Get to know Klara Sveinbjörnsdóttir!
UNDRA: Klara, would you like to introduce yourself?
Klara: Hello! My name is Klara Sveinbjörnsdóttir, I was born in 1994 and am originally from the west of Iceland. I live in Blönduós now, it’s in the north-west of Iceland. I am a horse trainer and riding instructor. I graduated from the university of Hólar in 2018.
UNDRA: What did you do in the last 5-10 years?
Klara: Before I went to study at Hólar I worked at two different horse farms, Oddhóll and Hólaborg. At both farms I just stayed a short while, getting to know different techniques in training and horses before going to Hólar. It was a great experience for me and also very nice to get a break from school for a while. In 2015 I registered to Hólar and graduated in 2018. That was an awesome time and I am really glad I got to know all of the great people there. After Hólar I worked in Hjarðartún in the south where I got even more experience in competing and breeding shows. In 2020 I started my own company in training and teaching.
UNDRA: To get a better impression about your daily life: How does a regular day in the stable looks like? Are there differences between summer and winter?
Klara: In the stable at 8 in the morning, feed the horses and start training. We usually work until 18-19 in the evening. If I am teaching then I usually do that until 20-21. The biggest difference from summer to winter is there is more stable duty in the winter time, in the summer we try to have the horses out during the night.
UNDRA: How many horses do you own, how many do you have in the stable at the moment, how many are training horses/horses for sale?
Klara: Me and my boyfriend, Ágúst, have way too many horses at the moment. Most of them are young horses so not in training at the moment but some are older. We have 25 horses in our stable, and 20 of them are training horses from other people. The 5 others are horses that we own or own with other people. Sometimes we have a few salehorses in the stable but at the moment we have none.
UNDRA: Which ones are your competition horses? Which tests do you compete on with them?
Klara: Unfortunately, I don’t have many competition horses ready, that’s the goal but it takes time to build one from scratch. I have a pace horse that I intend to use in pacetests and box races. He is fairly new to this but we have goals that we’ll keep to ourselves for now.
UNDRA: What are your plans for this competition season?
Klara: Mostly focusing on the pace and trying to better our times and scores from last season.
UNDRA: Thank you, Klara! Lastly, could you give us some insights in your goals and aims when working with horses? What is your overall philosophy and who is/are your idols/s?
Klara: I have been very lucky to work with many great riders and learn from them. Helga Una Björnsdóttir is a very big idol in my life and I’m lucky to be able to learn from her from time to time. My goals are maybe not big for now, since I have very young horses in my stable. I focus on them being without tension and eager to please. I ask them for a lot in their training and try to listen to the feedback they give me. I care about the horses and love to see when they are ready to show us their talents. You might say that I ask the horse to trust that I won’t ask it for something it can’t do. That way there is seldom a misunderstanding between us and the horse’s confident incresases.
Thank you dear Klara for your time and insights!
Images: Klara Sveinbjörnsdóttir
A land of fire and ice, with more sheep than inhabitants, characterized by a unique nature! This is just a brief description of such a diverse country. While a volcano may erupt on one side of the country, you can hike a glacier, admire the Northern Lights, or take a bath in a hot spring on the other side of the country - at the same time.
This not only speaks for diversity, but also for spontaneity, which is also reflected in the changeable weather in Iceland. A popular Icelandic saying is "If you do not like the current weather, just wait for five minutes".
In contrast to this inconsistency, one thing is constant and that is the enthusiasm for Icelandic horses! The Vikings brought horses to the island in the 9th century.
To find out more about Iceland, you can find travelogues, reports, or interesting facts here in the UNDRA Journal!
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