This is it. This is the last video. I remember hearing this song as a little kid, sitting down on the Living room sofa and staring at the tree with all the presents under it and looking into the kitchen, where my dad was hard at work, preparing the Christmas Turkey. I looked out the window and all I saw was black. It was pitch black outside even though It was only about 17:20 in the evening. As I looked out the window…It suddenly began to snow. Little puffs of white slowly drifted down to the ground behind the window. What I felt at that moment, I can only describe as the spirit of Christmas itself. The complete and utter happiness, calmness and all around love I felt was overwhelming. I felt incredible. I hope you will find this feeling this year too. Have a merry christmas everyone.
Glaciers cover ca. 11% of Iceland. The largest glaciers are located in the southern part of the country and in the central highlands, with Vatnajokull being the largest one and actually Europe’s largest glacier. Jokulsárlon lagoon, located at the south end of Vatnajokull glacier, is the largest and best known glacial lake in Iceland. Tours to glaciers and the Jokulsarlon lagoon are one of the most popular activities among Iceland travelers. To book a Glacier tour in Iceland, please visit Icelandtotal.com.
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Training Your Icelandic Horse to the Clippers
Article by Judy Ryder
Training To The Clippers
Depending on where you live, and how much you ride your horse, your Icelandic Horse / Pony may need to be clipped.
It is advisable to train your pony to the clippers, and doing so with clicker training is very helpful, and done without stress.
It was so warm today, Christmas, at 80 degrees, and our young Icelandic Horse (Pony) filly was sweating!
The Icelandic Horse filly is two and a half years old, a palomino, named Charm, with a short thick dense coat.
I decided to take some time to clicker train her to the clippers and started with the small, light weight Vidal Sasson clippers that are much quieter than the large animal clippers.
We started with targeting (she touched the clippers with her nose, then she gets a click and treat); and the game of “can I touch you here?”, where she gets a click and treat if she allows the clippers to touch her neck, back, chest, stomach, etc. Of course, we started with the clippers in the off position.
In a short time, since she was calm and had no problems being touched and touching the clippers, I turned them on, and went thru the same routine with them on. Not clipping, but just letting her get the feel of the vibration of the clippers. Click and treat, and all is well.
Finally, even tho they are very light-weight clippers and they don’t cut well, I clipped some of the hair on her neck and chest as a prelude to using the bigger clippers at a later time.
She did very well; stood at liberty, and napped a little.
Subsequently, I brought out the A-5 Oster clippers and trimmed some of the long hairs in her top coat, but the A-5’s are not big enough to get through her thick undercoat. The big honkin’ clippers will come out at the next opportunity!
About the Author
Judy Ryder is a long-time gaited horse owner, student of natural horsemanship, gaited horses and gaits, and of human-horse relationships.
How to Make the Most of Daylight Hours in Iceland in Winter
In my capacity as the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours Limited, I am often asked all kinds of travel questions. Sometimes I am asked when is the best time to visit a certain country? Having just returned from Iceland, mid December, I have tried to paint a picture of this stunning country that has so much to offer and the diversity to experience at different times of year.
Driving out of Reykjavik at 10am before the sun has set gave me the chance to experience the magic of travelling through a living Christmas card. The houses were adorned with twinkling lights that gave of hues of bright colours in the snow covered pre dawn setting. The grave yards were equally beautiful as all of the crosses that marked the passing of a loved one were each decorated with fairy lights.
Some may think that the shortened days, 5 – 6 hours of daylight in the winter is a disadvantage when visiting Iceland at this time of the year, but I would not have missed some of the country’s diverse weather and scenery for anything.
Icelanders tell stories of trolls and little people and do not have a Santa Claus as such, instead they have 13 Christmas lads who do a similar job as Santa depending on whether a child has been good or not. I choose not to go into a lot of detail here about the folklore as I am sure you can imagine the Icelanders do a much better job and when told in the correct setting makes the tales more meaningful.
Some of the highlights of the Golden Circle Tour include a trip to Thingvellir which is home to the terminous of the mid-Atlantic rift which has created and is set amongst some fascinating scenery. Apparently the rift is drifting apart at 2cms a year. You will also see traces of Iceland’s very first parliament here which in its day ruled from the 9th century for four centuries.
I was then whisked off to Gullfoss to see the spectacular, raging glacial waters also known as the Golden waterfall. Surrounded by the thick winter snow, the waters that raged past left some amazing frozen structures in its wake. There are not many visitors at this time of year and apart from my guide I felt as though we were the only people on the planet. The sound was incredible and the sheer energy of the waterfall was breathtaking.
Before the daylight hours disappeared I was then taken to a field of hot springs where the famous Geysir is located. I was told by my guide that it was not completely dormant but it depends who you talk to. However one geyser called the Churn, also known as Strokkur erupts every few minutes which sends up a roaring tower of steam, which gushes some 50 to 80 feet leaving a strong smell of sulphur hanging in the air. I returned to my hotel feeling that I had spent the few hours of daylight very wisely and had experienced a small part of what Iceland had to offer.
Stuart Cheese is the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours and, having visited over 110 countries, has a wealth of travel experience. One World Tours / The Holidays in Iceland Specialists