Josie Thomsen, Germany

Njóla, Icelandic horse

When I bought Njóla (Geb.2009) at the age of 5 years, she ran across the pasture exclusively in a rhythmic lateral tölt. Not very desirable, because you would like to have a five-gaited horse with clearly separated gaits. In addition, Njóla is prone to the metabolic syndrome which causes often muscle sourness and stress. That's why she braced herself very fast under the saddle. After working with her while hacking on a relatively clear pace in the trot with tempo variance, Nicole and I worked together for the first time. Since I've tried a lot to do only little with my hand, Njóla has never really found the connection to the bit and was always very uncertain if I wanted to establish contact with her mouth. Thus, the opening of the poll, the increased acceptance of the rein contact and the beginning of an extended posture was leading to proper relaxation. So, the result was a supple movement.

With an Icelandic trainer I was soon able to work on the purity of the tölt. Following Nicole and I have developed the lateral movements and worked on proper transitions in the extended position. Njóla's suppleness got better and better, so we can throw ourselves on the hardest task - the canter! Here's the problem that Njóla can only keep it up to speed. But with Nicole's good knowledge of Icelandic horses and the biomechanics of a horse, we're well on our way to ride a proper pace in the arena.

It is a lot of fun, dear Nicole, to learn and to develop ourselves further. Everyone is wrong, who claims that after 20 years of riding experience, you do not have to continue your education. Often one hears: "But why do you take riding lessons, you can ride!" - We learn something new every time and have many AHA! Moments. Also in combination with Julica's seat aligment training, you only realize what you could have done all these years differently so that it is more harmonious for the horse and the rider. We do not want to miss the lessons and your know-how. 

I am already looking forward to the future, where we will have more great units so that Njóla and I will continue to make a great team with your support. 

Thank you for your kind regards.

Josie Thomsen
Langeln, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Julica Valentiner, Germany