Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rehash - whom are you calling a pony

I am helping my daughter with her math homework while writing this. Not exactly the perfect setup but the only one available to me. She is now learning about sets. Subsets, set unions and symmetric differences. It is dri ving me crazy trying to get my head around the subject while in the presence of an irritable teenager that has somehow come to the conclusion that by some deviousness I am to blame for set theory being in existance. I am not lying when I say I had nothing to do with it.
To make things worse Blogger is acting up - I type two words and it freezes. If I try putting up a photo I am thrown off. It is probably my daughter's fault. By some deviousness she has boobytrapped the internet. So I am reposting a provious blog from November 2011: 
From Nov. 2011 - The Icelandic horse (minus the photos)
The Icelandic horse is not native to Iceland any more than other mammals inhabiting the country, aside from the fox that was here before man arrives with his select farm animals in tow. The horse has been here isolated since, the gene pool having received some additions for the first hundred or so years after which the country became passé for those travelling with horses as part of their entourage. So the breed has not had access to any fresh blood for about a thousand years. Legislation now prohibits the import of horses to keep the breed pure, but for some reason this ban also applies to our own horses. This means that if you take an Icelandic horse abroad for competition or simply sell it, it will never come back home. Which is a bit dramatic and sad. You are also not allowed to bring used riding equipment to Iceland. Both relate to the rather immature immune system isolation has fostered, as a result the Icelandic horse is susceptible to serious illness if it comes in contact with horse germs from abroad. Óðinn (Odin) had an Icelandic horse called Sleipnir. Unlike most he had eight feet. He ran twice as fast as other horses as a result. Now, I don’t know if I should go into his conception in too much detail as it is a bit odd. However, keeping in mind that in Iceland we have a rule of “no telling half stories” I guess I have to; sometimes it would be a lot easier to be from Guernsey or Belgium. But Sleipnir is the love-foal of Loki and Svaðilfari a stallion belonging to a giant (or a hrímþurs) that Loki had tricked. Now Loki was not a mare, which makes the conception odd, but a god – a male one at that. He was always getting into trouble and to wiggle his way out of a horrible mess involving the giant, the stallion Svaðilfari, a bunch of very angry gods and even the sun and the moon, Loki had to lure the stallion away. Being pressed for time all he could come up with was to shape-shift into a mare in heat, which worked the trick but knocked him up as he could not outrun Svaðilfari. So he later gave birth to Sleipnir, the best horse in the world of gods and men.
If you ever meet an Icelandic horseman, you should know that if the topic strays to the Icelandic horse this person will mention that this breed is the only horse breed in the world that has five gaits. If he does not mention this then you are speaking to an imposter and should leave right away, you could be in danger. But the five gaits are a point of immense pride and not being a horseperson myself I am really not sure why. But one thing I can say is that to ride an Icelandic horse is a lot easier on the backside than the big horses you have in America and Europe and you don’t look like a bobbing cork in a storm at sea while sitting them. They somehow glide along, keeping their back at the same constant elevation. And they are not nervous or scaredy-cats, something that is accredited to them having had no enemies for all of these isolated years. The selection of farm animals that arrived with them, as well as the fox, pretty much leave them alone.

English does not have words for the 2 additional gaits. Icelandic does: tölt and skeið. This upsets my assumption that English has 250 000 words and Icelandic at maximum 249 999. I must thus recant this and the tally is now: English 250 000 and Icelandic at maximum 250 001.

But I have not done the Icelandic horse justice and must revisit the topic, something I must also do regarding Loki. For him I will need more than one post and more than two.

So why did I hate the riding school? Because I was terrified I would fall off and break my neck is why. But like many worries of childhood, it was not well founded as had I fallen I would probably just have sprained it. The fall wasn’t all that high.

Yrsa - Wednesday

1 comment:

  1. Worse than having your kids booby-trap the Internet is when they leave the nest and we have no one else to blame:))