Love of animals
Horses from A to Z
The Icelandic horse
Landnámsmenn fluttu með sér hesta til Íslands. Mjög líklega hafa þeir tekið með sér bestu og harðgerðustu hestana úr stofni sínum. Í margar aldir blandaðist íslenski hesturinn ekki öðrum hestum og hefur hann haldið hreinleik sínum eins og hann gerir enn.
Það sem einkennir íslenska hestinn er einkum fjölbreytni í gangi og litum, styrkur, hreysti og góð lund. Hann er óvenju sterkbyggður og þrautseigur, gerir ekki miklar kröfur til fóðurs og húsaskjóls en nær háum aldri og hefur einstaklingsbundin persónuleika. Hann er félagsvera og vill helst vera í húsi eða á beit með öðrum hestum. Þetta eru m.a. þættir sem hafa gert íslenska hestinn eftirsóknarverðan víða um heim.
Áður fyrr var hesturinn notaður til bústarfa og ferðalaga og kallaður þarfasti þjónninn. Í dag er hestamennska áhugamál fjölda fólks og margir njóta þess t.d. að ferðast um landið á hestum. Hestamenn þurfa að huga að mörgum þáttum, s.s. þjálfun, umhirðu og öðru því sem fylgir því að eiga hest. Margir hafa líka starfa við tamningar, hrossarækt og fleira er lítur að hestamennsku. Hestakeppnir hafa farið sífelt vaxandi í gegnum árin og eru orðin eitt að vinsælustu sviðum hestamennskunnar, mörg hundruð manns frá öllum löndum koma til Íslands og fara á Landsmót Hestamanna þar sem sterkustu gæðingar landsins keppast um efstu sætinn.
Margar bækur hafa verið skrifaðar um hesta og hestamennsku. Vísur og sögur hafa verið sagðar í gegnum aldirnar af bæði gæðingum og bikkjum. Í dag er að finna margskonar efni á Netinu um hesta og hestamennsku, eins og t.d. þennan vef.
My translation from Icelandic to English
When the settlers came to Iceland they took along with them horses. It’s very likely that they took their best and strongest horses. For many centuries they Icelandic horse didn’t breed with any other horses so it has kept its purity through the centuries, as it still does.
What characterizes the Icelandic horse is in particular its variety of gaits and colors, strength fitness and good temperament. It is exceptionally strong and muscular, and doesn’t demand much from its feed and shelter. It has a unique individual personality, and can reach high age. It is a social being and wants to be either in a stable, or outside with other horses. These, among others factors are what has made the Icelandic horse so popular around the world.
Previously, the Icelandic horse was used on farms as a work animal and for important trips around the country. There for it was called the most useful servant. Today many people are interested in horses, and many enjoy to go horseback riding in the country. Riders need to consider many factors, such as training, caring, and other things associated with owning a horse. Many have also worked in training horses, breeding them and other things related to horses. Horse competitions have grown bigger over the past few years and have become one of the most popular areas of owning a horse. Over hundreds of people from all over the world come to Iceland every two years to watch Landsmót Hestamanna where our strongest horses compete against each other.
Many books have been written about horses and horsemanship. Poems and stories have been told for centuries, either about good or bad horses. You will also find a wide range of content on the internet about horses and horsemanship, such as this site.
I chose this text because it is generally about my interest and I thought it would be challenging enough for me to translate. I read the text and tried to translate each paragraph because the order of words change from Icelandic to English so it’s not possible to translate text word by word, I think you have to do it more sentence by sentence or even like I did in this case, paragraph by paragraph. I also had Snara open to help me translate words.
Training a young horse
My translation from English to Icelandic
Þessi fyrirlestur er gerður fyrir ræktendur, þjálfara og knapa. Hann veitir leiðbeiningar um hvernig á að undirbúa ungan hest til reiðar og hvernig á að vinna þá fyrstu mánuðina undin hnakknum.
Markmiðið með allri þjálfun er að hafa hestinn hamingjusaman, heilbrigðan og tilbúin til þess að bera knapan í góðu jafnvægi, hlýðinn og samvinnuþýðann. Með góðri fræðslu og metnaðarfullri menntun knapans, er hægt að viðhalda og bæta þjálfun á náttúrulegum hæfileikum hestsins.
Einungis reyndur, næmur knapi getur kennt hesti rétt. Helst ætti þjálfunin að vera í umsjón kennara sem getur fylgst með bæði knapanum og hestinum.
Rétt byrjun á þjálfun ungs hests er mikið flóknari en flestir telja. Hver hestur er mismunandi, með misjafnan persónuleika og skapgerð. Þetta er ferli stöðugra líkamlegra og andlegra breytinga hjá hrossinu þar sem það bæði vex og þroskast.
Einungis reyndir knapar og þjálfarar geta metið hvort þessar margþættu breytingar þróast rétt, og þar með komist hjá óhóflegu álagi eða skemmdum á trippinu.
Það er mjög auðvelt að gera alvarleg mistök við undirbúning og þjálfun hestsins. Burt séð frá því hvernig hesturinn er, þá eru sum þessara mistaka mjög erfitt og tímafrekt að laga.
Það geta verið margar ástæður fyrir þessum mistökum en hægt er að komast hjá þeim. Við erum t.d. að tala um tap á sjálfstrausti hestsins.
Þjálfarar verða að vera meðvitaðir um getuleysi hestsins og meiga ekki verða, kærulausir né gera of miklar væntingar til hestisins með það í huga að hagnast af hestinum.
Þetta framlag er gert til þess að reyna að takast á þjálfun ungra hesta með skilningi, umhyggju og áhuga að leiðarljósi og sýna faglmennsku, þolinmæði og mannasiði. Skref fyrir skref
Næmni og þekking um eðli og hegðun hestsins ætti að vera megináhersla knapa og þjálfara.
The original text
This lecture is meant for breeders, trainers and riders. It provides guidance on how to prepare young horses for riding and how to work them during the first months under saddle.
The aim of all schooling is to produce a horse that is happy, healthy, willing and able to carry the rider in balance, obediently and willingly. By familiarization, careful education and gymnastics the natural abilities of the horse are maintained and improved.
Only the experienced, sensitive rider can school a horse correctly. Ideally the schooling should be overseen by a teacher observing the rider and the horse.
Proper starting and schooling of a young horse is a lot more complex than generally assumed. Each horse is different, with differing character and temperament - and it is a phase of constant bodily change both of growth and development.
Only experienced riders and trainers can judge the various stages of development correctly, therefore avoiding excessive strain or damage to the young horse.
It is very easy to make serious mistakes during the preparation and education, regardless of the discipline, and some of them are very difficult and time-consuming to repair.
These mistakes are caused by numerous reasons but they are avoidable. What we are talking about is for example the loss of confidence.
Trainers must be aware of inability, carelessness, too high expectations or the desire for early profit.
This contribution is trying to handle the schooling of young horses with understanding, care and interest in an honest, professional and patient manner. Step by step.
Power of observation, sensitivity and knowledge about the nature and behavior of the horse should be paramount for rider and trainer.
The reason why I chose this text was because I found it interesting and really challenging. I used the same method as I used while I was translating the text from English to Icelandic.
Interview with Guðmann Unnsteinsson, horse trainer
The reason why I chose to interview Guðmann Unnsteinsson was because I worked with him for almost three years and I think he knows what he is saying. He is always trying new methods, and trying to find something that suits each horse best, because as he says all horses are unique, we can’t put them into small boxes and expect them to learn the same way. We have to be creative and find the best way for each horse to learn.
Questions referring to horses
Where did you learn?
What are the pros and cons of the job?
What does one have to do in order to have success in this field?
What do you think needs the most change in this field?
If you were allowed to decide, if 4-gaited horses and 5-gaited horses were judged according to the same scale or not, which one would you choose?
What does it cost to run a horse training center?
Is it beneficial?
What do you like the most about this job?
When did you begin working with horses?
What made you chose this job field?
Could you imagine working on something else today?
Summary of the interview
Guðmann Unnsteinsson has been interested in horses since he remembers. He was raised up on a horse farm and has been riding horses from the age of 10. When he began to train horses he was uneducated and what he knew was all self-learned. Since he didn't finish college he wasn't able to go to university so he only took a two year course in horses similar to hestabrautinn in FSu. He considers a great opportunity to work with something that he has a passion for and has fun doing. You need to be much disciplined to be able to work alone because some people become lazy and don’t work as well as they would do, if someone was telling them what to do. It’s very important to do your job well in order to succeed, like in every job. The main drawback is that in this job we are working with animals that have their own minds so sometimes the work brings many risk factors, you never know what the horse decides to do. There are so many things that need to change in this field, he hardly knows where to start but he thinks they need to provide better education for the general rider. Personally he thinks that we should only breed 5 - gaited horses so they should all be judged by the same scale. It’s very expensive to run a horse training centre, and therefore it’s not very favourable, unless you have a lot to do and many horses to train. The best thing about working with horses is when you achieve and reach your goals, whether it is in competitions or breeding shows. He couldn't imagine doing anything else but to train horses.
TED summaries from few fun lectures
Summary from Frans de Waal lecture; Moral behavior in animals
The main idea of this lecture is experiments with chimpanzees and elephants. First he talks about an experiment where they have to cooperate to be able to get the food. The chimpanzees are given a box with food on the other side of their cage, that is too heavy for only one of them to pull in so they have to work together to be able to get the food. The chimpanzees pass this test easily. Then one of them is feed so he’s not hungry anymore and isn’t as interested in getting the food, but the other one is still hungry and wants to get the food but he needs help from the other. He simply asks the other chimpanzee to help, and they pull the box in together. What I found interesting here is that the one who was full lets the one that was hungry eat all the food on the box.
The elephants also have to pull in a box with food, but they have to pull the rope the same time, otherwise the rope will just fall out and they won’t get the food. They pass that test also easily. Then one of the elephant is let in first so he has to wait for the other. He just wait’s calmly and then when the other comes they pull the box in together and eat the food.
Other experiment he talks about is about empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In this experiment they show a chimpanzee a video of another chimpanzee yawning, to see if the one watching imitates the action. Which he does.
He also did an experiment about prosocial, the care of wellbeing of others. The chimpanzee have to choose a color of a stick and give them to the man making the experiments, if they choose red both him and the chimpanzee next to him get food, but if he chooses green, he will only get food. In most cases the chimpanzee chose red, which made both him and the other chimpanzee get food.
Then at last he talked about an experiment related to fairness. There were two monkeys in two different cages. In order to get a treat they had to hand the one making the experiment a rock. They gave one of the chimpanzee cucumber and the other one grape. Chimpanzees like grape more so when the one getting the cucumber notice that the other one was getting grapes he didn’t eat the cucumber he tossed the cucumber back and shook the cage to protest. I found all of these experiments informative and really fun to see how animals behave in these kind of situations. The main conclusion here was that chimpanzees behaved very similar to humans in many conditions.
Summary from Peter Tyack lecture; the intriguing sound of marine mammals
Peter Tyack studies the social behavior and acoustic communications in whales and dolphins. In this lecture he talks about how sounds we put into the ocean for example ships, affects whales and dolphins communication system. People are known to copy sounds, but it’s not common in other animals. If you would blister to your dog, you would be rather surprised if he would blister back to you with the same sound. Whales and dolphins have this ability.
It’s often known when male dolphins leave their mother at young age they often form a unique friendship with another male dolphin. When they have been together for a long time, their whistle get really similar to each other, they start copying each other. Then we have blue whales, they are able to communicate through very large distance because they use lower frequency sounds that can travel further than high frequency sounds.
Humpbacks mating song is the same for all humpbacks. It’s another example that whales are able to copy sounds. They made experiments where they record their mating sounds on the east coast for over 50 years. At first they only heard one song, but as the years passed by they started to hear one, and one whale singing a different song. Then this song got more popular and in the end, they stopped hearing the old song. When they looked into it, the new songs came with whales from the west coast.
The only communication system whales have are sounds. Ships also make sounds, rather low frequency sounds. When a mother and a child get separated from each other and a ship passes by with the same frequency sound as the mother uses to call her baby what is she supposed to do? She has three options.
1. Wait until there is silence again
2. Try to call louder
3. Shifting put of the noise band
All these options have their consequences.
The ships also outweigh whale sounds, so they can’t call as far as usually when there is no other sound. So if the ship is around long enough and the mother and baby drift far apart they won’t be able to find each other again. This can have serious consequences for the whale population.
There are many things we can do to reduce the sounds, only by designing the ships with this in mind we can reduce the sounds by 90%. Whales and dolphins live in amazing world and communicate in unique way. We use their homes to fish and transfer things, let’s try to make as little disturbance as we possibly can.
Summary from Isabel Behncke Izquierdo lecture; Evolution’s gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans
In this lecture Isabel talks about bonobo apes, our closest relatives along with chimpanzees. They are really similar to humans, but they are not as cruel. Only thing they like to do is to play, care for each other and have sex. We humans always fight, never agree and as we grow older we stop playing, caring and loving. Of course bonobos sometimes fight over girls, because they get jealous at each other, like humans. Isabel talks about that if humans where more like bonobos almost all our problems would be solved. When it seems least appropriate to play, bonobos play, when it seems least appropriate to have sex, bonobos have sex. As she says, the secret to world peace lies in the behavior of bonobos. Let’s play, love and be friends and soon we will have world peace. http://www.ted.com/speakers/isabel_behncke_izquierdo
The reason why I chose these videos to talk about are because I’m interested in animals and when I searched for animals on TED these where the first three videos that came up. I thought the first two videos where really fun to watch and talk about, they also caught my interest. The last video wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, but it was still interesting.
Search lectures on TED to make a summary’s from. Found few that I thought where interesting and started listening to the first two and finished my summary about them.
Finished my summary about the last lecture from TED. Found a text about horses to translate and teacher approved to it. Sent an email to Guðmann Unnsteinsson with my questions.
Translated the text that I found. Waited for an answer form Guðmann but he didn’t answer me that day.
Got an answer from Guðmann and did my summary on the interview.
Made the webpage on smore.com and did some final touch up on my webpage.