The Icelandic horse, or Icelandic pony, is known for its smooth riding qualities.Explore Iceland with its glaciers, volcanos, waterfalls, hot springs and geysers.A great riding holiday.

Frequently Asked, and Answered, Questions about Icelandic horse trekkingIcelandic horse trekking

Cabin at Fjell

Bjarney Bjarney

Riding in Iceland - Eldhestar Hotel

Uniqueness of the Icelandic horse culture
Types of tours
Weather in Iceland
Accomodations: A bit of comfort
Accomodations: Traditional
Age limits for riding tours
Size/weight limits for these horses
Activities for non-rider companions

A Unique equine culture
Horses have been a very big element in Iceland's history. And a dependable riding horse was essential in a nation which had no need, until recently in its long history, for a network of roads and highways. The smooth riding gaits of the Icelandic horse were always important. Wagons and carts were used only around the farm. Even the nation's governing and its courts depended on people riding their horses to the national meetings held at Thingvellir. And riding several hundred miles sure was easier on reliable and smooth riding mounts!

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Touring - Its history
Touring wasn't invented for the tourist trade. For hundreds of years farmers would get together and go riding from farm to farm to shepherds' hut in the summer. It was recreation with a purpose. At summer's end the farmers would have to round up, first their sheep, and after that the young horses and mares, from the highlands. These animals had spent the long, long summer days feeding on the grass in the highlands. The farmer's summer rides would have toughened up their riding horses for the work of the fall. In past history all horses had their shoes pulled after the fall horse roundup, and got the winter off.
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Tours - Your choices
Of course, the big deal in touring in Iceland is that on the longer rides you ride along with a herd of loose horses. These horses serve as your remounts allowing you to ride perhaps 3 horses in a long day. This added dimension is pretty much unique in the modern world.

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Weather
Like most islands in the North Atlantic Ocean Iceland's weather changes a bit. Some days it varies from hour to hour. We have ridden for almost two weeks without seeing a drop of rain - but that was rare. The Gulf Stream brings some moisture but it also makes Reykjavik winter temperatures about the same as those in Wasington DC. Serious riding tours take place in summer or late spring when the weather is usually better, partly because of the need for green grass for grazing. Summer temperatures are typically in the 50s and 60s. Autumn clothing works best for us.
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Accomodations: With a bit of comfort
Comfortable rooms and hotel meals are not the norm on most riding tours , but we have them. Some of our tours use farm guesthouses. A few use a real nice countryside hotel. You ride out and back from and to real comfort. As a bonus some of these tours offer time flexibility and choices that deep wilderness riding can't have available.
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Accomodations: Traditional, with sleeping bags.
Traditional touring goes into the wilder parts of Iceland and the shepherd cabins, or sometimes hikers' overnight facilities, may be used. Some of it is like "indoor camping" as they say. Usually it's sleeping bags with the provision of pretty good mattresses. Some of ou outfitters provide sleeping bags for some rides you'll bring your own. None of our tours use tent camping. Even the most remote huts will be warm and provide very comfortable matresses for sleeping bag use.
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Age limits
The biggest limit our guides describe for young people riding the long days that are part of some of our longer is that kids sometimes get bored. This can be an unsafe aspect for younger riders who might not pay the attention needed.
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Size/weight limits
These small horses have been used by adults for centuries. See Bjarney's photo on the left.
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Activities for non-rider companions.
Not a problem we can set up a number of things to do. Or in most cases a solo traveler can have the hotel or guesthouse they stay at suggest and book activities on short notice as the mood strikes.
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The Icelandic horse, or Icelandic pony, is known for its smooth riding qualities.Explore Iceland with its glaciers, volcanos, waterfalls, hot springs and geysers.A great riding holiday. P.O.Box 475 - Millerton - NY 12546
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