Icelandic Horses, Surprised by a Silly Human

On this first day of the New Year, I feel like some of these horses look in this picture; startled, but accustomed to crazy people doing silly things. 

I was on a photography excursion with a local Icelandic firm. It was the end of the day, and we were on our way back into town, so we were rushing. We had had all day to take pictures of horses, but for some reason, no one said, “Wait, we’re surrounded by Icelandic horses, let’s stop and take pictures of them while we have time.”

To get even this close to this pasture of horses, I had to navigate what turned out to be an electrified fence. So, the photographer who drove us asked me, “Is the fence electrified?” and “Are you hurt?” because he, like I, heard the zap of electricity as I pushed my arm through the fence. I have been stung multiple times by jellyfish, and I found out that day that electric fences don’t hurt more than jellyfish, but they hurt enough that the horses, smarter than humans, kept their distance.

I’m 99% certain they too heard the crack and sizzle of electricity, hence the look on their faces. “Another foolish human risking life and limb taking pictures of us,” they think. They are awfully cute, Icelandic horses (and no, they’re not ponies, and if you call them that, you’ll get in a lot of trouble with Icelanders).

Let me know if you want the original of this; the expression on the central horse in the huddle appears pretty startled by my stupidity, and I am sorry if I scared him; the rest of the horses all look fairly sanguine, to be honest. All my pictures are taken in high resolution, so when they’re in focus, you can see details like the horses’ expressions clearly.

The Chinese New Year begins on the 31st of January. 2014 is the Year of the Horse, so I’m getting an early start in preparing for the New Chinese Year, and wish a special Happy New Year to all my Year of the Horse friends, who have mostly galloped off to foreign locations.

Icelandic horses poster

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