Wednesday, April 9, 2014

hump day haflinger series #14

Haflingers are a pretty rare sight where Stephanie Friedman lives in Florida. She started riding 40 years ago and discovered Haflingers when her neighbor bought one from northern US and shipped her down there. Stephanie always admired the pretty mare at her neighbor's house. One day, the neighbor put up a flyer that she was selling the Haflinger and Stephanie grabbed her ASAP!
Stephanie and Lily
Haflinger:  Lily of the Valley KCH, or Lily
Sire and Dam: Nevion Glyn Eryr RAH, and LaRasoa
Age:  12 year old mare
Height: 15 hh
Personality: Lily is fairly easy going and not mare-ish, but she can set stupid and run around and spin on occasion. It keeps Stephanie on her toes!
Quirks: When Stephanie first got Lily, she was constantly diving for grass when she was ridden. Lily also liked to push into other horses when they were in a group and would ignore the bit, leg, and seat aides. 
Likes: Eating! 
Favorite Food: Anything!
Discipline: Volunteer Mounted Police, trail, and was trained to drive but Stephanie doesn't know how. 
Emerging through the smoke
Mounted Police have to work closely together and in unison. Lily is trained in desensitizing and drill work. The added height gives the riders more visibility and also allows people to be able to see them from greater distances. Stephanie was invited to join the Mounted Police in 1996. She had another horse at that time, but eventually retired her and bought Lily. The riders have to pass riding tests and the horses have to show that they can be controlled when riding through and across obstacles. Of course horses can spook, but it is how they handle new and different things that make them eligible to be a Mounted Police horse. 
The Mounted Unit that Stephanie and Lily ride with does a lot of public relations for the local Sheriff's department and parades. They also do crowd control and are in training for Search and Rescue. 
One exercise is tying stirrups together. Stephanie didn't know this horse or rider. The skill is to keep the horses close together in all situaitons and moving at the same gait, which is important for crowd control. 
Stephanie continues to work with Lily to make her a better horse. When she first got Lily, she didn't know a single leg or seat cue! Stephanie would joke that Lily was out of steering wheel fluid as she tried to go where ever she wanted. Lily has even pushed herself through a crown of horses trying to go her own way with Stephanie on her back pulling and kicking!

Lily continues to be a bit heavy in her hands, but Stephanie is working on fine tuning her to leg cues, seat cues, and giving to the bit. Overall, Lily is a very gentle horse who Stephanie trusts around non horse people and kids. 

I think the Mounted Police is very cool work. It takes a calm rider and a calm horse to be able to handle all the people, traffic, noises, and other things that horses don't deal with on a daily basis, which is why desensitization work is important. When I am in Detroit for Tiger Games or other events, we have a Mounted Police Unit as well. . .no Haflingers are on it though. One day, while I was taking a lunch walk at work, I met Elmer, a large Quarter Horse and his police rider. It was very cool to talk to her and she let me give Elmer some peppermints (that I just happen to have in my pocket). 
More crowd control training.
I hope Stephanie and Lily continue to be safe in their endeavors as Volunteer Mounted Police!


  1. WOW, another pretty haffy and tall one, how fun!!! Thanks:)

  2. I love this series! The stuff they did is really interesting and incredibly practical.

  3. I do love always love the Wednesdays Hafflinger series.

  4. The mounted police work stuff sounds very interesting and fun with the right horse

  5. Figured you'd see a comment here easier. I bought my boots at farm house when I was in SC and I live in KY so I explained that I couldn't go to the retailer. Your tack shop should help you though. Ariat was pretty good about mine :)

  6. So I didn't even realize it until after the fact, but I'm pretty sure that was you talking to Emilie in the stall when I came and met her there!


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