We have around 35 Icelandics here at Tresais Farm at any one time, ranging from young foals to retirees in their early 30s. Generally, we keep three herds - the riding horses, male horses (including entires) and female horses, though this is quite fluid and the whole lot (apart from stallions!) sometimes mix in together. The stallions are always kept with company though - either mares they are covering, geldings or each other in the winter.
In the summer, the majority of the horses, except those we are riding, go out onto Waun Tresais, Waun Sebon, Waun Caerfarchell or Waun Llandruidion, large areas of rough moorland adjoining the farm. Here, they learn about rough ground, bogs, lakes, hills, woods etc from their surroundings, as well as seeing riders and walkers on the nearby bridleways, and on Waun Caerfarchell passing traffic on the lanes. It´s a great education for them, and when the time comes for them to start their training, they are usually little fazed by anything.
The farm itself is mostly level to gently sloping grassland, with fields of around 5 - 8 acres, surrounded by hedgebanks for shelter. The soil here is formed from glacial deposits, so it's very mixed with many large stones, but the grass is good. Approximately 12 acres of Tresais Farm are designated nature reserve with a small lake, which attracts some wonderful wildlife, particularly birds, including red kites, mute swans and a huge variety of ducks and geese.
We also graze about 150 acres of rough moorland and wetland belonging to the National Trust and the National Park. We have some good riding on bridleways and beaches locally, and the Preseli Mountains a short box journey away.
Our horses are mostly imports from Iceland, or horses we have bred ourselves. Our main breeding mares come from the Icelandic farms Gíli, Sólheimum, Svinholum, Eyvindarmúla, and Eyvindarstöđum. They are mostly of Svađastađir and Kolkuós bloodlines. Mic prefers the "old fashioned" type of Icelandic - rather heavily built, though with a good neck, strong legs, good back and sound minds. We use the best stallions we can find, and have some interesting home-bred foals coming on.