Icelandic Horse Connection

Recognition By A Horse

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I went with a gal a couple of weeks ago to look at an Icelandic Horse as a potential purchase.

I posted this story to the icehorses list after seeing the horse:

There were four of us there, the seller, her mom, the gal I went with, and me. The mom went and got him out of the corral. The other two gals converged by his head, and I followed up, a little behind (checking the camera), so that we ended up in a semi-circle around his head.

The horse reached out to me immediately. And with purpose. I extended my hand to his nose.

Something unidentifiable happened. Each person noticed it.

Everyone talked at once: "Did you see that?" "Hey, what's going on?" "Wow, amazing."

Things went in slow motion for me.

I said, "I... know... this... horse."

I had no instant recognition of him, as he obviously had for me, but there was a connection and I knew that I knew him from somewhere.

While I was there, I had inklings of thoughts coming in as to where and how I might have known him before. But nothing for certain.

I went home after the visit and fired up my old computer.

Maybe it was New Mexico....

When the heck was I in New Mexico?

Searching, searching, trying to find some old photos which may have been on floppy disks (oh, gosh, floppy disks! so long ago!).

Found it!

My husband and I were on a trip in 2001 and were passing thru a friend's town on the way home, so we called ahead of time to see if we could stop for a minute to say "hey".

In the meantime, one of her boarders found out we were going to be there, so she had her ask if she could have an hour or so of lesson for clicker training and seven games.

Of course! Benefit is that she had an icelandic!

I found some pictures; looked real close at his markings. Yup, that's him!

And he remembered me from so long ago!

He had an Icelandic name back in 2001 and was advertised with an American name in 2007.

In the "before" picture, I'm using the crop as a target, with him. He caught on quick and enjoyed it.

Amazing what a "click" will do, isn't it?

Horse Sokki, Clicker Training

Horse Sokki, Clicker Training


Well..... it happened again.... on Saturday.

I went with the same gal again to look at another Icelandic Horse. A mare, non-descript.

When we got there, I looked around at the other horses, not paying too much attention to the horse that she was going to try.

When the owner went to get the mare's bridle, there was an opportunity to introduce myself to the horse by letting her smell my hands.

There was, again, an instant recognition of me, on her part. I told the gal who was going to try her, "This horse knows me."

I didn't know how or why she would know me. I didn't remember her. She was just a plain brown horse, no distinctive markings to remember her by.

For the rest of the day, thoughts came and went, about where she might have previously met me.

I came up with a possibility... a clicker clinic that I did in Riverside in 2002. I looked thru my old computer and found the pictures from that clinic.


There were a couple of pictures of me working with the mare, that long ago, a one-time meeting, and she still remembered me.

The mare, like the gelding above, had been advertised under her barn name. The current owner checked her papers for her registered name and sure enough, that's the name that she was known by at that time.

The next day, the gal told me that she couldn't believe that the mare had such a distinctive reaction of acknowledgement to me, so she admitted she had tried to do the same as I did, putting her hand by the horse's nose, thinking she'd get the same reaction as the mare gave to me....

But, she said, it wasn't the same.

Horse Sokki, Clicker Training

Horse Sokki, Clicker Training

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