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Icelandics in Field

 

Flying Change Farm:

People with a horse passion inevitably have a farm passion as well.  Nine years ago, during a foliage trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, we stumbled across 10.5 beautiful, secluded acres that seemed to cry out for horses.  Within a week we had signed a contract and it became ours.  That’s why it’s named “Flying Change Farm.”  It was a lightning-fast and radical change of lifestyle for both of us.  There was no barn and fencing was nearly non-existent.  A rainy first spring left us with no choice but to build stalls in the garage (ourselves!) and it became the "bar-age" until early summer.  Sabrina’s last foal, Lilly, was born there and it was actually quite cozy.   We now share our wonderful farm with eight Icelandic horses, eight cats, two standard poodles, two Icelandic dogs and the mutt from next door who preferred to live at our house.  Please browse our photo gallery to see more of Flying Change.   We would welcome your visit!

About us:        

It was clear from the start that horses would be a part of our lives.  That passion—which bewildered our families—caused us to scrape and save and do ANYTHING to be on the back of a horse. 

Sandy on Pony

Sandy:

After graduate school, I found myself living and working in Germany in the 1970’s.  I finally had the time and money to rekindle my love of riding and horses.  Thanks to the wonderful instructors at Reitklub Reichenberg and my first horse, the Lippizan schoolmaster “Jocci,” I learned the classical German dressage system of riding and training from the ground up.  Eventually I taught beginning lessons there and directed the young rider program for the club.

Interestingly, it was at this time that I got to know my first Icelandics.  The Reithof  Rex near Heidelberg was one of those early Icelandic horse pioneers in Germany (now there are over 50,000 Icelandics in Germany—a population second only to Iceland itself!).  After several weekends riding through the Heidelberg countryside on these sturdy, friendly, comfortable and FUN hoSandy on Joccirses, I was a convert and was close to buying a lovely palomino mare, “Lyri” way back then.   But then the Lippizaner “Jocci” (right) came into my life and I was hooked on dressage—so the wonderful Icelandics were tucked away in memory--for close to 30 years.

 After “Jocci” came “Mai Tai,” a wonderful Hannoverian mare (below) who taught me the magic and power and sheer joy of true partnership between a person and a horse.

Sandy with MausI returned to the U.S. in 1984  and joined the equestrian community at the Maryland Horse Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.   Under the directorship of Elizabeth Madlener the Center supported not only the highest levels of horsemanship, but was equally dedicated to helping riders of all abilities to learn the excitement and magic of working with horses.   I had the pleasure of teaching riders of many levels and abilities, including those with daunting physical disabilities that did nothing to undermine their passion for riding.

“Mai Tai” and her sister “Sabrina” came from Germany to join me in the U.S. and, with their offspring, added four wonderful horse personalities to my life:  “Kiko,” who placed 3rd in Colts of 1984 in Devon; “Minna” who still lives with us at Flying Change; “Noblesse Oblige” who was USDA 2nd level Freestyle Horse of the Year; and “Lilly,” a new dressage star who was born in our garage during the first spring at Flying Change farm.

Last year I began a search for a new horse partner. At 55, I wanted a horse that would be my companion on rides through “wild and wonderful” West Virginia.  I wanted a sensible horse who wouldn’t be daunted by strange encounters on the trail.  I wanted a comfortable horse—but I wanted that comfort to come from the elasticity of its gaits, not from being pokey.  I wanted a safe horse-- but I also wanted an exciting and beautiful horse.  Filling that bill seemed impossible—until that 30-year old memory of riding Icelandic horses in Heidelberg came back to me. 

I have now found my “dream” horse—several of them actually.  You can see their pictures on this page.  I hope to help others—you perhaps—find that magic of partnership with the horse.   I strongly value helping riders of all skill levels find the right horse.   Please contact me if you think your dream horse might be an Icelandic.   

  Suzi on PonySuzi:

I was just as infected by the “horse” bug and begged and cajoled my father into taking me to ride at the local pony rides near College Park every weekend.   But it was the piano, not horses, that would take central focus in my life.  It wasn’t until after I had finished my degrees at the Peabody Conservatory of the John’s Hopkins University that I finally began to find room for a second passion—the horse.  I began taking dressage lessons with Sandy Newkirk at the Maryland Horse Center and soon afterward found “Babe,” that bomb-proof wonder who introduced me to horse ownership.  Babe was a great confidence builder and helped me get ready for “Scandal Story" a grey Quarter Horse gelding with the movement of a warmblood.  Scandal has become a school master in the meantime and is now happily being an event horse.  

Icelandic horses are now my passion--see me on Sleipnir below at the MD Pony Breeders Show, 2002.  Sleipnir was Reserve Champion in the Icelandic Division.

                    

Location: 

We are located near Harpers Ferry in West Virginia--just 70 miles from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, MD.

Click on this map to get driving directions from Expedia.com

Map Showing Harper's Ferry, WV

Contact us:

You may contact us by e-mail at IceHorsesUSA@hotmail.com or by phone at 304-728-7349 for further information on our Icelandic horses for sale or to set up a visit.

 

 

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