Icelandic Horse Connection

An Icelandic Horse in California in the Early 1900's

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To all my friends who own Icelandic horses I am sending a very interesting photo and letter. The photo is my friend's dad on an Icelandic horse...this photo was taken in Tulare, California in 1932. The attached letter is a brief history of the photo.

For all people who didn't realize that there were Icelandics here "way back when", I hope you enjoy this.

Sue Kemp, Washington

The following is a letter given to me by a good friend. She is the one who sparked my interest in the Icelandic horse. It accompanies the photo she gave me:


My dad’s name was Laurie Goff. He was born in 1920 and this photo was taken in 1932(the photo is dated by the photo company Feb 2, 1932), which makes him eleven years old in the picture.

The farm that my dad worked on every summer until he was in his twenties, was owned by Bert and Sally Lindley, located in Tulare, California. The Lindleys were well known for owning exotic types of animals…buffalo, ostriches, etc. Their son’s name was Louis. He was a rodeo clown, changing his name to the man we all know as Slim Pickens, cowboy character actor.

My dad told me about these wonderful little Icelandic ponies that the Lindley’s kept on their farm, along with the thoroughbreds they raised, when I was a toddler. I’m fifty-four now. Sharing his experiences, he said there were no other horses like them. They had a peculiar “trot” that was absolutely smooth. They could not only keep up with the thoroughbreds, but their stamina was superior. Half the time he didn’t even put a bridle on them, but just rode them holding onto their thick manes, they were so calm and well behaved.

I have no idea how the Lindley’s acquired them, but I know some of them were in this country prior to the 1950”s, which is evident in the photo. Unfortunately my dad died in 1994, but I am sure there are more places to research this.

My aunt remembers the Lindley’s Icelandics. She said many of them were Dun colored, but she doesn’t recall much more.

Teresa Royster
Olympia WA

Unknown date for this old ad:

See the story of Tulle, click here.
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