The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm's breeding goals seek to breed healthy horses that are easy to maintain, and with exceptional temperaments and gaits. We seek to offer only high-quality horses suited to the individual buyer, and to increase awareness of the special qualities unique to the Icelandic Horse. We breed horses that are particularly well-suited to the USA. They have excellent characters, and they're easy to train. This is a very important consideration in the US, where there are few trainers experienced and skilled in training young horses for the average rider to work with, train, and enjoy.
With one or two foals a year, we breed only our best mares, and the youngsters receive the attention needed to be well-rounded individuals. Our foals are are handled regularly, producing horses which are willing to please, easy to handle, and much less difficult for their new owners. By four months old they are able to stand still while being groomed and having their feet trimmed. They lead without a fuss and load into a horse trailer quietly. This pre-training produces a trusting, independent horse with confidence in its trainer, and in turn much easier to handle in difficult circumstances. Since horses in America have to live in much closer proximity to humans than those in Iceland, I believe these to be very important considerations.
Youngsters remaining at the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm continue their pre-training as they mature, and as they can handle more, they are taught to respond to commands much like the ones they will receive as adults. Side passing, stopping, backing up, and even long-reining are concepts that a young horse can understand. Between the age of four and five, the young horse will be trained under saddle and used in the farm's riding program. During this time we take special care to introduce the horse to all it may encounter in its new environment. We believe that this type of upbringing leads to horses which are a pleasure to own: adaptable, well-educated, friendly and people-oriented.
Why should I choose an Icelandic Horse?
For the average person with a busy lifestyle, the Icelandic Horse offers a relaxing, enjoyable back-to-nature experience. You will find that the horse's innate intelligence, friendly disposition, convenient size, liveliness, and healthiness make it a pure pleasure to ride and to own. And don't forget the gorgeous colors and the exhilarating fun and challenge of changing gears from one smooth gait to the next. This is the horse that will be eagerly awaiting you and your companionship, and will not need re-education or long periods of lunging to get the edge off whenever you're unable to ride regularly.
Why should I buy an Icelandic Horse from the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm?
Visit us and take advantage of our experience with the Icelandic Horse. Our horses are raised, cared for, and trained with kindness, understanding, and love in a pleasant, calm atmosphere. Our goal is the adaptable, well-educated, self-confident, enthusiastic, easy-gaited pleasure horse. We take special care to expose the horse to all it might encounter in its future home: trailering, bridge and water crossing, children, dogs, road hazards, the veterinarian, and the farrier.
We offer a friendly support system. We offer several free lessons with the purchase of a horse, and we expect you to call with questions. You can always bring your horse to the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm and ride out with us just for fun or if you are are having difficulty in a particular area. We are always glad to help and offer advice.
We keep detailed health and farrier records for each horse, and you are welcome to this information. We are a member of the United States Icelandic Horse Congress, the official breed registry in the U.S.A.
What can I expect form a farm visit?
You can expect to meet well-mannered, trusting horses that enjoy your attention. You can check out the Icelandic saddles and tack and receive individual profiles on the horses you are interested in. We will offer you a demonstration ride. You may take a lesson or go on a trail ride. We also have several informative videos about the Icelandic Horse that you're welcome to view. If you are seriously interested in a particular horse, of course you are welcome to try out that horse.
What should I bring when I visit your farm?
Bring appropriate clothing for the weather. In cooler weather, bring comfortable, warm, layered clothing, gloves, hat, and boots. At any time, you'll want comfortable boots for riding and for walking around in the pastures to visit the horses. If you are riding, you must wear a helmet (we can provide one), and you'll want gloves. You may want to bring a camera or video recorder and pen and paper for taking notes. Expect to be here for several hours.
Do I need special riding skills to enjoy the Icelandic Horse?
Recreational riding of any breed is a sport. Like any sport, it has inherent risks that require a reasonable degree of physical fitness, agility, skills, and knowledge. Specifically, you need to understand and be able to use basic riding aids such as quiet legs, soft hands, and a balanced, relaxed seat. If you haven't ridden for a while, you will find that you haven't forgotten your aids but that you'll want to fine-tune your skills in order to enjoy the gaits.
People often call inquiring about a "push button horse." Icelandic Horses are generally good-natured and forgiving. Because of their cheerful self-confident nature, they can be asked to manage a great deal of responsibility on the trail, but the rider must learn where the buttons are and when to push them! Our horses are for the most part appropriate for the intermediate to advanced rider, but we do have horses for beginners who are willing to get their "push button driver's license."
Do you give lessons or trail rides?
Yes. We are primarily a riding facility. We give lessons and take people on trail rides. A lesson out on the trail is what I like to do best. We are also breeding a couple of very good mares a year and training young horses.
Do you board horses?
Yes, we gladly board horses purchased from us.
How do I arrange a farm visit?
Please call ahead to arrange an appointment. A lot of time is needed for these sessions, and since we are also a riding facility, it is important that you be flexible. We'll be happy to work out something feasible for both of us.
What else is there do do in the area?
We're located in the Mad River Valley, a beautiful resort area with lots of attractions. The Valley offers great restaurants, shopping, music, art, and community theater. There is outdoor recreation for every season, including skiing (Alpine and Nordic), snowboarding, skating, snowshoeing, hiking, biking (road and mountain), kayaking, canoeing, fishing, golf, and tennis. The Sugarbush Chamber of Commerce is a good source of ideas.
How do you price your horses?
We strive to keep our horses affordable, because we genuinely want as many people as possible to enjoy the horses we love. A high-quality, well-trained Icelandic Horse takes from five to eight years to get ready for sale, so we've invested a lot of time, attention, and hay! We'll always work to strike a reasonable balance.
Where are you located?
The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm is in the town of Fayston, three miles up North Fayston Road from Route 100 in the northern end of Waitsfield. See our Directions page for more information.