Horse adventure in Iceland

Horse adventure in Iceland

Horse adventure in Iceland

Horse adventure in Iceland

Some people, including me, would say you haven’t really been to Iceland if you haven’t ridden an Icelandic horse while you are visiting. I tend to tell people this for multiple reasons.

Unique horsebackriding

The Icelandic horse has adapted to the harsh weather conditions and diverse
landscapes, including climbing mountain ridges. They are  crossing rivers and running over volcanic fields. All that have led them to be one of the strongest breeds of horses in the world. Besides their incredible physique, the Icelandic horse tend to form a strong bond and develop a trustworthy connection with its rider. Therefore, experiencing Iceland from the back of a horse is the most incredible way to enjoy the Icelandic scenery as well as being able to
travel through parts of Iceland you would not be able to see from inside a vehicle.

You haven’t really been to Iceland if you haven’t ridden an Icelandic horse.

When riding through Iceland on the back of a horse not only do you get a close relationship to this magnificent animal. You will also get closer to the outstanding nature that Iceland has to offer. When you see the joy in the eyes of the free running heard, feeling the movement of the horse under you. The fresh wind on your face and the smell of nature, that’s when you truly have experienced Iceland.

Andrea Líf Thorarinsdóttir

Riding tours in Iceland

Riding tours in Iceland

Riding tours in Iceland

Riding tours in Iceland

Riding tours in Iceland are designed to follow the ancient riding trails. Those riding trials have served people to travel across the country ever since the first settlement of Iceland. Joining a horseback riding tour is joining a real Icelandic tradition.

When you join a horseback riding tour on Icelandic horses you will come across perfect riding tracks that allow you to enjoy your horse in all gaits he can do. It is the biggest pleasure for the rider to have a chance sit an excited riding horse in beautiful nature o n the best possible movements he can do.

Why Icelandic horse?

Icelandic horses are known to be very easy to ride. The truth is that they are gentle and sweet nature and have very smooth gaits and are not so tell. You should remember thought that it is very much depending of the horse spirit and temperament how fast, will, easy or no he is. That all makes the Icelandic horses very special as they fit all kind of riders. Horses in Iceland fit both beginner riders and small kids but also can be a big challenge for and expert.

Horseback riding different

Horses in Iceland have the extra gaits, tölt and flying pace that is what makes them very unique and different in riding from a “regular” riding horse. Once you get to know Icelandic horses and theirs gaits you will experience a new world. The is also a lot of freedom in riding in Iceland. Here we think of riding for short rides and being able to go on a trial ride without big preparations. On a long riding tours you will feel a lots of freedom from riding in open nature and with a free herd for running horses with us.

Riding opportunities in Iceland

We sometimes say that in Iceland we have more riding roads then actual roads. That funny fact gives the opportunity to horseback ride all over Iceland. In highlands all over the island are located small cabins originally build for sheep gathering. Those cabins are riding patches are often used for our riding trials and tours we plan.

Ride in Iceland

Riding tours in Iceland become for many to be a tradition. Many riders from all over the world come back to Iceland every year to join another tour. Every year we try to come up with some new tour for guests to be able to come back and ride with us in another beautiful part of Iceland.

Once you start it is hard to stop.

Horseback riding in a wedding dress

Horseback riding in a wedding dress

Horseback riding in a wedding dress

Horseback riding in a wedding dress.

Horseback riding for new married couple. We love those all rainy Icelandic days! Beautiful things happens at our farm. Congratulations lovely couple! Make your dreams become a true in Iceland. Icelandic horses are amazing to adjust a new things. Look at our Fífa and Brúsi who took this lovely couple for amazing horseback ride with a photoshoot. They just got married and decided that those will be the best pictures the can have from that day – on an Icelandic horse. What is the funniest about it was that they never rode a horse before!

It was a rainy day but that just gave the pictures amazing mystical look. When they showed us that beautiful and huge dress we where as surprised and our horses. We give them a time to be around the dress, smelled, touch and simply see that it is alright. There was not a moment when we where worried and we knew that the horses we choose for this amazing ride will fit perfectly. We went for a slow ride to start with by Þjórsá river where the photographs where taken. It went smoothly and it was so much fun for everyone. After the photoshoot we went back to the farm and took some tölt on the way. Our amazing horses didn’t mind the dress.

After the ride the couple, photographer, theirs friends and us enjoyed some ‘Hjónabændsæla’ Happy marriage cake we make and some hot drinks. It was a perfect day!

Icelandic horses are stunning and look amazing on photographs. They also trust the riders and allows to try new ideas. We think those are amazing bridal pictures with horses and wishe the new married couple all the best for the future.

Maybe that is one of your weeding ideas for photos to?

 

 

Icelandic Horses breed

Icelandic Horses breed

Icelandic Horses breed

Icleandic horses breed

Icelandic horse breed are horses developed in Iceland. The horses are small, at times pony-sized but most registries for the Icelandic refer to it as a horse. They are long-lived and strong. In their native country they have only few diseases. The Icelandic displays two unique gaits tölt and pace. It is the only breed of horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally.

History

Developed from ponies taken to Iceland by Scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries. The first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. Horses are also mention in Norse mythology. Selected breeding and natural selection is the reason of how Icelandic horse are today. Today the breed is represented by organizations in 19 different nations. It is organized under a parent association, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations.

Size and shape

Theirs weigh between 330 and 380 kilograms and stand an average of 132 and 142 cm high. There is several teoriesab about why Icelandic’s are always called horses. The breed is known for big temperament and large personality.

Another theory suggests that the breed’s weight, bone structure and weight-carrying abilities mean it can be classified as a horse, rather than a pony. The breed comes in many coat colors, including chestnut, dun, bay, black, gray, palomino, pinto and roan. There are over 100 names for various colors and color patterns in the Icelandic language. We also have many rooles about how we can name our horses.

Long live

Our horses are trained when they are 4 and for many the training continues up to 7 years old. Their most productive years are between eight and eighteen, although they keep their strength and stamina into their twenties. An Icelandic mare that lived in Denmark is a record age of 56.

The horses are highly fertile, and both sexes are fit for breeding up to age 25. Some mares can give birth until 27. The horses dont´t spook easily. It is the result of not having any natural predators. Icelandic are friendly and easy to handle, although also enthusiastic and self-assured. As a result of their isolation from other horses, disease in the breed within Iceland is mostly unknown.

Isolation

The low prevalence of disease in Iceland is maintained by laws preventing horses exported from the country being returned. By requiring that all equine equipment taken into the country be either new and unused or fully disinfected. Native horses have no acquired immunity to disease. Outbreak on the island would be likely to be devastating to the breed. This presents problems with showing native Icelandic horses against others of the breed from outside the country. Any other horse breeds can be imported to Iceland and once horses leave the country they are not allowed to return.

Gaits

The Icelandic is a “five-gaited” breed, known for its sure-foot and ability to cross rough terrain. They can walk, trot, and canter/gallop, the breed is noted for its ability to perform two additional gaits. Icelandic horse can also move in super smooth tölt and very fast flying pace.

The first additional gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait known as the tölt. This is known for its explosive acceleration and speed; it is also comfortable and ground-covering. There is considerable variation in style within the gait. The tölt is variously compared to similar lateral gaits such as the rack of the Saddlebred, the largo of the Paso Fino, the running walk of Tennessee Walking Horse.

Gaits training

Differs from the walk in that it can be performed at a range of speeds, from the speed of a typical fast walk up to the speed of a normal canter. Some Icelandic horses prefer to tölt, while others prefer to trot. Correct training can improve weak gaits, but the tölt is a natural gait present from birth. There are two varieties of the tölt that are considered incorrect by breeders. The first is an uneven gait called a “Pig’s Pace” or “Piggy-pace” that is closer to a two-beat pace than a four-beat amble. The second is called a Valhopp and is a tölt and canter combination most often seen in untrained young horses or horses that mix their gaits. Both varieties are normally uncomfortable to ride.

The icelandic horses breed also performs a pace called a skeið, flugskeið or “flying pace”. It is used in pacing races, and is fast and smooth, with some horses able to reach up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). Not all Icelandic horses can perform this gait. The flying pace is a two-beat lateral gait with a moment of suspension between footfalls. Each side has both feet land almost simultaneously (left hind and left front, suspension, right hind and right front).

It is meant to be performed by well-trained and balanced horses with skilled riders. It is not a gait used for long-distance travel. A slow pace is uncomfortable for the rider and is not encouraged when training the horse to perform the gait. Although most pacing horses are raced in harness using sulkies, in Iceland horses are raced while ridden.

Icelandic horses photography

Icelandic horses photography

Icelandic horses photography

Icelandic horses photography

Icelandic horses photography. We love to take pictures of our horses and belive us or not they are a great models. The nature and landscape helps with getting best shoots of the horses and also people horseback riding. Imagine you on an this stunny animal riding on lave fields or deserts. Imagine you with a free running herd and mountains in the background. On our tours we often take pictures of the adventure and out guests riding. It maybe tricky to take good shoots of yourself on a horse but we are always willing to help while you can enjoy the moment. Pictures of riding tour will keep you remember that amazing Icelandic adventure for life.

Here you can see our those amazing photographs made by Alicia Swedenborg.
We where very lucky to have with us this great photographer on one of the tours last year. Check on those fantastic pictures she took of our horses on her tour with us in Iceland. Huge heart person with a passion and she was always smiling! – Alicia  – person who inspire! www.aliciaswedenborg.com

Icelandic horses photography

Icelandic horses photography. We love to take pictures of our horses. Our horses can easily be called a great models. The nature and landscape helps with getting best shoots of the horses and people horseback riding.  On our tours we often take pictures of the adventure and out guests riding. Pictures of riding tour will keep you remember that amazing Icelandic adventure.

Here you can see our Icelandic horses photography by Alicia Swedenborg.
We where very lucky to have with us this great photographer on one of the tours last year. Check on those fantastic pictures she took of our horses and on her tour to Iceland. Huge heart person with a passion and she was always smiling! – Alicia  – person who inspire! www.aliciaswedenborg.com