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