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Icelandic Horses - Horse Diaries Book Elska

In this 5 week class, learners will learn about the Icelandic Horse breed while reading the story of Elska.
Tracey Hillquist
103 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 6 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$7 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 5 weeks
45 minutes per class

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Class Experience

Students will gain knowledge of the Icelandic Horse breed while reading along with this fun and unique story. Learners will come together and discuss the story as well as factual information about the horse breed and much more. History, geography as well as horse information will all be included in this class. 
Class 1: Learners will have read chapters 1 and 2. We find out where and when Elska's life began as a foal. She was born in the year 1000 AD in Iceland. We learn about her early days and hear the story told from her perspective. We learn about where she was born during the spring of the year and how she was rounded up and brought to her owners farmyard. We learn about the geography of Iceland and fun facts about the country as well. Learners will also find out which language they speak in Iceland. 
Class 2: Learners will have read chapters 3 and 4. When we meet we will discuss Elska's young years (age 3 and 4) and how she grew up with a little girl who loved her. She learned about the human family dynamic as well as how community plays a part in the life in Iceland. As Elska is "gifted" to another owner we find out about her life with them. We learn about how the Icelandic horse has special gaits and can Tolt. This fun 5 gaited horse is very unique and learners will find out how they move and will get to see video and photos from the teachers personal acquaintance and long time equestrian. 
Class 3: Learners will have read chapters 5 and 6. When we meet in class we will discuss how Elska missed her special human girl and found ways to see her. We learn about the pride and connections the humans have with one another and why Elska may not be able to see her human girl. We discover how the Icelandic horses are trained. We will learn if this is different than another horse breed, or if it is the same.   
Class 4: Learners will have read chatpers 7 and 8. When we meet in class we will discuss what the Rettir time of year is and what this means in Iceland. We talk about why this time was so important to the horses and to the humans. We discuss community and have time to discuss what our own community is like where learners live and how friends and neighbors might be important in society.  During chapter 8 discussion we also learn about an accident with Elska's favorite human and perhaps Elska saves the day.
Class 5: Learners will read chapter 9 and 10 and will be ready to discuss during this class time. We learn about what happens to Elska and where she spends the rest of her days. We also discuss fun facts about the Icelandic Horse. If there is time we will plan to play a game as a celebration for the last class. 
This teacher is a professional equestrian and life long horse owner. I have over 4 decades of expertise in the horse industry and have taught many in person as well as online horse courses. My passion for horses overflows when teaching and I love to have fun with learners. We own and operate a small farm in Minnesota that we call Apple Top Acres. Horses are our focus and passion. We have owned many different breeds and have trained and loved them all. 
As for the Icelandic Horse portion of this class, I have done extensive research on this particular breed as well as interviewed and brought on board a personal friend who shared her Icelandic horses and her expertise with me. I hope you enjoy and have as much fun with this class as I have creating it.
Each class time, we will discuss the assigned chapters of the story. We will discover the facts hidden within the fictional story of Elksa and learn and discuss horses in general. Learners can share their own horse experiences as well as have fun social discussions about horses.  Learners should come to class ready to discuss the book and characters. We will also discuss similarities between the Icelandic horse and other breeds. 
Learners will need to purchase an online or hard copy of the book Horse Diaries, Elska by Catherine Hapka for this class.
Learners will have read any assigned chapters in our book and be ready and willing to discuss with the group. There is no formal grade for this course however if the parent would like, a informal assessment can be sent. There is a short summary sent to the parent regarding progress, participation and overall knowledge from the readings. 
45 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
We will be using the Horse Diaries book Elska by Catherine Hapka and Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson for our class. Please make sure your learner has either a hard copy of the book or an electronic version for the class. The cost of the paperback version is approximately $8 (US dollars)


Tracey Hillquist
Lives in the United States
Instructor of All Things Horses
103 total reviews
78 completed classes

About Me

About Me

Are you looking for an enthusiastic, fun, and driven instructor?  
I have over 40 years experience working with horses, riding, showing as well as giving lessons to children. I specialize in general riding as well as gymkhana events. I... 
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