rider John Kristinn Sigurjónsson. 

 

Photo: Inga Dröfn

Time to say goodbye. Me and my lovely Díva have shared some unforgettable moments over the years and it will not be easy to find another horse to fill her shoes, not just in competition, but just as great friend in the stable. Thank you for everything my darling Díva!

05.07.2012

Kolka highest judged mare of the year!


Hrefna was quite determined to keep Kolka frá Hákoti away from a stallion last summer and train her for the next winter. Many thought she had lost her mind since the mare had received an excellent score in her breeding assessment and had won the 5 year old group at Landsmót Vindheimamelar last year. But Hrefna was convinced that Kolka had plenty more to show.


Kolka and Hrefna rode an excellent show in the second week at Gaddstadaflatir in June where Kolka was rewarded neither more nor less than 8.85 for riding ability, including a fantastic 9.5 for spirit wich she truly deserved. 

IS2006286428 Kolka frá Hákoti
Örmerki: 968000001802023
Color: 2700 Brúnn/dökk/sv. einlitt
Breeder: Halldóra Hafsteinsdóttir, Markús Ársælsson
Owner: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir, Rósa Valdimarsdóttir
F.: IS2002186435 Íkon frá Hákoti
Ff.: IS1996187336 Töfri frá Kjartansstöðum
Fm.: IS1994286104 Bella frá Kirkjubæ
M.: IS1995286428 Frá frá Hákoti
Mf.: IS1989184551 Þorri frá Þúfu í Landeyjum
Mm.: IS1990286414 Feykja frá Hala

FORSKOÐUNARDÓMUR
Héraðssýning á Gaddstaðaflötum
Mál (cm): 141 - 137 - 63 - 142 - 28,5 - 17,5
Hófa mál: V.fr.: 9,0 - V.a.: 8,9
Conformation: 8,0 - 9,0 - 9,5 - 9,0 - 7,0 - 8,5 - 8,0 - 8,0 = 8,44
Riding ability: 9,0 - 9,0 - 8,5 - 8,5 - 9,5 - 9,0 - 7,5 = 8,85
Overall: 8,69 Slow tölt: 8,0 Hægt stökk: 7,5
Rider: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir


This is how you ride to 8.85 ;)

2 + 2 don´t always add up to 4
Kolka was the highest judged mare to come into Landsmót this year with the overall score of 8.69. She is a beautiful five gaited mare, a worthy representative of the Icelandic breeding goal, which is an elegant horse with five good gates. However, it is quite interesting to review the family tree of Kolka and see all the four gaiters. 

Íkon frá Hákoti, the sire of Kolka, is a natural tölter. Both of Íkon´s parents are fourgaiters. Bella frá Kirkjubær, Íkon´s dame, won the four year old class at Landsmót 1998 and the well known competition horse Töfri frá Kjartansstaðir.

Kolka´s mother is Frá frá Hákoti, a five gaited mare with 9,5 for spirit. It would seem Kolka had her conformation from her mother but that´s surely not the case here since she has an even lower conformation score than Íkon. Frá has although been described to us as a very handsome mare. Her sire is Þorri frá Þúfa and Feykja frá Hala. 

It was kind of interesting to go through the family tree of Kolka and see that out of all these four gaited horses I was so lucky to get an extraordinary talented five gaited mare. That just goes to show how complicated breeding is and difficult to find just the right recipe for success. 


Although Kolka was in training this winter, we also got a hansome stallion foal, from her and the talented Þrumufleygur frá Álfhólum, with a little help from science. If he inherits the talent and spirit of his parents then he has a bright future ahed. 


The last horse to get a ticket to Landsmót was Sóllilja frá Álfhólum. She was sixth in the preliminaries of B-flokkur gæðinga at Geysir with the total score of 8.54. Þorri frá Þúfa is the grandfather of both Sóllilja and Kolka.

Written by Sara Ástþórsdóttir

25.04.2012

Champions League

It was the beginning of October I received a call from Siggi Matt who invited me to join his team, Ganghestar Málning, in the upcoming season of the Champions League. Though I had thought about taking part in the Champions League before I still had to take a little time to contemplate whether to join or not. In the end I decided to compete on the Team with the condition I would not have to take part in any of the pace part of the competition.


Photo: Valgerður Valmundsdóttir

I started training my competition mares, Díva and Sóllilja, in early November. They had been on vacation since the end of July. I also started exercising in a fitness facility nearby my home. Riders often forget that it is very important that they try to bee in good form.

I did not start the competition with any certain goals in regards to winning the league since this was my first time taking part. But in some parts of the competition I had high hopes. Especially in Tölt and T2. I was also excited about the dressage competittion and I was confident I could do well there.

The first part of the whole competition, fourgait, I knew was a deciding factor in where I was to end up in the tournament since of my inexperience in the pace races. If I would have done in fourgait I would have a good opportunity to win the whole thing.

I competed on Sóllilja in fourgait. She was very good in training and the only thing that I needed to polish where the gait changes. The tournament ended up being postponed for a week because of the weather and I do not know what was the reason, but Sóllilja, never really got to shine in the competition and our final score was 6,5.

The next part of the tournament was the dressage. We did not get much time to practice before because there was only a week in between the competitions. I did not know if I should ride Díva or Sóllilja. Sóllilja is very good in this sort of competition but Díva is just such a SHOW horse!


Photo: Eiðfaxi

But after the first practice session on Saturday there was no turning back ..... "You´ll blow the roof off the building" said Edda Rún (wife of Siggi Matt) to me and said she had never experienced getting the goose bumps while watching a training before the show! But then came the headache of setting up a program that would suite Díva, it is after all quite stressful to show a horse that has previously received two perfect scores (10) in breeding assessment for Tölt and Spirit.



After the tournament it was particularly pleasing when my former teacher from Hólar university called me to say how nice it was to see a horse like Díva really showcasing her outstanding qualities rather than quitting competition after receiving massive high reviews :)


Photo: Gígja Einarsdóttir



The result in the dressage competition was second place after Artemis with Korgur frá Ingólfshvoli, "Girl Power"! And next was the Tölt competition. I wanted to do well so it was a disappointment when me and Díva only received 7.63 in the preliminaries. After some problems with my equipment me and Díva entered the finals and ended up with a dominant victory where Díva got 9.5 for the speeded Tölt and the final score of 8.72. And I was suddenly battling among the top riders in the champions league, Artemis and Jakob!


Photo: Gígja Einarsdóttir "Very happy after winning the Tölt!"

The T2 Tölt was our Díva´s third tournament in a row and I had two weeks to harness the energy within Díva so I could ride her without rain support. I knew that a lot of people did not believe that I could ride Díva without rain support. But we ended up in second place in the preliminaries after Alur frá Lundum a former Icelandic champion. In the finals, me and Díva gave it our best. The competition could hardly have been more exciting because before the final part, the speed Tölt, me and Jakob had the same score. We did very good in the loose rain part and finished in first place with the score of 8.54. Not so bad considering this was my first T2 tournament ever :-)



The girls who were supposed to record the finals for me got caught up in the hype surrounding the competition so there were a lot of missing segments in their recording but I tried to edit something together. Here is also a video showing A finals from Hestafréttir.

After T2 I was in the lead in the champions league but I just laughed out and said it would only last half an hour, or until the pace races were was over. I had a fine pace mare, Zelda frá Sörlatunga, which I knew just a little bit. I knew she was afraid of hail which was not very good since there was a storm outside with hail! I got one legitimist sprint in but did not get any points after this part of the competition. But the main competitors did not do well either so I got to be in the lead for a whole two weeks, not just half an hour .... Wuhu!

I kept riding Zelda although I made a few honest attempts to avoid going to the pace segment of the tournament in Ármót since it was after all in our Siggi´s initial agreement that I would not take part in the pace races. But I gave in since I was now at the top of the league. I had to pretend to fight anyway :-) I made a second attempt with Zelda in the 150 meters which was my first time to start in a starting box. (Siggi was actually warn me that Zelda reacted similarly in the box as in a hail storm which did not sound very encouraging for our first trip. The first round went fine, except I was a little polite to Zelda and we got no real competition from the horse that ran with us. The second sprint did not work out so we ended up in 11th place which was disappointing due to the fact the first 10 horses get points.

I was not sure about which horse I should use in the pace test. I was contemplating taking Dimmir but the problem, however, was that he had been so great in January and February but not so great in March - which I am partly to plain for my shoeing experiments. A few days before the tournament I put him on normal shoes and then he started to become more like himself. This video taken the night before the tournament . It bothered me though that Dimmir had the same experience in pace test as I - Zero.



Siggi had offered me on numerous occasions his competition horse, Birtingur frá Selá, for the pace tests and I decided to try the old genius. But in the heat of competition, Birtingur found out that Siggi was not holding the rains and took a good spin on me.  After the tournament I tried out Dimmir and after that I can say I was not happy with my decision to not compete with him.  


Just before Birtingur decided to play a trick on me ;)

For the final segment of the league, the fivegait, I rode a borrowed horse, Völur frá Árbæ. Fuzzy and cute among all muscular stallions he did quite well and ended up with a score of 6.5. That would have been a high enough score to get to the B-finals last year but didn´t do the trick now. John took a longer route to the win as he won the competition on the stallion Konsert frá Korpa after finishing 10th in the preliminaries. I "by the way" own a promising young stallion after Konsert which was born last summer.


Son of Konsert, photo: Sara

Artemis won the Champion league with much deserved and secure victory.


    1.    Artemisia Bertus - Team Hrímnir 48,5
    2.    Jakob Svavar Sigurðsson - Team Top Reiter / Ármót 41
    3.    Sigurbjörn Bárðarson - Team Lýsi 36
    4.    John Kristinn Sigurjónsson - Team Lýsi 35
    5.    Sara Ástþórsdóttir - Team Ganghestar / Málning 34

The Champions League also calls for a lot of media attention and endless interviews, especially when things are going well ... and though I can sometimes be talkative, then you  sometimes just want to be still and quiet.

In mid-March, I got a visit from a group of girls from the magazine Eiðfaxi and also from Samúel Örn who is a well-known media figure here in Iceland who was doing a television show of the league.  The TV show can be seen here and the Eiðfaxi magazine can be bought in a shop her in Iceland or through their website. It is great when the mainstream media show interest in horses and I just hope the media continues to give this popular sport more attention.



The little beauty that was shown in the TV show is a talented four year old mare of mine Meyja after Dimmir and Mær daughter of my old Móna frá Álfhólum. A very open and fun mare. She also got the honor of being the cover model of Eiðfaxi.

It was a great experience to participate in this seasons Champions league. It really has pushed myself out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to compete in a lot of new parts of competition. I would like to thank my teammates so much for the good times this winter, it's been really fun and rewarding to work with you, thank you all so very much!

27.3.2012

Girls on ice



This winter season has been quite eventful and it has been difficult to make time for news writing. 

On the 17th of march the Tölt competition,"Cool Women on Ice", was held in Reykjavík ice-skating hall. I took part with my mare Sóllilja in her first Tölt competition. We received the score of 7.23 in the preliminaries. The finals did not go as well wich I blame on the fact that I decided to take the fillings out of Sólilja´s hoofs during the brake. That really worked out against us since we never really found our rhythm again in the finals. The results were that we ended up in the fifth place wich was quite in the end an acceptable performance since this was Sólilja´s first Tölt competition.



Rósa also took part on a colorful mare from Hrefna and John, Dís frá Jaðri. Dís is sired by the well known stallion Þristur frá Feti. After the preliminaries they ended up in the B-finals which they won with style. In the A-finals they never really got to show their best since Dís was out of gas nad getting tired. But they got the sixth place, an excellent performance!


My assistance trainers got to make their debut on ice that night. Andrea got the fifth place on her mare, Kátína frá Grímsstöðum, and Verena got sixth place on Hjaltalín frá Reykjavík in the same class.



Hrefna María and Hugleikur frá Fossi got a decent rating of 6.30 which was not enough to get them to the finals. Hugleikur is a new horse for sale from Hrefna  - If you are interested in buying a very promising competition horse please contact us and try out Hugleikur.

27.3.2012

News from Ármót - Sleeping Beauty (Þyrnirós) delivers

 

Hrefna María drove to Ármót with the camera one day in February to visit her boyfriend John Kristinn to check up on him and his horses. The horses were in great condition as was to be expected since John is quite a gifted trainer which with patience and sensitivity brings out the best in his horses.



Álfarós frá Álfhólum is a 5 year old mare and she is sired by Þyrnirós frá Álfhólum and Bragi frá Kópavogi which makes her a half sister to Þrumufleygur frá Álfhólum. John broke her in last year and trained her for a few months and started again this January. She is really flourishing these days and John was using big words when describing her over the phone. She has very fast and clear gait with lots of movement and form under rider. Great tölt and lots of trot although she is most likely a five gaited mare.



The pictures do not really capture her charisma adequately. She is one of those horses you have to see live to really she them. She is amazing just like Þrumufleygur with her great soft Tölt, speed and will. Álfarós is owned by Róbert and Sigurður at Húsafellshestar who are also the proud owners of other great horses from Álfhólar like Díva and Móey.



John is currently training 3 half-siblings all after Þyrnirós, Þrumufleygur, Álfarós and a 4 year old colt called Þrumu-Þór, which is sired by Leiknir frá Vakurstöðum.

Þrumu-Þór was broken in last fall when this photo was taken which shows Kári Steinsson, a young and gifted rider, training him. Kári works with John at Ármót this winter.



Time will tell if Þrumu-Þór will live up to our expectations but he is a very large and handsome horse.

25.1.2012

New owners

The new year has welcomed us with quite unpredictable weather conditions, but with very beautiful days in-between.

Last years horse sale began rather slowly but when the autumn came around sales really picked up and quite a few horses left home for new owners. Here are few examples:




Xenia and her mother Dr. Anja bought Vaka from Hrefna María this fall. Both mother and daughter have been in touch with us since then and we are so glad that everything is going great with Vaka. Here is a VIDEO of Vaka and Hrefna at Ístölt 2011, the Icelandic indoor ice Tölt championship.

 

Kraftur frá Strönd is on his way to Switzerland this winter to his new owners. We will train him until he travels abroad.



The big and handsome Solandus is already in Slovenia. Solandus is a full brother to our talented Sóllilja. Reliable and good four gaiter. Here's a fun VIDEO of him.


Soldís just landed in Swiss this week with Hilmir frá Álfhólum of whom we unfortunately do not have a picture of. Both are exceptionally lovely and good riding horses who will without a doubt make their new owners happy.



Kathy, our good friend from Germany, fell for a great mare from our friends at Ármót. Ása frá Ármót is a very promising fivegaited mare and she will be a super strong sports horse in the future. She is a fullsister to the well known 1st prize stallion Ás frá Ármót. Here is a picture of Ása and John and hone with the new owner in the saddle. Ása will travel abroad in February.



Katharina Kathy´s friend also found her dream horse in the stable at Álfhólar, the light and beautifully colored Litbrá frá Baldursshagi.



A also sold one of my favorite young mares. Eldglóð daughter of Bragi frá Kópavogur and Gáska frá Álfhólar was sold to a nearby farm but she will be at Álfhólar in training until after the breeding shows.



The first prize mare Vaka frá Kanastaðir traveled abroad to new owners late summer.



Nói, son of Víkingur frá Voðmúlastöðum made his new owners in Germany very happy. It´s always heartwarming when you receive emails or messages like these from new owners: "Er ist ein tolles Pferd! :)"... I love him to death, he is so nice ...

We emphasis on offer only well-trained horses for sale, horses we enjoy ourselves and try to find the right horse for each rider every time. We believe that to be a key element in building a good reputation in this business. We do not hesitate to refuse to sell, if we find the interested buyer not the right fit for the horse we are offering. When much of the sales goes on through the internet trust is a very important ingredient.

We are now offering some new horses for sale, here are some examples:



Ketill frá Vakurstaðir, a greatly talented four gaited horse with excellent Tölt that suits everyone. A very well trained horse with a unique character and a successful career in competitions. More about Ketill HERE.



One of Sara's favorite horse, Gaukur frá Strandarbakki, a highly promising five gaited gelding.
Look at his videos HERE and HERE.



For those who want to ride fast tempo Tölt in the future we have a five year old mare sired by Asi frá Kálfholt, Lind frá Baldurshagi. Here is a VIDEO of Lind after three weeks of winter training after a long vacation since last July. She was broken in last winter and is quite promising.

For more information's please contact us: alfholar@alfholar.is,
Sara and Hrefna María.

3.1.2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...



I was browsing the horse sites on the internet the other day and could not find any fresh news anywhere. So I decided to take the initiative, after a weeks rest, and write something myself!
 
After a rainy but warm fall a sudden weather change has coming. So quickly that I nearly missed a plane to Germany where I was to teach a seminar, because of a very slippery roads to the airport!

Strange how winter always seems to catch you off guard, even in Iceland :-)



But all riders in Iceland know the wonderful joy of the snowy winter conditions. It is so much fun to let the horses run in the soft snow. At least my Sóllilja likes it a lot. And now I am quite relived that her summer meeting with a stallion did not work out as planned. It is just so nice to have this joyful mare under saddle :)



While I was preparing to take a photo shoot of my stallion Mánasteinn, with his new shoes on, I apparently forgot to teach the photographer on the camera, so he missed all the best moments. Well, better luck next time.

Mánasteinn has a history of leg problems but is healing well and if his leg stays ok he is going to be quite good before summer. Although he is just over 5 years of age he has only been trained for the combined time of four months.



In Germany the grass was a little bit greener in Kathrin Kasper stable who invited me to teach a weekend seminar for ten riders the last weekend of November. That was a very nice trip and a good pause from my routine training :-)



But this early winter does have its disadvantages. We have e.g. never started to feed the horses in the field so early. Here you can see the sisters Gáta and Gæska who have always taking care of each other in the herd but they have now been separated since Gáta has started training and Gæska is expecting a foal after Kraftur frá Strönd next summer.

She came home empty from a stallion this fall but as a last minute decision late in September we decided to take her to Kraftur. Whether it is the smart thing to do to let a 1st prize mare get pregnant so late we have to see. Another mare I own was held in mid-September for four years and she gave birth to a foal in the middle of summer this year.



And then it was time to try out the gelding Gaukur frá Strandarbakka after one and a half months rest. The owner may have made a terrible mistake to ask me train this horse with sale in mind since he is so great I really do not want to sell him at all. Gaukur is a talented five gaiter with clear and fast gaits but the pace is very little trained.

I just hope it stays snowy here in Álfhólar with its great riding conditions these last few weeks.

31.12.2011

Holiday Greetings

Dear friends,
 
Merry Christmas to you all near and far. Wishing you good times, good cheer and a happy new year!

Holiday greetings from everyone at Álfhólar!



1.12.2011

Fun, spirit and high leg action!



The best part of last summer for the crew of Álfhólar was, without a doubt, to participate in the breeding exhibition at Landsmót at Vindheimamelar.

We decided to take part in the exhibition on a very short notice. Those who did not agree with my decision not to take part with Díva in the tölt competition at Landmót were in the end quite satisfied since they got to see quite enough of her.

Díva really shined at Landmót were she could show her great spirit and excellent Tölt on numerous occasions. She followed her sire Arður in the prize ceremony were he got 1st prize for his offspring and took part in the breeding show for the 7 year old mares. There were some people who wondered why I did not ride her in the prize ceremony for the 7 year old mares. I just thought that it was to much for her, a horse that alway gives 100% when asked.
 

It was also a busy time for Þrumufleygur (Thunderbird) who took part in the exhibition for the 5 year old stallions, and also in the show for the offspring's of the stallion Þóroddur frá Þóroddstöðum.

Þrumufleygur, who is only 5 years old, was alway consistently good with his high leg action, great gaits and good spirit.


Dimmir had a few good pace sprints with Leó.


The four gaited mares in the breeding show for Álfhólar. Hans riding Indía, Janus riding Gjóska and Hrefna María riding Sóllilja, all from Álfhólar.

It was a bit of a headache to find riders for the show, but 4 of the horses had hardly been ridden be another rider then myself. Two friends of Jonni were to take part. Thanks Janus and Hansi very much for your help:)


They were cheerful Hrefna María and Sóllilja;)

"This is how Beyonce mustfeel after each concert lol" Hrefna María said on Saturday night. "Whata kick it is to have six thousand people  applaud and shout words ofsupport!"


Gjóska and Janus did well.


High leg action. Indía and Hans.

Some say that breeding exhibitions like these are too exaggerated. The horses all equipped with very heavy boots and other weighing material. I am therefore happy to say that all our horses were on 8 mm shoes besides Indía and the heaviest boots we used were 200 grams.

12 breeding farms competed for the honour of getting to take part in the breeding show on Saturday. By Friday, it was clear that two farms were even and both got invited to take part in the show and compete against one another. These farms were Álfhólar and Syðri-Gegnishólar - the no1 breeding farm of 2010. The pace show that Syðri Gegnishólar performed on Saturday was awesome and ensured them the victory at the end.

But we were very happy nonetheless with our performance and the awesome support we received. I am still meeting people who say how satisfied they were with the show, even the highlight of the whole Landsmót.

Here are some videos of the atmosphere.

Nice video of the breeding farm shows with Álfhólar and Syðri-Gegnishólar on Saturday night:






Thanks for us it was amazing!

Here is video of offspring show of Arður frá Brautarholti:




What can make you feel better than riding Tölt in full speed without having to hold the reins, I like it anyway ;)

Díva is expecting a embryo foal sired by Þrumufleygur which will see the light of day in May next year if everything works out right. Díva herself visited Ómur frá Kvistum late in August, but sadly that did not work out. Perhaps one can call it greed to demand two foals from the same mare every year. Diva came in training a week ago and starts better than ever. Know I am just thinking not to ruin anything.

Gjóska is expecting her first foal sired also by Þrumufleygur. It will be fun to see and compare the half-siblings from the peers, and Dívu and Gjóska.

Setting up a breeding shows can not be done witout good assistant worth gold

Written by Hrefna María

Although we were only 6 horses and 6 riders it is quite stressful to have everything ready on time, setting up the show, find riding gear and getting the uniforms ready.

The boys were not overjoyed when they saw myself (Hrefna María) with all the bling bling and started to stick it on their jackets and made them not forget the glossy silver tie!

I thought they were all gorgeous and when they were all dressed up they were ready for action.


Guðrún Elín (picture on the right) got to watch over Þrumufleygur - thanx!


Jódís made sure that everybody was in the right frame of mind and of course neat. Thanx!


My cousin Rakel made sure Dimmir looked good.




Díva - Although you are a Diva you just get and old and ugly yellow halter.
Sara, should not I give you a glimmer halter for Christmas?


Mom admiring Þrumufleygur.

 
Rakel with Sóllilja. Great young girl who helped us a lot with all the other girls who worked with us this summer. Thanks girls, Andrea, Nína, Þórunn, Rakel, and Hjördís who was the right hand of Sara the whole of Landsmót.

Thunder!!! The rocking pair of the night, Jonni and Þrumufleygur!

 

I was a bit restless while everybody was getting prepared. But someone has to be responsible!
Mon and Jódís on the right, ready for the show!


The group ready to rock the audience!

30.10.2011

A short overview of the year 2011.



The other day I was looking at Worldfengur to check out Álfhólar´s breeding results for the year. I have to admit that I normally don tot think to much about the statistics but of course I always try to do my best every year.

I found it rather strange when my friend called me on the phone this spring and told me I should not show his mare (breed from Álfhólar farm) that I was going to bring to breeding show the week after. He remembered that I had said that his mare was not ready to get 1st prize this spring and because I had such a high average breeding show score this year he did not want his mare to spoil the results. I just laughed and said I was not thinking much about this and I showed his mare anyway with the overall score of 7.80!

Nevertheless I still got the to the 3rd-4th place highest overall score for shown horses in the spring as a rider, mostly riding my own horses. My average score was just over 8.05 for eight horses. And since I only showed seven horses in that time we could say that this was a case of quality over quantity.

I also found out that Hrefna María has the average score of  8.21 for shown horses. She showed three horses; Kolka frá Hákot, Eirvör frá Hamrahóll and Grímur frá Vakurstaðir. Tvo fivegaiters and a fourgaiter.

Then I checked out the horses breed from Álfhólar wich were shown. There were eleven horses from Álfhólar shown this summer with the average overall score of 8.01

The average score for rideability is 8.05 and 7.94 for conformation. Seven of these horses are 4-gaited and four are 5-gaited. It is quite interesting to mention that the average score for Tölt is 8.68.

The average age is rather high, 6,9 years. The reason for this are two older horses, the 11 year old mare Fluga frá Álfhólum and the 8 year old stallion Gáski frá Álfhólum. Both of these horses are no longer in our possession and they got worse score now than they had previously received.
 
But if I continue to play with these numbers and check out the 8 horses I myself had in training this season the average overall score is 8.10. The average age is 6,25 years. The average score for rideability is 8.14 and conformation 8.03.



When I rode my eight year old stallion Dimmir frá Álfhólum in a breeding show this summer I had not shown him since he was five years old, on Landsmót 2008. Dimmir raised his overall score to 8.29 and received 8.57 for rideability and has therefore the best score for rideability of all of the horses from Álfhólar and is the second highest judged horses from Álfhólar this summer. That is mainly due to his rideability score since his conformation score is unfortunately not that great.
 
Díva, the sister of Dimmir, is the highest judged horse from Álfhólar this summer with the overall score of 8.33. She received the perfect score of 10 for both Tölt and spirit and 8.54 as an overall score for rideability.



Gjóska, a fourgaited mare, got 1st prize with the overall score of 8.00 with 8.05 for rideability.



I rode Sóllilja, a six year fourgaited mare, for the first time in a breeding show this summer. She received the overall score of 8.15 with 8.14 for rideability.


Gæska, a six year old 4-gaited mare, was shown for the first time. She received 1. price (8.00). 


Indía, a six year old mare, was shown for the first time. She received the overall score of 7.92.

 

Þrumufleygur (Thunderbolt) is a 5 years old stallion and he raised his score from last year. He received the overall score of 8.27 with 8.42 for rideability. Þrumufleygur is the third highest judged horse from Álfhólar this summer



The five year old, 4-gaited mare Gáta frá Álfhólum, was shown for the first time this summer. She received the overall score of 7.80.

These are not highly scientific calculations but it can be very interesting to look at statistics like these. Maybe there are some mistakes in my calculations but I did my best - Math is not really my strongest attribute I must admit.

The silver dapple foal at the top of the page is a "wannabe star" after Þrumufleygur and Móey daughter of Eldjárn and Móeiður.

5.10.2011

Maximum profit

The following is a short story about my mom Rósa (Sara´s aunt) - The woman who always has luck on her side when trading with horses!
Written by Hrefna María

One summer day at Álfhólar we were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about stallions and mares - as is the norm among horse owners at that time of year. We started talking about Rósa´s stallion Íkon frá Hákoti. Rósa then started telling us, as she normally does, that Íkon is the greatest Icelandic Gæðingur she has ever come across! His gaits and spirit are 110% - at least!

Normally when she starts this speech we just close our ears. When she is done she ends up asking Leó Geir (who was sitting with us at the table) "Leó - I just have to find another horse like my Íkon - do you know if he has any offsprings?"


Rósa and Íkon win the Fákur winter cames 2011

Rósa bought Íkon from Leó when he was 5 years old. Leó and Markús (the farmer in Hákot) are good friends so Leó knows the breeding at Hákot very well. Then Leó says "Hmm Rósa, I know that Markús owns a black 2 years old mare with excellent pedigree. Are you serious - If so I can check it out for you?" Rósa says: "Yes, please check if she is for sale."

Than we forgot all about this conversation for few weeks or just until Rósa began her routine praise for Íkon again. Then she asked Leó again about the 2 year old mare and Leó replies that now he will ask Markús for sure.

As it turned out Markús was ready to sell and he and Rósa negotiated the price for the young mare but me and Sara were not convinced - "What is she doing buying a rather expensive young horse from Þykkvabær?" -  we heard several times from Sara."Can´t you just buy something from me instead? - Why do you have the urge to spend money to buy a horse from someone else?" Sara said. And I said to mom: "Mom I can´t be bothered training some no good horse you're buying, I have plenty of horses on my mind."

In the fall of 2008 it was time to finish the deal. So mom went to her bank and cashed in some bank holding shares she had owned in the banks and paid for her new mare. Only a few days later the Icelandic banking system collapsed. Now Rósa had KOLKA instead of having balance-free paper stock! Lucy woman!
 
On the same day Leó called Rósa at work. She did not answer but Leó left a message on her answering machine for her: "Rósa, this is not a sale - this is a gift!" This is to say how highly Leó thought of the young mare.

Kolka was at Hákot until we went to get her in the fall of 2009. I was a little annoyed having to go through all the trouble getting this mare my mother had bought even without even seeing her - and nobody had any faith in her - exept she and Leó.

When I got to Hákot, Markús the farmer was holding this beautiful horse - gigantic and black beautyqueen wich reminded me of a Arabian horse. My eyes almost fell out of my face -"Wow, is that my mothers mare?" Yeah we´ll take her!!!

Kolka was in excellent shape, big and beautiful. Her training was very easy which led me to give Markús a call to reassure myself that I had taken the right horse home. Right away she took all aspects of the training as a trained horse. Unless you could not make her run in a circle.

Kolka was a very quick learner and I remember having written on my Facebook wall one night that I had won Landsmót in one of our normal riding tours when she was only 4 year old. This just goes to show how unique she has always been - a pure pleasure to work with.

It was the plan to show Kolka as a 4 year old but just before the breeding show she got the famous horse flue so it didn´t work out. This spring (2011), she was shown for the first time in Víðidalur as a 5 year old and received the great score of 8.39 for conformation and 8.50 for riding ability, the total score of 8.46.


Kolka at the spring breeding show at Víðidalur 2011. Picture: Krissa Auðholtshjáleiga.

Two weeks before the breeding show I rode Kolka for my boyfriend Jonni and my friend Heiða Dís. "Hrefna María - This mare will get 8.50 for ridingability, but she´s way too fat!" My friend Heiða Dís said to me.

At that time I was starting to belive Kolka could do really well in the show ahead - but what was i to do about her weight problem? - Kolka only had two weeks to lose some serious weight. Then I remembered that Kristbjörg from Jaðar has a running circle and training programm specially designed for horses to lose a lot of weight in a short time.


The eye candy and queen among horses - Kolka. 8.5 for neck and withers,9,5 for back and croup 9 for correctsness - 8.39 for conformation. Ireally feel like she deserved 9 for neck and withers - cough cough!

The day I showed Kolka I didn´t get much work done, I can admit that. Ihad no one to help me with the conformation show so I rang my mom andtold her to hurry up, come home from work and help me out. You who know me and my mother also knowhow badly we handle stress and you can only imagine the spectacle when we werepresenting Kolka to the judges!!!

To add on the stress we were so scaredthat the judges would not find her as beautiful as we did! But the result of8.39 for conformation was surely a pleasent surprise.  

At Landsmót Kolka shined like never before. Although the weater condition at her pree show were horrific with massive wind and heavy rain. I thanked God for riding a nice and calm young horse in those conditions.


A score of 8.58 for ridingability and a total score of 8.51. The resulst were the highest judged 5 year old mare over the whole country and a winner at the Landsmót. Photo: Jens Einarsson


Þrumufleygur (Thunderbird) frá Álfhólar at Landsmót. His owner is of course the above-mentioned owner of Kolka, Rósa Valdimarsdóttir. Photo: Kolla Gr.

Queen Kolka is now enjoying life out in the field with the other Álfhóla horses. We are expecting an offspring after Þrumufleygur and Kolka next summer. An embryo was  transferred to another mare. But Kolka will be in training next winter at Víðidalur. We are planning to take part at Landsmót 2012, wich is in our ridingclub next year!
 
But this is not the first time Rósa has had luck by her side while trading horses. Which is maybe just fine since we can´t have the "old lady" riding some mediocre horse!!!

Epilogue
Written by Sara Ástþórsdóttir

I can add to this that Rósa was just as lucky when she got her hands on Íkon. I had spotted him for a friend of mine as a good candidate as a gelding in youth competitions but when Hrefna María found out about this, she drove right away to Kanastaðir, were Íkon was being trained at the time, tried him out and bought him.

This was the perfect horse for her mom since Hrafnar frá Álfhólum, her previous competition horse, was getting to old. This was in 2007. I put a few mares to Íkon that summer and I had to admit it, whether I liked it or not - that his offspring were all very promising. Since then I have been sneaking more and more mares to him every summer ;-)



"Little Konni" as we sometimes call Íkon may not have received much praise among the breeding judges but he has received 9 for Tölt and has excellent scores in competitions with Rósa.

Íkon was born very late in September or early October, and had terrible health his first year. He was having a hard time feeding and just barely made it out alive. This sickness took very much out of this young colt and has without a doubt had great influence on his conformation.



Ikon is not a very big stallion, but his offspring are on the other hand quite big as Kolka is. This marefoal above is after Ikon and an old breeding mare at Álfhólar.



Rósa took our first price mare, Þyrnirós (Þrumufleygur´s mother), to met up with Íkon last summer. Me and Hrefna just shook our head that Rósa was taken such a good mare to see a stallion with 2nd price. But after all that has happend these last months now we just hold our mouths shut.


This stallion foal is called Rjóður and is only a year old on this picture. He was sold to Finland.


Yes, the little ugly ducklings surely can end up breeding beautiful swans! Happy birthday, Rósa!

14.09.2011

Late summer breeding shows


The late summer breeding shows at Hella finished at the end of August. We grabbed that opportunity to show some of our mares.

Gáta frá Álfhólum, daughter of Gáska frá Álfhólum and Þokki frá Kýrholti, received the nice score of 7.80 as a four gaiter. This was her first trip to the breeding track but not necessarily her last. Gáta has good change of greater improvements and I could very well get 1st prize later on.

Gáta received the score of 8.5 for Tölt, slow Tölt, general impression, neck-withers-shoulder and back and croup. Húsafell horses own 50% in Gáta along with the Álfhólar farm.

IS2006284668 Gáta frá Álfhólum
Örmerki: 352206000051645
Litur: 1510 Rauður/milli- skjótt
Ræktandi: Sara Ástþórsdóttir
Eigandi: Róbert Veigar Ketel, Sara Ástþórsdóttir, Sigurður Tryggvi Sigurðsson
F.: IS1997158430 Þokki frá Kýrholti
Ff.: IS1984163001 Sólon frá Hóli v/Dalvík
Fm.: IS1986257809 Þörf frá Hólum
M.: IS1995284672 Gáska frá Álfhólum
Mf.: IS1973135980 Gáski frá Hofsstöðum
Mm.: IS1990284669 Blíða frá Álfhólum
Mál (cm): 138 - 136 - 64 - 147 - 27,5 - 17,0
Hófa mál: V.fr.: 8,1 - V.a.: 8,0
Sköpulag: 7,0 - 8,5 - 8,5 - 8,0 - 7,0 - 7,0 - 8,5 - 6,0 = 7,86
Hæfileikar: 8,5 - 8,0 - 5,0 - 8,0 - 8,5 - 8,5 - 7,5 = 7,75
Aðaleinkunn: 7,80
Hægt tölt: 8,5 Hægt stökk: 7,5
Sýnandi: Sara Ástþórsdóttir



Here you can see Gáta in her preliminary show.


My friend Saga rode her mare Myrkva frá Álfhólum in the same breeding show and improved Myrkva´s score from last year.

I and Saga were both not quite satisfied with the outcome. We knew that Myrkva was not showing her full potentials and had any change of raising her score even higher.

Saga had ridden Myrkva for me few days earlier were she was outstanding and since Saga did not really have time of from her work and family in the middle of aweek, we decided that I would ride Myrkva in the overview part of thebreeding show.
 
Myrkva raised her score for general impression and slow Tölt and we were reasonably satisfied wirh the overall outcome, since Myrkva had now received nearly 8.5 for all aspects of the ridden abilities.

IS2004284670 Myrkva frá Álfhólum
Örmerki: 352206000013304
Litur: 2500 Brúnn/milli- einlitt
Ræktandi: Sara Ástþórsdóttir
Eigandi: Árni Reynir Alfredsson, Saga Steinþórsdóttir
F.: IS1998184587 Gustur frá Lækjarbakka
Ff.: IS1988188239 Gustur frá Grund
Fm.: IS1989265186 Orka frá Búrfelli
M.: IS1986284671 Móna frá Álfhólum
Mf.: IS1979184667 Nátthrafn frá Álfhólum
Mm.: IS1972284671 Silfra frá Álfhólum
Mál (cm): 138 - 135 - 63 - 140 - 27,0 - 17,0
Hófa mál: V.fr.: 8,1 - V.a.: 7,9
Sköpulag: 7,0 - 7,5 - 7,5 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 = 7,76
Hæfileikar: 8,5 - 8,5 - 5,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 8,5 - 8,5 = 7,80
Aðaleinkunn: 7,79
Hægt tölt: 8,5 Hægt stökk: 8,5
Sýnandi: Saga Steinþórsdóttir

Saga and Myrkva have been on quite a roll this summer on the competition track. They have taken part in several strong competitions in 4 gait and beaten some of the best known riders in the country. She was also showing a mare in a breeding show for the first time in over 16 years.



But the highest score of all our horses was Indía frá Álfhólum, owned by Hrefna María. John Kristinn rode Indía on behalf of Hrefna María and got the overall score of 7.92.



Indía is the daughter Leiknir frá Vakurstöðum and Sverta frá Álfhólum who is the dame of many of good horses e.g. Zorro, Trú, Zara, Zonja and Arabia. Her gaits are quite open and she has great form under rider and impressive movements. With more strength she can quite likely get 1st prize late on.



Indía has good conformation and for that she has received the score of 8.14.

IS2005284670 Indía frá Álfhólum
Örmerki: 352206000061253
Litur: 2700 Brúnn/dökk/sv. einlitt
Ræktandi: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir
Eigandi: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir
F.: IS1999181675 Leiknir frá Vakurstöðum
Ff.: IS1985157020 Safír frá Viðvík
Fm.: IS1988258049 Lyfting frá Ysta-Mói
M.: IS1991284671 Sverta frá Álfhólum
Mf.: IS1986186025 Tígur frá Álfhólum
Mm.: IS1981284667 Mugga frá Álfhólum
Mál (cm): 142 - 138 - 65 - 144 - 27,5 - 17,5
Hófa mál: V.fr.: 8,9 - V.a.: 8,0
Sköpulag: 7,5 - 8,5 - 8,5 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 7,0 - 8,5 - 8,5 = 8,14
Hæfileikar: 8,0 - 8,0 - 6,5 - 7,5 - 8,0 - 8,5 - 7,5 = 7,76
Aðaleinkunn: 7,92
Hægt tölt: 8,0 Hægt stökk: 8,0
Sýnandi: John Kristinn Sigurjónsson



Hrefna also rode Eirvör frá Hamrahóli at the show at Hella. Eirvör is a mare Hrefna María has trained for the most part since Eivör was 4 years of age.



Hrefna María´s training sure paid off and Eirvör received no less than the score of 8.50 for ridden abilities, including the score of 9 for Tölt and Spirit.



The overall score was 8.14 since her conformation score was rather low, 7.59.



Eirvörs dame is Sabrína frá Hamrahóll and sire Akkur frá Brautarholt.

Hrefna María and Eirvör got the highest score for ridden abilities of at the late summer breedingshows in Iceland. Hrefna has now showed two 5 and 6 year old mares this summer with the average score of 8.50 for ridden abilities.

Eirvör was immediately led to a stallion after the show. The lucky stallion is her cousin Blysfari frá Fremra-hálsi. It will be quite exciting to see their offspring next summer. Our best wishes go to Guðjón and Vala at Hamrahól with their outstanding mare.

IS2005286613 Eirvör frá Hamrahóli
Örmerki: 352098100006497
Litur: 3500 Jarpur/milli- einlitt
Ræktandi: Guðjón Tómasson, Valgerður Sveinsdóttir
Eigandi: Guðjón Tómasson, Valgerður Sveinsdóttir
F.: IS1998137637 Akkur frá Brautarholti
Ff.: IS1990157003 Galsi frá Sauðárkróki
Fm.: IS1988258705 Askja frá Miðsitju
M.: IS1990286021 Sabrína frá Hamrahóli
Mf.: IS1986186021 Helmingur frá Hamrahóli
Mm.: IS1983286406 Kopra frá Hamrahóli
Mál (cm): 139 - 139 - 62 - 143 - 28,5 - 17,5
Hófa mál: V.fr.: 8,9 - V.a.: 8,1
Sköpulag: 7,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 8,0 - 7,5 - 7,5 - 7,0 - 6,0 = 7,59
Hæfileikar: 9,0 - 8,5 - 7,5 - 8,5 - 9,0 - 8,5 - 8,0 = 8,50
Aðaleinkunn: 8,14
Hægt tölt: 8,0 Hægt stökk: 8,5
Sýnandi: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir

26.08.2011

Sport competition at Mosfellsbær 2011



Last weekend the riding clubs Hörður and Dreyri held their annual sport competition at Hörður´s excellent facilities at Mosfellsbær. Lots of great horses and riders came to this tournament as this was the last major sports tournament in the south of Iceland this year with approximately 8 months until the next one next spring.

Gjóska did well in the fourgait competition on Friday and received 6.93in the prelimenary round with a very convincing performance. I decidedto deliberately "forget" the heavier boots at home so I would not betempted to put to much weight on her because 60 gram boots and eightmillimeters horseshoes is the right fit for this lady. Heavier weightdoes not help much with the leg movements as you can see in this picturethere is not really any room for more leg lift!



The slow tölt in Gjóska keeps getting better and better. I was prepared to let here have foals and go to a stallion this summer but I had a last minute change of heart and decided to skip it and train her for one more year. She is finally fit enough for the track and in a great form.


Trot with great expression in the finals.


 Hó, hó, hó - no lack of  horsepower here.


Gjóska very interested in cathing up with the competitors in all gaits.


Although Gjóska always seems to just slide through the track she was able to catch up with two of her competitors before tha fast tempo Tölt was ower.

BUT there was one great flaw in our performance. There was to much excitement in the walk presentation and we received an average score of 5.0 wich gave us the last place in the finals. The average score for the other gaits was 7.5 but we ended up with the same score as in the preliminary round - 6.93.

More pictures of Gjóska here



Hrefna María also competed in the fourgait competition with her stallion Grímur frá Vakurstöðum. After the preliminaries Hrefna and Grímur competed in the B-final and were only a breath away from winning a place in the A-finals. They received the splendid score of  7.0 in the B-finals and 6.77 in the prelimenary round.

Grímur is a promising 1. price stallion with strong gaits, good leg action and expressive trot.

Hrefna´s dream colour, black with two stars  and looks just like Black-Beauty!
 
Now the question is for how long Hrefna will own Grímur since there is always great demand for good fourgaiters while really good fivegaiters often end up on sale because of lack of demand. Strange?

More pictures of the Grímur here.



The stallion Kraftur frá Strönd was the last horse of ours to enter the track in the fourgait competition and he just blew my mind with his fast tempo Tölt. I even got goose bumps through the camera lens! 


Kraftur alwas carries his horsetail so well!


No wonder that the foals after Kraftur show so much great tölt!



Since Kraftur is first and foremost a great Tölter the score of 6.70 wasvery acceptable. And since Kraftur did not get a place in the finals Iwas quick to takehim home to Álfhólar so he could attend to a mare I knew was ready forhim the same weekend. The few foals I had after him this sommer are allreally talented and you can never have to many high stepping, Töltingpinto foals in the field. 

Like this pinto one above who Tölts like there is no tomorrow - Notice his hind movements!
 
04.08.2011

Icelandic champions!



Harpa Sigríður and Trú frá Álfhólum won the four gait competition on the Icelandic championships in the junior classes which was held a few days ago in Keflavík.

Trú is sired by the 1st prize stallion Eldvaki frá Álfhólum who wassired by Andvari frá Ey and Vaka frá Álfhólum. Trú´s dame is Sverta fráÁlfhólum sired by Tígur frá Álfhólum who´s dame is also Vaka fráÁlfhólum. So there is a significant kinship in the breeding line of Trú.

Harpa and Trú have grown up well together and and this title probably marks the end to their competition career together since a little bird whispered to my ear that Trú is now changing role and going into breeding. Congratulations with these great results Harpa and Trú!

The same weekend the youngsters Icelandic championships was held, Philippi Hellten, became a two time Swedish champion riding her stallion Rauðskeggur frá Brautartungu. Philippi and Rauðskeggur won both fourgait and T2.

The par has had had great success from the start of their career. It is fun to say but Rauðskeggur was purchased trough our website two years ago. Hrefna María trained Rauðskeggur for two years and they took part in a lot of fourgait and T2 competitions in Iceland with excellent results before she decided to sell him.
 
We at Álfhólar would like to concratulate these two young and promising riders on their great achievements competing on horses they bought from Álfhólar farm.

27.07.2011

A little story of a pinto foal from Skagafjörður



In the beginning of June an old mare of mine gave birth to a dead foal. It was obvious that the mare was quite upset by her loss and showed great interest in stealing a newborn foal from another mares. At that moment I decided to put an ad out on the Hestafréttir web to see if anyone there was in trouble with a motherless foal because I was sure it would get a warm welcome here.

The next morning I got a call from Monika from Korná, Skagafjörður who I know from my years at Hólar and she told me that the foal they had been given a motherless foal a few days earlier because her mother, Birna, is sort of a genius rescuing foals in need. But as only they know who have tried it, a lot of work is required to to take care of foals in need and since a mare was available they jumped on the opportunity to drive the little pinto south over the hills and mountains.

 
It was nice to get a drink when finally stopping at Borgarnes!

As it happened Hrefna María was in Reykjavík at the time and met up with Mónika, Högni and Birna who had the little pinto happy in the rear seat with them. The litle mare was in good health despite the long drive and was glad to sit with all the people just like one of them. It was obvious when the little mare was to leave the car in the end of the journey that she was more interested in staying with the people.





And then came a time to change vehicles.The little pinto made herself comfortable in the Land Cruiser and Hrefna drove straight to Álfhólar farm and arrived there around midnight. To help and support Hrefna María in this adventure was here aunt Rakel Jónsdóttir.



We were so excited to know whether all the effort had paid off. The mare who had lost here foal, Gígur, was not quite as impressed with this foal as the one she had tried to steal the night before and it seemed that here mother instinct was fading away. At that moment one and a half day had past since she gave birth to here foal. The pinto was also not at all excited by here new foster mom and jumped on every opportunity to come and stay with us. It was like she believed she was a human and not a foal anymore!



But the morning after the new mother and daughter had become quite satisfied with each other, though the pinto gave us a heart warming welcome when she saw us and chased us across the fields and not her foster mom when I was trying to put them in a nice spot of their own in the field. But she quickly came to her senses. She is now three weeks old, and it nice to say that now she does not want nothing to do with us people anymore and is so happy with her new found family.

See more pictures here.

27.07.2011

A pair of 10

 

Some thought it was a really crazy idea to take a mare to a breeding evaluation who had already been judged with a pair of 9.5 scores for Tölt and spirit just one year before. "What is there to improve?" my partners, who own Diva with me, were asked when the word got out that Díva was up for evaluation.

But everyone around me were very supportive of this decision and challenged me to try for the 10 score for Tölt. I can truly say that I was quite nervous when I started the show at Hella but all the time I was confident that Díva would at least stand her ground and probably raise her previous score which she surely did. She got her 9.5 for tölt and spirit and raised a few other marks also.



At the overview, Díva was first in track and did really great. She was light as a feather, powerful but jet elegant and she received a rare 10 for both Tölt and spirit! The total score of 8.33 and 8.54 for rideability.



This is probably one of the highest, if not the highest score of a four gaited horse since the recent changes in the ratings of rideability and Díva is only the second horse in history to get the 10 mark for both Tölt and Spirit. 



Dimmir, brother of Díva, was also shown this year and raised his score from his previous evaluation and was only 0.01 points from getting an invitation to Landsmót. He is very talented and got the score of 8.57 for rideability, including three 9´s for trot, spirit and form under rider, 8.5 for Tölt and canter and 8 for pace.The plan was to get a higher mark for pace, but we´ll get that later!



The four gaited beauty Sóllilja got herself a ticket to Landsmót when she got 9 for tölt, canter, spirit, form under rider, slow Tölt and the great grade of 9.5 for slow canter! 8.15 overall with 8.16 for conformation and 8.14 for rideability.

Sóllilja dame is Sóldögg frá Álfhólum after Tígur and sire is Börkur frá Litlu-Reykjum, both four gaited horses. Börkur sire is Þorri frá Þúfu and his dame has got many good offsprings including Þula frá Litlu-Reykjum which was a notable four gaited 1st prize mare who had e.g. the mark of 9.5 for slow Tölt. It's a fun fact that  the pink color of Sóllilja comes not from Ófeigur frá Flugumýri.
 


And then there is Gjóska, a daughter of Hrannar frá Höskuldsstöðum and my Gáska. She was also shown at the breedingshows in Hella and received the marks of 9 for Tölt, form under rider and slow Tölt. A total score of 8.0 with a score of 8.05 for rideability and 7.93 for conformation.



Gæska, a six year old daughter of Tígur and Gáska, received excellent marks for conformation and good marks for rideability as a four gaiter, 8.5 for everything except 8 for canter and walk. A total score 8.0, 8.23 for conformation and 7.85 for rideability.

I am glad to say that both of these mares are breed a little old-fashioned as you can not find Hrafn frá Holtsmúla or horses from Sauðárkrókur in their pedigree. For that reason they are quite unrelated to most horses shown in the track today nowadays.

I also showed two mares from another breeders in Hella that I have had in training this winter. First one is Vaka frá Kanastöðum, sire Arður frá Brautarholti as same as Díva´s. I decided on short notice to take her in the breeding shows. It went well, and Vaka received the total score of 8.04, with 8.01 for rideability and 8.09 for conformation.


Drífa frá Miðfelli

The second one is Drífa frá Miðfelli, a huge (148 cm) and handsome mare who got the overall score of 7.81. Although she is 8 years old she has not had much training. Drífa´s dame is the sister of my Dimma frá Miðfelli and she has got a lot of Flosi frá Brunnum in her pedigree.



Last but not least I took my Eldglóð, daughter of Bragi frá Kópavogi and my Gáska, for conformation evaluation and there she received the score of 8.08. She is a fun mare, full of spirit and with excellent gaits. She was not ready this spring to be show for rideability.
 
I can safely say that I could not be happier with the result in the breeding track this spring. I now own three more 1st prize four gaited mares and Díva has received an absolutely fantastic rideability evaluation as a four gaiter. I am also reasonably happy with Dimmir although I think he deserves much more.

I was not particularly confident when I was asked for just over a month ago which horses I was going to ride for evaluation. But I rolled up my sleeves and did what had to be done. I am proud the marks all the horses recived for hooves, 8 and 8.5, since I shoved them all myself this year. It really matters to take good care of the horses feet and hooves since the mark count highly in the overall conformation score.

22.07.2011

The Icelandic Championship



Last week the Icelandic Sport championship took place at Selfoss in excellent weather. Me and my cousin Hrefna María took part and we both ended up in the A-finals. Hrefna María in the T2 discipline and I in T1.

Hrefna used to be one of the main contenders in T2 with her previous competition horse, the stallion Rauðskeggur frá Brautartungu. Now she has a young and promising mare in this discipline, Indía frá Álfhólum, daughter of Leiknir frá Vakurstöðum. They received the sixth place in the A finals.



For Díva, this Tölt competition was only her second this summer. Since we had been concentrating on the breeding track this summer with excellent results.In the qualifying rounds we received a score of a little more then 7.9 wich and the fourth place into the finals.
 
The slow tempo Tölt was our Díva´s achilles heel in the finals. But we received 8.5 for the Tölt with extensions on the long sides and 9 for the fast tempo Tölt and the final score of 8.39. The 3th to 4th place was ours along with my former schoolmate from Hólar, Jakob Sigurðsson and his mare Árborg frá Miðey.
 
This is the best performance I and Díva have ever made in Tölt competition. In this finals all the major Tölt competition horses of the year took part with the exception of Tumi frá Stóra-Hofi and some of the horses from the A finals at Landsmót did not even get to the A finals this time arround.

It is great to see how well the mares are doing in Tölt competition these days.
The final results from the Icelandic Championship were as follows:

1. Sigursteinn Sumarliðason and Alfa frá Blesastöðum 1A 9,00.
2. Sigurður Sigurðarson and Kjarnorka frá Kálfholti 8,61
3. Jakob Svavar Sigurðsson and Árborg frá Miðey 8,39
4. Sara Ástþórsdóttir and Díva frá Álfhólum 8,39
5. Hinrik Bragason and Sigur frá Hólabaki 8,28
6. Sigurbjörn Bárðarson and Jarl frá Mið-Fossum 8,00

Here
you can see all the A-finals of the icelandic championships.

And since I have recently been more efficient to update my Facebook site I have not posted these videos on my homepage until now. Here you can she Díva in her preliminary show for Landsmót at the Hella breeding show last June.



And here is one clip from April in a show held in the riding hall at Fákur in Reykjavík were Díva and Kjarnorka frá Kálfholti came together to entertain the crowd.



22.07.2011

Breeding news from Landsmót




Kolka, daughter of our stallion Íkon frá Hákoti, and my cousin Hrefna María came into Landsmót as the highest judged 5 year old mare in Iceland this year. After the prelimaries at Landsmót it came pretty clear that nothing would threathen their victory unless the other mares would improve considerably to stand any change to first place in the group of 5 year old mares.



But there was no reason to worry about Kolka since she only added some big numbers to her breeding evaluation since last spring e.g. increasing the form under rider to 9.


The victory was sealed with a great pace..A total score of 8.58 for rideabiltiy and a total score of 8.51! Truly an impressive performance for both Hrefna María and Kolka frá Hákoti!



Proud and happy mother and daughter with the Landsmót awards. Yes, Rósa sure was lucky when she bought the one year old mare Kolka frá Hákoti in 2008, just before the banks collaped here in Iceland.



But my Díva she was not quite herself the first few days after coming to Landsmót and would just lay down in her box and rest. She was so calm that I was a bit nervous.


 
But as it turn out there was no need to worry and Diva recived the great 10 for Tölt in the breeding show on the first day of Landsmót. She was in great form at the overview and showed of with her fast and slow tempo Tölt with beautiful extensions and great speed while the spectators applaused.



But some viewers might have thought it a little strange when I jogged with Díva to the award ceremony for the 7 year and older mares were she had received the sixth place. But she was to play a major role in two bigger shows later the same day and I found it to be enough effort for one day!



The charming Sóllilja frá Álfhólum got a slightly lower evaluation than she had received at the exhibition at Hella but I was happy with here score of 9 for Tölt and 9 for form under rider.



Flying canter - How far is Sóllija from the ground, half a meter? Sóllilja has received a 9 for canter, but only got 8.5 on Landsmot though.



Our stallion Þrumufleygur frá Álfhólum was not in the same zone at Landsmót as he was at Hafnarfjörður but he nevertheless received 9 for tölt and trot. Þrumufleygur attracted much attention at the overview despite not being among the top horses.




The spectators applauded when he showed both Tölt and trot with his big, high leg actions along the track but this horse has really the capability to recive 9.5 for both Tölt and trot later on.





Unfortunately, he seemed to have a little stage fright when he was to show his powerful pace i track infront of the judges. But with his great leg action it is perhaps only natural that he looks a little like he is closer to the Tölt than the pace, especially when the track is so hard as it was at the Landsmót. The hardness of the track was quite obvious in the finals of A-flokkur on Sunday when most of the great horses in the finals had great problem in the pace!

The rider of Þrumufleygur, John, also did good with the mare Sál frá Ármóti who ended in third place of the 7 years old mares.



After the first few days of landsmót when the breeding shows were over the "Crew of Álfhólar" was not jet getting into any kind of vacation just yet since our horses were still to play a major part of Friday and Saturday show at Landsmót. But more on that later...

10.06.2011

Arður (e. Profit)



Why did I take one of my favorite breeding mares to see a two year old colt, Arður frá Brautarholti?
Yes, if I could only answer this question!

I remember thinking when I had saw the two brothers of Arður, Akkur frá Brautarholti and Askur frá Kanastöðum (after the famous breeding mare Askja frá Miðsitju) that if Askja could have offsprings with the two Icelandic stallions with the least leg action then she surely could breed some good leg action with a stallion like Orri frá Þúfa!

I saw Arður frá Brautarholti for the first time when he was only one year old and I liked him right away. He had good proportions, was tall for his age and had a strong conformation. Arður also showed me excellent trot in the small hills on Kanastaðir farm where he grew up.

For some strange reason I thought that it was absolutely perfect to bring my mare Dimma frá Miðfelli to him and in the following year. In 2004 my little Díva was born and she has been a joy to me ever since.

Today Diva received her highest breeding scores till this day, 8.54 for rieabilities as a 4 gaited horse and an amazing 10 for Tölt and Spirit!

Total : 8,33

 

Conformation : 8,02

Ridden abilities: 8,54


Head : 7,5
   4) Straight profile  

Neck-Withers-Shoulders: 8,0
   7) High withers   8) Thin at the throat  

Back and Croup: 7,5
   A) Straight back   J) Coarse croup  

Proportions : 8,5
   4) Long legs  

Legs (quality): 7,5

Legs (joints): 8,5

Hooves: 8,5
   1) Deep   7) Concave sole  

Mane and Tail: 7,0

Tölt: 10,0
   1) Good speed   2) Clear beat   3) High action   6) Supple  

Trot: 8,5
   1) Good speed   5) High action  

Pace: 5,0

Gallop: 9,0
   1) Good speed   2) Good extension   4) High action  

Spirit: 10,0
   1) Fiery, indefatigable   4) Cooperative  

General impression: 9,0
   1) Full of expression   4) Big movements  

Walk: 7,0

Slow tölt: 9,0

Canter: 8,0
 
Unfortunately Arður himself faced a serious injury on his hind leg as a four year old. Therefore he was not shown in a breeding show until he reached seven years of age. It is actually quite amazing how well he can move as damaged as he is. And now at the age of ten he is reciveng his best scores, a total of 8.60 for rideabilties, (9 for Tölt, trot, Spirit and form under rider), 8.34 for conformation and a total score of 8.49. 

After I realised Díva was going to be something more than the an average horse, I tried to take Dimma again to Arður two years later but sadly that did not work that time around. 

Two bet on a two year old stallion is like playing in the Lotto - but at least I won the big price with Arður and my great Dimma!

02.05.2011

In training 2011



When I bought my new Canon 7D camera it was to take pictures of the horses we have in training each time. But it is a not so exciting to take pictures when the weather is always so frustrating as it has been here most of March and April.

This youngster on the picture is called Gáta (Puzzle) and she is sired by Þokki frá Kýrholti and her dame is my 1. price mare Gáska frá Álfhólum. She is five year old fourgaited mare who has been improving a lot these last few weeks and she will hopefully continue to do so into the springtime so we can show here in a breeding show this summer. My friends at Húsafellshestar own this mare with me.

14.04.2011

Díva live!

I did not remember to record my show of Díva at the great Orri frá Þúfa show wich was held a few weeks ago. But I was lucky that the man behind the Hrímnir saddle, Rúnar Þór, was there to record the riders who use his saddles. Rúnar by the way has done a great job designing the Hrímnir saddle wich I have used now for quite some time without even considering to change to something else. I have even been so hooked on my Hrímnir saddle that I am considering to buy another one just so that my staff can experience such a good saddle to.

14.04.2011

Allra sterkustu ice-Tölt tournament



Díva got her change to shine when she competed with the best ice-Tölters in the biggest tournament held on ice in Iceland, at Laugardalur iceskating hall. Díva and I got third place with the score of 8.56 after a tough fight in the finals. I can not be more proud of my little Diva who is considerably younger and less experienced then the rest of her competitors. And according to her scores, she is still improving from last season.



And as you can see from these B-finals the competition was fierce, with renowned breeding horses, competition horses and winners of the big winter ice-Tölt tournaments all taking part in one tournament.

27.01.2011

The new year!

To begin with I want to wish all my readers a happy new year!



"I have a dream " that we will get some snow here in the south for both trainers and horses. All this frost has turned the riding paths here quite hard. And now I think it is time to pray for better weather. I have trained the horses so much in the riding hall this winter because of the weather that I am running out of exercises to maintain the diversity in my trainnig program.



They sure were excited about 2011, Díva and the daughter of Þokki frá Kýrholti and my Gáska frá Álfhólum. They played on New Year's Day like there would be no tomorrow and gave me a great opportunity to try out my new Canon 7D SRL camera I got from Santa this Christmas, yeeeha!

The weather and the state of riding paths here at Álfhólar around the New Year was great and the horses were in excellent shape. - to bad I did not have someone to film them them. 


Vaka frá Kanastöðum, is a half sister to Díva (after Arður frá Brautarholti) and she was also in great shape on New Year´s Day. She carried herself like she was on here way to compete against the best. Talented and equally good at all gaits this mare. I am a bit surprised no one has removed her from my stables still as she is for sale!

It is a bit strange that the horses wich take the longest time to sell are the five gaiters. Usually it only takes about two weeks to sell a good four gaited horse from the time we first introduce it on our sale site. That is also quite interessing because of the new changes in the breeding assessment wich benefit the five gaiters. One could say that with this change we are moving the breeding goal further from the buyers market.

In spite of these changes Vaka is still a great and sporty horse wich trots like a four gaiter.

My beautiful crippling, Dimmuborg, another half sister to my Díva but after Bragi frá Kópavogi, was very happy with the good weather and spun round in the grass on New Year´s Day. Dimmuborg can hopefully give hope to others that a mishap like she encountered does not necesseraly mean the end. I am at least quite happy to have tried everything to get here on her feet again although it has often been difficult to watch her in here healing process. Her physical activity is significantly impaired but she is still able to play and stands nowadays up without problems although she is with foal.

Last year there it was quite difficult for her to stand up and she would prefarbly just lay down and rest 80% time of day. It is exciting to see how the birth of her first foal, after Frosti frá Efri-Rauðalæk, will turn out next summer. I cross my fingers. 




8.12.2010

The exception



There is a certain red horse that always seems to grab my attention due to his dynamic talents. This self-confident red one is a young horse after the smart stallion Kappi frá Komma and our 1. price mare, Gáska frá Álfhólum.



I had my doubts that the pairing of two strong fourgaiters was very wise. Although I have always been a big supporter of flashy fourgaiters I also believe that it is not always smart to pair them in breeding. Gáska has gotten the score 9 for Tölt and Kappi 9.5 and it seems to me based on what I have seen in the red one that he has every potential to score high in Tölt. So I can safely say I am very happy with the outcome.



All offsprings of Gáska have been pinto until now. The red color is the only exception but his red color is nevertheless beautifully dark red which I hope makes him stand out and perhaps make him "field-friendly" in the future. But you do not ride far on the color alone. The red colt has not been named yet but I think Garpur fits him well. He is the only horse after Gáska apart from the stallion Gáski. Gáski is after the famous Geisli frá Sælukoti and he was sold to Austria last year. See more pictures of Garpur HERE.

The son of Keilir frá Miðsitja and Gáska, from last year was in the possession of my friends in Húsfellshestar, died tragically this fall. To save him from the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, the flood which we were told would follow and the ash fall, he was sent away. I remember when I put him on the trailer I told my friends they would have to take good care of him because I wanted to borrow him for a few of my mares in two years time. He was going to be the only one in his age group that would get to serve mares. But this fall the little pinto got lost and after a thorough search he was found in a deep hole were he had drowned. He was the second of four stallions after Gáska who dies before two year old.



Gáska is probably the most fun of all my breeding mares to jump on and ride out in the field. You always get the same feeling as if you she has been in full training for months. In the picture here above she has just returned from meeting with the stallion Kappi frá Kommu and of course with no shoes on. This summer, Gáska was bred by the highly judged stallion Ágústínus frá Meðalleiti, son of Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum. I look forward seeing my 2011 Gáska model.

13.11.2010

Autumn tasks

I guess I have now beaten all records in laziness to write news on my website. For my excuse, my computer has become like an old Trabant, and I have little patience working on it, especially when it comes to graphics and video processing. Maybe it is about time to get a new computer or at least clean the old one from all the viruses. 



This autumn has been quite good for both men and horses. The weather has been lovely so far with only a few exceptions. This mild weather has been appreciated due to the health of the horses especially with regard to the horse sickness. Thank God we have not experienced many sick foals at our farm but we must always be on the watch and house them quickly if needed. Most of the adult horses appear to have recovered, but in a few, the sickness has prolonged. The picture above shows a lively son of Gáski and Urður frá Álfhólum.


Gola, Blængur, Drífandi, Faró and Gullveig.

Eight horses left us this weekend to Nörrköpingen in Sweden. All of them passed examination so hopefully the horse export is on track. The owners were quite happy when they welcomed their horses in Sweden at last.  Many have been waiting as long as from last spring!



Enjoying there last few days on Icelandic soil eating the Icelandic "Ash" hay.



The first prize mare, Gullveig frá Lóni, is finally with her new owners in Norway. She is with foal after the stallion Krákur frá Blesastöðum. 



This young Norwegian girl had to wait for five long months after her new mare Gola. Gola was sick when she was supposed to fly to Norway last spring. The wait was difficult for the excited new owner and she regularly popped up on my Facebook site to ask if Gola was well and would be on her way to her.



There has been much ado in the training here since mid-September when we housed thirteen, 3 and 4 year old untamed horses. In less then a week we hand already broken twelve of them in and started to ride them outside. The blazed horse I am riding in the picture her above is not on of the youngsters. It is a five year old fivegaiter who is going to be for sale in the next few weeks. Five years ago when I was visiting my neigbours at Strönd at Landeyjar looking for a specific color foals for customers I saw this blazed foal with a trimmed horsetail, wich meant that that foal was on its way to the slaughterhouse in Selfoss. His movements impressed me an I called my uncle Valdi who had owned the father of the foal, son of Glampi frá Vatnsleysu, Þrymur frá Álfhólum and told him to buy him. The mother has a good pedigree as well, she is after famous stallion Kjarval frá Sauðárkróki. It is a short while since I checked if the blazed one had the fifth gear in place and it seems to be just fine.



The young horse that is most promising at this point in the training is probably Eldglóð, the three year old daughter of Gáska frá Álfhólum and Bragi frá Kópavogi (see picture above). Big and handsome with good gaits, light temperament and sensitive. I am also training another daugther of Braga, Mánaglóð, who is the daughter of my great Móna wich makes her also a halfsister to Móeiður. She is a fourgaited mare with high leg action, wonderfully willing and cooperative after only one month training. It is not a spoiler that she is also has a beautiful silver dapple color (picture below). The third daughter of the stallion Bragi is Álfarós, daughter of Þyrnirós frá Álfhólum. She is owned by my friends at Húsafellshestar and is in training with John at Ármót farm because John has now subscriped to all the offsprings of Þyrnirós after he got to know the stallion Þrumufleygur. We went to Ármót the other day to check Álftarós out and were quite happy with what we we saw. Hrefna took tons of pictures. .or thats what she thought until she discovered that there was no card in her digital camera! I am sure that there will be another Kodak moment later though! 



The decision to bet on Bragi with my best mares four years ago was not so crazy after all. I think, the greatest disappointment is still not knowing how Dimmuborg, daughter of my Dimma who broke her hip, would have looked under the saddle, because all of her siblings (whether after her mother or father) were like riding school horses compared to her when she was a growing up. ??Dimmuborg aka "The princess" is now in foal with Frosti frá Efri-Rauðalækur after an artificial insemination. I had heard of another mare who had like Dimmuborg broken her hip that had been apple to give birth to two healthy foals. So I made my mind up and took her to Frosti. Now she is in good condition despite everything and occasionally shows off her great gaits. Bragi has already left Iceland, last month, so we here in Iceland can not enjoy his presence anymore. He was with his heard here in my neighborhood late last summer but regretfully most of my breeding mares were with outher stallions the time I found out.



There is only one stallion in the group of young horses in training now. It is an attractive and beautifully colored son of Glymur frá Skeljabrekku. He is good-natured horse with plenty of Tölt and is quite promising in pace, wich is necessary to have in the new judging system for breeding horses. Normally we have around thirty horses in training here. With so many things to do I always try to get good workers here to help with the training. Here with me in September was Arnar, a young man from Snæfellsnes. Stella, a young woman from Hafnarfjörður took over when Arnar left and spent her school vacation at my farm. Now I am expecting a Danish girl, riding student, who will stay here until Christmas and last but not least is my aunt Hrefna who has been here all summer. But she is like the migratory birds and always spends the winters in Reykjavík.



My competition and breeding horses are now enjoying a little time off training in the field. Díva and Gjóska have become quite chubby this autumn, like you can see in the picture here above. We will check them out again in the end of November. It is not acceptlable that they keep getting bigger and bigger for much longer. We all know how easy it is to gain weight but difficult to loose it again. By the way, there has been a Bootcamp training theme here for all the trainers here recently and will be until Christmas. We have to make the same requirements for the trainers as we do for the horses to be in shape.



And turning from my horses to my sheep's. The average weight of our lambs this year is the highest so far, 17.13 kg and 70% of the lambs were slaughtered the first day of slaughter in September, which was around the tenth. The remaining lambs were weighed and measured in the mid of October and the results of that were nothing to complain about. As always, the choice was between the ewe lambs is quite difficult, who will be slaughtered and who will be used for breeding. But the work with the sheeps takes so much time every spring so we do not have more than 160 -170 in the heard. The sheep breeding is kind of a hobby here compared e.g. the horses, so we try to keep the time spent and costs to a minimum. ?The trainer Stella, was beginning to have great interess in the selection and chose of course the most beautyfully colored sisters, (see picture above). They actually score very high in blup although there individual judging was not as good.



 ??I had to deliver a giant lamb on my shift in the sheep barn last spring. I have never seen such a huge lamb with legs almost as thick as his mothers! I was just happy with my midwifery skills to get him out a live without killing the mother with help from a strong assistant. On the picture he (the white one) is only one day old but Míní Mora (the black one) who is standing by his side is 6 days old. It is worth mentioning that the mother is standing on a plank. The giant went to the slaughterhouse early in September and he was nearly 24 kg, as heavy as a premature lamb, born one and a half months earlier than he did! ??

Well that is all for now but hopefully the wait for new news will be shorter next time ;-)

25.09.2010

Last breedings shows of the summer.

Here is a short recap of the breeding-show at Hella in August, the only show that I took some horses to this strange summer.



I had almost given up all change of showing the genius Máttur frá Leirubakka at a breeding show this summer. Máttur was coughing throughout july and it was not until the end of the month that it was possible to start training him again after a three-month break.

After only three weeks of training he got the score of 8.57 for rideability with 9 for the most desirable features  in my opinion - Tölt, Willingness and Form under rider. It is a bit sad that a handsome and noteworthy horse like Máttur receives only 7.85 for conformation. His overall score is for that sakes is only 8.28.

I started training Máttur the summer of 2009 and he was in very good conditions after being trained by Jón Páll Sveinsson. It has been very enjoyable to train Máttur ever since. This summer I told the owners that there was no question whether he would receive 8.5 or 9 for Tölt, but whether would be 9 or 9.5! He was starting to give me great sprints and to ride this horse on a good day is beyond words.



But all fairy tales come to an end. Máttur has now gotten new owners and it was no less of a fun to be his main supporter on the tournament in Andvari Championships two weeks ago where he and Siggi Matt ended in 2-3 place in the A-class. I am expecting a few foals next summer after Máttur and mares from Álhólar. And I will definitely use him more as long as he remains in the country.

Máttur is after Keilir frá Miðsitju and Hrafnkatla frá Leirubakka, 1. price daugter of Hervar frá Sauðárkrókur.



"Díva does not go into breeding until she receives an acceptable score for Tölt and Willingness" I told my partners earlier this summer. In the late summer breeding show she received 9.5 for Tölt and Willingness, 9 for Form under rider and 8.20 in total for rideability, an overall score of 8.10.

Since the score was acceptable there was nothing to prevent me from taken this bay genius to see a stallion. But when push came to shove she was not fertile that moment and since it was so late in the summer we decided to train her for one more year. I can not say that I have been very sad since it so great to have such a good horse in training. She is only 6 years old and is just starting her competition career!


Always so willing with her ears pointing forward

It always has to be some drama. I decided to show Díva at the breeding show with very short notice. She tore a shoe of during a training tour the week before the show and one hoof was cracked. We had to fix the hood before the show and took more than a centimeter of the hoofs and the score for them fell from 9 to 8.5 and thus the conformation was only 7.94. But It did not seem to have much effect on Dívas balance though I did  think she deserved more than 8 for trot. Currently her walk is her worst gait with a score of 6.5. It has nothing to do with tension, she just likes to tiptoe like a ballerina.  Maybe it is a good idea to buy time for her to treadmill to walk correctly.

Díva is after Arður frá Brautarholti and Dimma frá Miðfelli



Gjóska did excellent in the breeding show despite the fact that  the training this year has been quite unconsistant after a battle with the horse fever. She is still a bit ill from the horse fever, suffered a bruise on a hoof and got striked by another horse etc. Gjóska has proven to be terribly unlucky!

She is four gaited mare with 8.5 on the line for rideabilities with an exception of 8 for walk. Total of 7.88 for rideabilities, 7.89 for conformations and an overall score of 7.89. Gjóska is after Hrannar frá Höskuldsstöðum and the daugther of Gáski frá Hofstöðum, Gáska frá Álfhólum.



Gjóska was supposed to be my competition horses in four gait this season, before going of to her breeding duties. But it has not worked out as I would have wanted. The night before the the big tournament Suðurlandsmót, she got a bad horse fever and it crossed my mind that she would not make it. And then I was going to compete on here in the national tournament, Íslandsmót, but then she had injured herself on a front leg. There was an interesting discussion between me and the other trainers in the summer that I should have left my best mares alone in the field with only a goat for companionship. Some time ago I was told that the famous horse running horse, Seabiscuit, had such a fellowship with good result.






Little Móey dropped slightly in score from last year, ended up with 7.84 in overall score. She is expecting a foal after Þrumufleygur frá Álfhólum next summer so that her score will not be improved in the near future. And after my co owners got to ride her this summer, it seems quite unlikely that I will ever get to take her back in training because they want to breed some more of those "magic carpets" like Móey. Móey is always a joy to ride, so light on the rains, willing with good and clean gaits. Móey is after Eldjárn frá Tjaldhólum and Móeiði frá Álfhólum.



Myrkva is a mare in possession of my friend Saga but I trained her this winter for her. Myrkva is 6 years old after Móna frá Álfhólum and Gusti frá Lækjarbakka. A four gaited mare with high leg action. She received 7.73 for conformation, 7.67 for rideability and an overall score of 7.69. Myrkva got the score of 8.5 for Tölt, Willingness and Walk. A flashy mare with high leg action, excellent gaits for fourgait competitions and great potential for higher scores with more training.



Líba frá Hamrahóli is a 6 year old mare after Þristur frá Feti and Sabrína frá Hamrahóli. She is a handsome fourgaited mare with the overall score of 7.77, 8.04 for conformation and 7.60 for rideability with 8.5 for Tölt and Willingness.



I did not plan to show the fourgaited mare Herská frá Álfhólum at this breeding show but when a horse dropped out I grabbed the change although she was a bit out of shape. For rideability Herská received a score of 7.50, 8 for all gaits. Her conformation score was 7.81 and her overall score 7.63.

Herská is a 7 year old mare after Parker frá Sólheimum and Gýgur frá Ásunnarstöðum, a daughter of Blakkur 999 frá Hafnarnesi.

Finally I want to thank all the great training girls that were here this summer for their help, Beatrice and Blanca from Finland, Rikke from Norway, Rakel aunt from Reykjavík and last but not least, Sara Rut "my daughter" that was here for the sixth consecutive summer, perhaps not strange that I feel I own a bit in her ;)

All the pictures are taken by the super-photographer Hrefna María.

30.8.2010

Battling with the best


Photo Óðinn Örn

The horse press does not always pay you any special attention when you ride into the competiton track but that was not the case at the Icelandic Championship last weekend. 

Díva and I competed in the first half of the Tölt preliminary competition and got a score of 7.70 that was for a long time in second place. But the competition was fierce as you would imagine and in the end it was the last horse in the premilinary that finally send us to the B-finals.
 
I was not thrilled to be riding in the B-finals, partly because they were to be ridden later the same day and also because it is very straining for a young horse like Díva to go to two finals if we were to win. Maybe for that reason I did not have the right mentality toward the B-final competition and was not as concentrated as I should have been.


Photo: Hrefna María

But Díva did well in the B-finals and before the last part of the competition, the fast tempo Tölt, we were in the lead but we ended up in second place after Sigurður Óli and Svalur frá Feti with the score of 7.97. In retrospect, maybe I should have ridder Díva even faster since she can go so much faster then she did in the finals. But the seventh place at the championships with the best tölters in the country is nothing to complain about. Díva will get another chance shine. Maybe on the last tournament of the season next weekend, lets see ;-)

Here you can see news in Eiðfaxi web about Díva in english:
http://en.eidfaxi.is/frettir/2010/08/diva-tolt-mare
http://en.eidfaxi.is/frettir/2010/08/im-2010-b-finals-tolt

30.8.2010

Álfhólar breeding farm show at Hella



We were in such a great spirit in the end of July, finally in the saddle again, that we wanted to take part in the breeding farm show at Geysir ridingclub in the first weekend of August.

The young and proud Þrumufleygur was taken from his mares just three days prior the exhibition, shoed and tried out. And wow he was in excellent form. Þrumufleygur and his rider John Kristinn were great in the show, Þrumufleygur really shines and the audience were greatly impressed with his natural talents and spirit.
 


Yeah, that is some high leg lift. "Glampi frá Vatnsleysu did this when he was 10 years, but Þrumufleygur is only 4 years old!"- we heard people saying after the show.



That powerful horse can surely stretch so much you wonder if he is made of rubber.



Sara rode Dimmir who had earlier that morning competed in the B-finals in the A-class and done great. Dimmir and Þrumufleygur are closely related, after the siblings and 1. prize horses Tígur and Þyrnirós who are both after Vaka frá Álfhólum. 



Sara also rode the great tölt mare Díva, as a warm up for the finals later that evening, pleasing the audience with her precence.



Hrefna María road the five year old Indía, daughter of Leiknir frá Vakurstöðum and Sverta frá Álflhólum. A promising competition horse and a half-sister to the well known competition horse Zorro frá Álfhólum wich Hrefna María rode for several years with excellent results.



Leó Geir rode the five year old Móey, daugther of Eldjárn frá Tjaldhólum and Móeiður frá Álfhólum. A promising mare who received 7.90 in the 4 year old class in a breeding show last summer.



And finally the lost son, Daníel Smárason, riding Sóllilja frá Álfhólum. Danni worked for us several summers when he was younger, but is now working at Ármót farm.

Here is a video of the show were all the horses from Álfhólar farm danced to the music of Shakira.



11.8.2010

Competition fever


Sara and Dimmir in A-flokkur

The horses on the farm have slowly been recovering from the much talked about flu that they have been suffering from for the last few months. In the beginning of July I said enough is enough and started shoeing my horses and began training. Then I had barely sat in the saddle since the end of April, for over two months!

I was thinking about going to a riding class before I started training again, I was so rusty. And the sore muscles I had after the first day - let's not go there! The horses were so and so, and some had added quite some weight, like e.g. Díva, she really looked more like a hippo than a normal horse after the break. I would have wanted to began to train her sooner, but she injured her leg in mid-June and therefore got two extra weeks of rest.

Last weekend a big tournament and midsummer breeding show was held at Hella. Over 50 horses where registered in all the adult competitions. It was quite a pleasing to have the Icelandic horsemanship coming to live like that again. In B-flokkur I rode Gjóska frá Álfhólar who received a score of 8.30 after a decent show, and came very close to earning a place in the B-finals. I did not think I got the most out of her that day and the reason for that revealed itself the next day when it turned out she was limping and still is. I hope she recovers before the summer exhibitions in mid August.


Sara and Díva in Tölt competition.

The siblings after Miðfells-Dimma did excellent. Díva who is still quite heavy after a long break scored 7.20 in the Tölt preliminary and 7.57 in the finals and received the fourth place.


Sara and Dimmir.

A week before the tournament I started training Dimmir again. I was going to start training him in early July, but then he sadly began to cough again, so he got three more weeks of break to fully recover. This was only his second time competing in a pro competition but we got a descent score of 8.43 in the preliminaries in A-flokkur and were second in B-finals. After Tölt and Trot in the finals we were on our way to a sure win. But Dimmir did not have as much power left for the pace as I had hoped for due to little training the last few moths, total score 8.52. I got an invitation to compete in the A-finals cause of inability to attend, but I decided that the time was not right for us now. I would like to focus on getting Dimmir into better competition form.

In addition to competing, Álfhólar farm also took part in a breeding exhibition on Saturday night but more about that later...

7.8.2010

 Promising Tölter
 


Some foals are more photogenic than others. And no, he not after the famous Álfur frá Selfossi, though you might think so when looking at his beautiful pinto foal.
 
This one immediately stole my attention when he stood up right from birth and ran Tölting away like nothing was to it. It was very easy for me to take nice pictures of him when he was just a week old.



His sire is Íkon frá Hákoti, who has among other things gotten a score of 9 for tölt in a breeding assessment. His dame is Rauðhatta frá Álfhólum or Fat Pinto as we call her because how difficult for us it was when she was younger to get her into competition and breeding show form. But maybe we did not give her much change to prove herself.



Íkon and his rider Rósa, mother of Hrefna María, have been competing in top level Tölt competitions last two years with excellent results.



Some just have it all. We are very happy with this foal. He Tölts with high movements, lots of smoothness and is flashy pinto colored. Can you really ask for more? More pictures here.



Rauðhatta received lots of attention for her foal last year which was also pinto colored and sired by Dáðadrengur frá Álfhólum, son of Víkingur frá Voðmúlastaðir and Dimma frá Miðfelli.

Rauðhatta is from the old Álfhólar breeding line after Tígur and Bylgja frá Álfhólum. Through her motherside you can find the Hornafjörður stallion Nökkvi frá Hólmi as both grandfather and great grandfather. The connection with Hornafjörður through Tígur is more complex. Rauðhatta´s great great grandfather is Sörli 141 frá Dalkoti which was born in 1926. My grandfather Valdimar bought Sörli around 1950 and had him for two or three years.
 
Unnur frá Álfhólum, fullsister of Bylgja (Raðhattas mother) has given us Urður frá Álfhólum, sired by the 1. price Orrison Ögri frá Hvolsvelli. Unnur has given Valdimar Ómarsson, brother of Hrefna Marís, Artemis frá Álfhólum wich is a first prize mare with 9 for tölt. Unnur got sick the winter after Urður was born and was put down and Urður is her only offspring.

Rauðhetta has one fullsister and she received around 7.50 in a breeding assessment.



The first offspring from Rauðhatta comes to training the next summer. She was already quite old when she had her first foal. This two year old colt after Íkon frá Hákoti and Rauðhatta is on its way to Finland (picture since 2009).

14.7.2010

They Pinto horses perform by Hrefna María.

Most of the horses here at Álfhólar farm are coming back to good form after recovering from the frequently mentioned horse sickness. It is really nice to get back in the saddle again.

I (Hrefna María) began to train my horses from my stable in Reykjavík about two weeks ago. It seemed that my horses from Reykjavík where sooner to recover then the horses here in Álfhólar. The most likely explanation that I can think of is that the horses in Reykjavík got the flue earlier and therefore are getting better sooner.

After eight weeks of break from training the horses seem very lively and in good form. Me and John are clearly having quite a thing for competitions because we could not resist competing at the Gullmót tournament held in Reykjavík last weekend.

Our competition horses seem to be in excellent form despite of the timeout. John Kristinn competed in T2 on the stallion Kraftur frá Strönd, son of the great tölter Kjarkur frá Egilstaðabær. In the preliminaries they performed great and they made first place with the score of 6.77. The finals were on Sunday and they won with an impressive score of 7.17.

Me and John own Kraftur together. He has not been formally announced here on the website but he is an extremely beautiful and a talented horse, with great character. His pinto color and his tale and mane are also great features for a stallion. This is not the last time you will see us competing on Kraftur as he is a material for an outstanding competition horse, whether in T2, Four gait or Tölt.



Photo: Maríanna Gunnarsdóttir

You can view more pictures, videos and read more about this beauty HERE.



But I could not let John totally steal the spotlight on the tournament, so I and Mammon took part in five gait and pace test PP1. In the five gait things did not quit go as planned and Mammon got a breather and a bite to eat at noon after the preliminary. Then we both just had cozy hours in the sun for the rest of the day or until the announcer suddenly notify about the beginning of the pace test. I hurried to get Mammon, who was quite full after all the eating and saddle him quickly. Then we rode straight in to the pace test and would you know, Mammon and I scored well after all and won the pace with a score of 6.58.

I must admit that I thought it was even more fun to win the boys who could not believe their own eyes and demanded recount. They had lost for a girl!

14.7.2010

Come to Mama!




Sara was determined not to go home until she had looked under the tail of this one to see the if it was a mare or a stallion foal. 

Sara was very happy to see this was a beautiful mare foal after the 1. price mare Þyrnirós and Sara´s stallion Dimmir. Þyrnirós is also the mother of the promising young stallion Þrumufleygur.

It was a very joyful day because so far Sara had only gotten one mare foal but eleven stallion foals this summer.






Come to mama!



Don´t lose her, Sara! She´s only about 40 pounds!



Stay concentrated, don´t laugh yourself silly!



The first few days after many mares have given births they tend to quite shy with their new offspring. The easiest way to get close to them is talking to their curious offsprings and then the mother stays nearby.



Þyrnirós (e. Sleeping beauty) stays this summer with her herd in a very big field. Because of the extensive size of the land it´s often problematic to get the horses you want to attain. Þyrnirós came running towards us with her foal right behind her. Sara was on her toes and jumped between them and the foal came running right in her arms.




This young mare foal has one fullbrother who was born last year and we were so pleased with him, so Sara took Þyrnirós to Dimmir again and said this time she wanted a mare. And she got her wish fulfilled.




It can be so annoying for such a pig for attention like me (Hrefna María) never to get my picture taken because I´m always behind the camera myself! So now we changed parts!



Þyrnirós is alwas so elegant. Extremely beautiful mare in the herd with high leg action and allure.



Oh, you little thing - with flying gaits and charming movements -  only a few hours old.

So now Sara has to name the little lady. Her fullbrother name is Þrumugnýr so she will probably be called Þrumu-something? Rósa Valdimarsdóttir (mother of Hrefna María) will pick the stallion for Þyrnirós this summer and the headaches have started.

Text and Photos: Hrefna María (Takes over when the BOSS hits the town).
 
12.7.2010

Love story in the herd



Yyeeahhaa, I see some good looking ladies over there!



Wwoohh.... I dig your color babe!



I´m just to cool for school.



She said split, go, and stop harrasing me! AAthcch, she kicked me right on the mouth!



What have I gotten myself into? Don´t they see how cool I really am?



Wwwooohhh.... wait are you kidding me .... not you too babe?



OK, I have to keep my cool, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in... dont run... Damn she´s crazy man, wow!



Are these birds joking with their look?!? They really look like they´ve just escaped from the crazy farm with their snow-white eyes and funky color. I have never seen this before!



But now there´s nothing left to do but to show them who´s BOSS over here, whether they like it or not! I just hope I will survive this ordeal in one piece.

Photos: Hrefna María Ómarsdóttir
Text: Sara Ástþórsdóttir
Location: Skúmstaðir
Model: Máttarbaugur two years son of Baugur frá Víðinesi og Mónu frá Álfhólum.

12.7.2010

New website for Þrumufleygur: www.trumufleygur.weebly.com



We have just launched a site dedicated to the promising young stallion, Þrumufleygur frá Álfhólum.

Þrumufleygur is in good health and is enjoying his summer with his herd at Skúmstaðaland wich is located nearby Álfhólar farm. You could say his living everyman's dream, eating, sleeping and ........

Check it out!


12.7.2010

The Great Thunderstorm
 


Because of the strange circumstances here in Iceland this spring and summer, with the much discussed horse sickness, we have shown very few horses in breeding shows. All of my horses at Álfhólar got sick early this spring but we crossed our fingers for the four year old Þrumufleygur, son of Þóroddur frá Þóroddsstöðum and Þyrnirós frá Álfhólum, who was beeing trained by John in Ármót that he could compete in the breeding show. He took part and did quite well but immediately after he got sick, with high fever and therefore could not take part in the second day of the show. Þrumufleygur went to the veterinarian the day after for treatment, the heat disappeared for treatment and he is quite well now.


                                                                                                   



This great and powersful stallion was not the least bit stressed when he got to the track on Tuesday. He did ok in the show but the pace did not work out as planned and John was quite bother not to get a change to fix that grade on the second day of the show. The track in Hafnarfjörður was really hard and it can be difficult for young horses to run the pace in that kind of circumstances.

For Tölt, trot, willingness and form under rider he received an 8,5 rating so his mark for riding ability was total 7.95. We were not very happy with his conformation mark for only 7.76, but it can easily change with more development in the next years. His total score was 7.87. You can find more information about Þrumufleygur on this homepage HERE.

John has been very pleased with the young stallion all through the winter training. From the first month in training, he has been impressed by the talented young horse. He says he is quick to learn, with great spirit and clean and powerful gaits. John, who has done an excellent horse training says the colt is the best young horse that he has ever come to know. See more photos of Þrumufleygur´s breedingshow HERE.


                                                                                                                                                              
Þrumufleygur will be located nearby Álfhólar this summer and those who are interested in using him for breeding this summer can call Hrefna María, tel. -354 8611218 or send an email to alfholar@alfholar.is.

12.7.2010

Almost 70% silver dapple




Some think that I am a bit obsessed with the color of my horses and prefer that they are from Hornafjörður´s bloodline but I sure you that is not it so. It is just a coincidence that one of the best old breeding mares here at Álfhólar, Móna, is silver dapple and is strongly related to Hornafjörður. Her offspring's have all had high leg action but not all of them have been silver dapple. Our highest judged mare, total score 8.22, Móeiður, is after Móna and Kjarkur frá Egilstaðabæ,. She is silver dapple and has gotten 9.5 for Tölt. The mother of Kjarkur is also from Hornafjörður breed.

I have never tracked down a stallion to use on my mares just because of his color. If that would be the case I would have tried to get the palomino color to Álfhólar.

The question whether I would have used my stallion Mánasteinn frá Álfhólum when he was two years old on my mares if he had only been brown colour is easily answered. His conformation and talent were both very promising, and the fact that Móeiður is his mother was not discouraging me.




But all the same it is twice the pleasure to receive such a promising foals in beautiful colors, like Frakkur here who is out of a pinto horsetrading mare, daughter of Fálki frá Sauðakróki. When we took the young horses to our stable for a few days this spring, this young son of Mánasteinn put on a great show for our visitors with his unique movements. But Frakkur wont strut for long on Icelandic soil because he has been sold to Finland for breeding.



The owner of this black horse thought that he was the most beautiful foal this year in his possessions so he ordered for two mares for this summer but had to cancel because of the horse sickness. According to recent news, this young colt will stay a stallion for now at least.



But the owner of this beautiful and colorful marefoal horses did not let the horsesickness be a discouragement and came back with the mother and two other mares as well.



This one  was born the night before the ash fall on the 13th of May but it did not harm him though he was black from the ashes for a while. His mother is Irsa frá Kanastöðum daughter Hrannar frá Kýrholti.



And here is one promising silver dapple stallion foal. His mother is Rún frá Eystra-Fíflholti. Rún may not come from the strongest breeding line but had very good horses e.g. Ronju frá Álfhólum wich has 1st price for ridingabilities. 



Last but not least is the second of only two marefoals born in Álfhólar this year so far, daughter of Ögrun frá Álfhólum. This one is a real cutie.

These young horses and foals have all clean gaits and good Tölt in common.Mánasteinn is also very generous with his beautiful silver dapple color. Approximately 70 precent of his offspring have inherit his color.

The price for a mare with Mánasteinn is 45.000 ISK with everything included. Mánasteinn has a very sweet-temper and gendle character.

I am planning on a systematic training for Mánasteinn in the fall so I aim to take him from his mares in mid-august. Considering his movements out in the field, I am quite optimistic he has recovered from his injury last year.

1.6.2010

We must look further



Picture by Ransý Ásgarði

My little Dimmuborg sure had a fun time this spring when I put it here out on a little green spot last week. She has been through tough trials in her short life (only 2 year old) after her accident last fall. Sometimes people ask me "when are you going to put here out of her misery?" Then I respond "does she look like she wants to go?"

It is not possible but to admire the great spirit this young mare has despite her great handicaps. I have heard of two mares in similar conditions (hip joint misplaced) that are used for breeding and that gives me hope that she can also have foals. She is a real "heart-breaker" and if Bragi frá Kópavogi, her father, would be in the south this summer I would definitely take Dimma, her mother, back to him to get another copy of Dimmuborg.

The Landsmót has now been postponed for a year because of this bacterial infection. Further training increases the risk of more serious symptoms and we have to have the horses best interests in mind. It is now obvious that many of the horses that have already qualified to Landmót are ill at this point and only a small chance that they would be ready for further judgement after only a month. Would we ourselves be likely to get good results, e.g. in sprints at the Olympics, if we had spent the last month or so at home in bed with the flu? We do not need an expert to say that the answer to that question is simply - NO!

This spring has been very difficult for us breeders and trainers in Iceland because all training came to a stop in late pril because of the horse plague. None of my horses have become seriously ill but some have had a quite persistent cough and one young horse that was out in the herd had a hard time breathing. My horses out in the herd have had snot in their nostril for over a month too, and occasional cough.

Early symptoms of the horse plague have been vague and it was very difficult to figure out when to stop training and then to start again. 

These are quite difficult circumstances to be under pressure to train horses but not being able to. In my stables I have lots of exciting horses which I aimed high with both in breeding and competitions. I know there are many trainers in similar positions and even worse. The interests of the Icelandic horse community are greatly threatened this year. Both with the plague and of course the volcanic eruptions.

Those interested in our bland and Icelandic horse will continue to look for horses in Iceland. Landmót or not, and we want them to see healthy and powerful Icelandic horses not weak horses that were not given the benefit of the doubt!

1.6.2010

Mid-summer breeding shows

There have been some discussions between me and several other riders in recent years, why there are no midsummer breeding shows. Here in the southern part of Iceland two months, at least, pass between the spring breeding shows and late summer shows. Frankly I do not understand why there is not a midsummer show held here e.g. in mid-July. Someone mentioned to me that the reason for this could be the breeding judges summer vacations. But I ask, do all the breeding judges have to be on vacation at the same time? Young breeding horses often peak only for a short time during summer training and sometimes it is simply too long for them to wait for the summer show to show there best. Late summer some horses tend to loose some of the charm and sparkle they had mid-summer.

The reason I am expressing my view on these matters at this time is because now there are troubled times for breeders and trainers. This horse sickness, that we are experiencing here in Iceland, just keeps getting worse. There has been a great upset in tournaments and breeding shows. Not nearly all horses will be able to arrive in their best form to breeding shows this spring and almost certainly many breeders will for that reason not show them at all. But there are great interests at stake e.g. the time value of training.

Therefore, I think it would be a good idea to hold a breeding show in the middle of summer in July to give breeders and trainers more options to show there horses. And I am talking about this arrangements on a permanent basis because I am sure that many trainers want to have this option in the future. All it takes is a united pressure from us trainers and breeders, because after all the breeding judges are all working for us?

4.5.2010

In the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull



You can not say that there is a dull day here these days, especially for us who live near Eyjafjallajökull. It started as a nice and beautiful eruption at Fimmvörðuháls but changed dramatically when Eyjafjallajökull erupted with great floods and ash fall.

An evacuation plan was activated and we were driven three times away from home the first two days. In my opinion I really did not think it was necessary to flee even though there was an eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. It would be another story if "big mama", Katla, would start. Then surely I would be the first to evacuate.

The first few days we did not see much because of the weather condition there was bad visibility. But on Friday two days after the eruption began, we saw it for the first time. And there were mixed feelings seeing the friendly glacier had changed overnight.

On Saturday there was great power in the eruption wich was visible in the form of a huge black smoke. Highly graphical and magnificent to watch for those who were so lucky to be in safe distance, but an awful disturbing experience for people and animals with homes are under Eyjafjöll.

There was not much work done at the farm the first few days of the eruption. We were constantly following news coverage of the eruption and forecasts from weather reports to see if there was anything coming our way.
 





"The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire"

Fortunately for us the most power had gone from the eruption when the wind changed direction and came over to us last week. The wind brought us some volcanic ash Friday and Saturday. History tells that a volcanic eruption in this place can last long, so only time will tell when it will really be over. Although we have been lucky so far, then we really do not know what next months will bring.






"Dimmir the great"

All the horses at our farm are alright, with fresh hay and water. But it can become a major problem for us farmers who breed sheep if we can not led them out on grassy fields in the spring with their young lambs.

The training has been successful so far, but this is a winter I will never forget. Tournaments have been canceled, and I have not been interested in taking my horses to any shows for fear of the horse flue that has been in Iceland over the last few weeks.

Hopefully all will go well but the uncertainty is very difficult at the moment.
                                                                                                                                                      
5.4.2010

The strongest tölters and Mother Nature


Photo Dalli

This weekend a competition took place between the strongest tölters on ice in Iceland. Díva and I got an invitation to participate in this competition following our victory in Women on Ice. The preliminary did not go as smoothly as planned but a score of 7.50 barely got us through to the B-finals. 

Photo Dalli

I was much happier with Díva in the finals but the competition was very good that evening, both horses and riders in good form. We ended up in nineth place. Better luck next time.

Photo Dalli

Daniel Jónsson and Fontur from Fet won the B-finals and were followed by Barbara Wenzl and Dalur from Háleggsstadirm, Snorri Dal and Helgi from Stafholt and Birna Káradóttir and Blæja from Háholt, all with the same score of 7.83. I and Dive came in 9th place with 7.78, 10th Erla Gudny Gylfadottir and Erpir from Mið-Fossar 7.67 and finally 11th Jakob Sigurdsson and Alur from Lundar 7.61.  

Photo Dalli

And again it was a Nátthrafn, the elegant son of Kjarkur from Egilstaðir who conquered this competition with style. Halldór Guðjónsson and Nátthrafn from Dalland recived the score of 9.22, 2nd  came Sigurður Sigurðarson and Kjarnorka from Kalfholt 8.83, 3rd Lena Zielenski and Gola from Thjorsarbakki 8.78, 4th Þórdís Erla Gunnarsdóttir and Ösp from Enni 8.39 and 5th Daniel Jónsson and Fontur from Fet 8.06 

It is very interesting to look at how many supertölters are after the stallion Kjarkur from Egilsstaðarbær even though he has always been a little controversial and never gotten to be a so-called "Fashion Horse" amongst breeders. I was always on the way to use him more in my breeding but suddenly he had been exported out of the country. 


On March 20th an annualt tölt tournament Barkarmót was helt in Víðidalur. I rode Máttur from Leirubakka and we came in fourth place with a score of over 7 in the finals.  

I had just arrived home after the tournament, when the phone rings and I get the messages that there was a volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull and because we live nearby we should clear off. And as I still had the trailer fastened to my car, I filled it with my favourite mares and speeded off.  The gaffers living in the next farm were not bothered with this "Day of Judgement" nonsense and did not understand all the excitement for a little innocent eruptions. 


Photographers are quite happy these days with this new motif. Here are two pictures from Facebook wich show the spectacle. 


We are quite vulnerable to Mother Nature even though we think we can predict all possible things through technology and sience.

4.4.2010

Svellkaldar konur video

Here you can watch an Icelandic television show about the annual womens tölt on Ice competition, Svellkaldar konur, "cool ladies" wich was held in the skating hall in Reykjavík.

20.3.2010

The competition has begun



Me the countrygirl from Álfhólar drove to town this weekend with two of my favorite girls on a trailer with me, Díva and Gjósta. We were on our way to take part in the annual womens Tölt on Ice competition in Reykjavík skating hall. The competition went well and both mares qualified to the finals, Gjósta in B-finals and Diva A-finals. After a strong finals against excellent competitiors the victory was ours with the great score of 8.22. Díva has not had much experience in inside tournaments to this date and therefore I was very pleased with her performance.

 


I was a bit stressed before the competition because I had not had time  to train Díva as much as I would have liked. Partly because the riding hall here at Álfhólar has been under construction for the last month or so and also because Díva got injured early winter. But those concerns proved to be unnecessary. Díva is such a unique horse that loves to perform, willing and eager to do better than her competitors.


Gjóska, after Hrannar from Höskuldsstaðir and Gáski from Álfhólar, also showed here talent that same night. She is in her first year in competition. In the competition Gjóska received mixed scores from the referees but nevertheless her score of 6.57 got here to B-finals. Since Díva was already through to the A-finals I withdrew Gjóska from the competition. Gjóska and I also took part in the ice tournament, Ísmót Suðurlands, that was held in Þykkvabær two weeks ago. There we were fourth in the B-class with 8.50 and third in tölt with a score of little over 7. I was very happy with those results. Gjóska is a very determined powerhouse. I look forward competing more on Gjóska this season at least.


Hrefna María also took part in Tölt on ice with her mare Vaka from Margretarhof after Rökkvi from Hárlaugsstaðir and ended in the 10th place. Vaka and Hrefna won the first winter games in Fákur Víðidalur earlier this winter.



                                                                                                                                                             Mynd Dalli

Rósa, mother of Hrefna María, also took part with her stallion Íkon from Hákot, after Töfri from Kjartansstaðir and Bella from Kirkjubær, and they finished in seventh place in her class. This par has competed alot in local competitions in Fákur with excellent results.

I also competed in A-flokkur with Dimmir from Álfhólar, Dívas halfbrother, on Ísmót Suðurlands. There we finished  in fourth place with the score of 8.48.

The other weekend I held a lecture in a horse seminar  in Rangárhöllin. There I talked about the importance of a well balanced seat in training and tölt training with difficult horses. For those interested you can watch a video from the seminar on the website hest.is.There were several riders who took part in the seminar that was well attended.


  

I have not upgraded the home page as much as I would have liked these last few weeks. The reason is simply that there is so much activity here in Alfholar, riding, training and teaching that there simply has not been enough time for webwork. I can not promise to more efficent but I will surely do my best.

16.2.2010

The sunny side

I´ve been getting calls from people who fear for my health because of how pourly I´m doing updating this website. This blog lazyness can best be explained with the fact that it´s  just so much fun at work these days with lots of exciting projects.



Solandus is an excellant fourgait material. It is a bit of a shame to say that this is the first winter that I have spent some quality training time on him. He was a bit unlucky to be on his fourth year, and ready for training, when the riding hall was being build. Because of the construction, time was scarce and I just rode him for two weeks that spring. But in that time he spent inside he literally took of his entire maine before I noticed! The girls who worked here with me that time rode him a bit but he wasn´t properlty tölt trained until this winter. He´s now six years old. Hopefully he´ll be ready for a breeding show or competition later this year. Better late than never J The more I´ve gotten to know him, the more I like him. His temperment is an absolute dream.

Sóllilja is Solandus fullsister. She is on her fifth year and is everybodys favorite of in the stables. Great character, willing and cooperative and always in a good mood. We started training her this winter and her tölt is coming along quite nicely. She puts much effort in to it and clides in every step.

These siblings, Solandus and Sóllilja, are both after the first prize stallion Börkur from Litlu-Reykjar and my mare Sóldögg. I've been unlucky with her offsprings. In some unexplainable way I managed to loose a pinto son of her and Þristur from Fet. One day he literally disappeared from the surface of the earth. A very beautiful daughter of Sóldögg and Reginn from Keta was badly injured and I had to put her down. If that wasn´t enough Sóldögg hasn´t been very fertile. For that reason I haven´t been temped to sell Sóllija although many have showed interest. She is the only mare I own after Sóldögg besides a daughter of Glymur from Innri-seljabrekka she had last summer. Sóldögg herself was a fun mare to ride. I competed a bit on her and did very well in B-class and usually got a score around 8:40.

Díva is getting into good form after a bumby start in the beginning of winter. For just over a month she was a bit strange in one back foot. She wasn´t limp but here foot was a little swollen. For that reason we´ve been taking things slow to prevent problems later in the training process.

There is a much ado here these days. My cousin Valdi, brother of Hrefna, built for me a saddle storage and a fence in the riding hall. The higly educated
engineer made this look quite easy.

It´s important for me to have an experienced staff to train with me. Elísabet from Steinsholt will be working with me this winter. Later this winter Jenny, a riding student from Sweden, will be working here for about a month. Íris Fríða from Mosfellsbær came here for a few days and Sara Rut also came here for one week at the end of January and was helpful with the youngsters as so often before. 


Photo Íris Friða

My dog Viggo is great at helping me to break in the youngsters out in the field. We are trying out new methods "Mounty Roberts style". 


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ÁLFHÓLAR | SARA ÁSTÞÓRSDÓTTIR | 861 HVOLSVÖLLUR - ÍSLAND | Tel: (+354) 898 8048 | ALFHOLAR@ALFHOLAR.IS