My name is Kramer, and I live in a world of 4-legged giants and 2-legged curiosities who call themselves “persons”. And if that isn’t enough to set your head spinning, I also must deal with something called Cushings’s Disease-a situation that a person would call insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, or diabetes. This means I’m restricted in how much food I can eat, what I can eat, and how often I can eat.
Then, to add insult on top of injury, I’m a little guy. Oftentimes, these “persons” I refer to, call me a pony-but I’m not a pony. I’m an Icelandic Horse and have been bred to be small since the 9th century. Our typical height is between 13 and 14 hands and we are usually very sturdy and long-lived. We have a two-layer coat that protects us from the cold Nordic weather and makes us look very shaggy. Our traditional job is sheepherding, but we are also ridden for leisure, showing and racing activities. Much of the world does not know this but we are unique to Iceland in that there is no other breed of horse allowed on the island; nor is any horse once removed from Iceland ever allowed back. This strictly enforced Icelandic law has resulted in a pure Icelandic breed free of the diseases that plague horses in the rest of the world (including me).
There is something else that some of my two-legged friends don’t know. I have two additional gaits unknown to most other horses, excluding the Saddlebred and the Tennessee Walking Horse. The first is calld the “Tolt”, an extraordinarily smooth four beat gait in which one foot always touches the ground. This allows the rider an almost bounce free ride even at 20 miles per hour. The second is called the “Flying Pace”, which is a high-speed gait up to 30 miles per hour, by which both legs on one side of the horse simultaneously touch the ground. This is a two-beat pace wherein at one interval all four feet are off the ground. This is a pace used in races. EAT YOUR HEART OUT you other guys!
I don’t remember where I came from – whether I was born in Iceland – or whether my parents were born there and then left. It doesn’t matter – I can hold my own in this world with the big boys and I can even boss some of them around.
Come visit me at Brook Hill – I would love to meet you.