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Sweden Horse Riding Tour

A tour where you get to experience the mountains on horseback. On this tour, you stay overnight in houses and are served local specialties.

Key Information

  • Rider weight limit: 198 pounds / 90 kilograms
  • Horse height range: 12.8 to 14.8 hands
  • Horse breed: Icelandic horse
  • Tack: English

Highlights

  • 3 days of horse riding
  • Ride through the valley and mountains
  • Services of a guide
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • Free use of a helmet

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Swedish
Group size: 2-10 participants
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Accommodation

The farm is located 25 kilometers west of Kiruna in the direction of Nikkaluokta, with a fantastic view of the mountains and Kalix River. In wintertime, they have the northern lights and during summer, the midnight sun. If you want to live close to nature, have animals like moose outside your window, and experience the silence, this is the place for you. There are two houses for rent at the horse farm, one with three bedrooms, a common kitchen, and two bathrooms (up to six people).

You can buy your own food in Kiruna and the kitchen is fully equipped. They also have another house to rent at the farm for up to four people with one shared bathroom. They also have a sauna at the river bank. You can, on your own, take a walk in the forest and on the river, go skiing, try the “kick” or walk-in snowshoes. It is also possible to order meals if you do not want to cook by yourself. You can rent winter clothes if needed.

Program

You ride day tours both in the mountains and in the valley with a spectacular view of the Kebnekaise mountains. You ride both on trails, wider tracks, and on unpaved terrain, so they can vary the pace of the riding. On the first day, Ofelas Islandshästar picks you up in Kiruna and drives you to the farm in Puoltsa, beautifully situated on the banks of the Kalix River. You start with lunch and then go for a ride in the afternoon. You stop during the tour for a coffee break. The day ends with dinner, nice company, and a night in double rooms in one of the houses on the farm.

On the second day, you ride a whole day tour up in the mountains and enjoy fantastic views. During the tour, you stop for lunch, which is cooked over an open fire. A three-course dinner awaits when you get back to the farm and a wood-fired sauna is offered, which is appreciated after a day out. The following day, you also ride a whole-day tour and have dinner together and there is an opportunity to use the sauna on this day as well. During these days, you ride both in Nikkaluokta and in Puoltsa. You get to Nikkaluokta by car. The tour ends on the fourth day with breakfast and transfers back to Kiruna.

On some dates, you also have this tour in Ratekjokk (south of the Kalix River). You get there by car and boat. In Ratekjokk, there is electricity, a wood-fired sauna, and an outdoor toilet. Accommodation in multi-bed rooms. They have some scheduled departures during the summer, but if these dates do not suit you, you can book other dates by agreement. The order of the activities can be different from the program. The Icelandic horse is indeed a strong horse, but not so big, therefore the maximum weight for riders is 90 kilograms. The age limit is 12 years.

Riding experience

Riding experience is required, you can ride in faster gaits than walk. Multiple years of riding experience is required, you can control a horse in open terrain and have good physical health.

The Icelandic horse

Characteristics of the breed are individuals who are brave, strong, persistent, intelligent, curious, and calm. Today, the use of horses varies widely in everything from tour riding in light or difficult terrain, to taking part in gait competitions or more speedy events. Several individuals can develop a good jumping technique and can be educated in classical dressage. But the most common is to have the horse as a family member and a riding horse for the whole family. Most Icelandic horses can adapt to the rider and therefore the youngest person in a family can have equally fun with one horse as an adult.

You often hear that a horse with lots of will and strong character can be complicated for the most experienced rider but still calm and obedient with a child on its back. What makes the Icelandic horse extra interesting is the four or five gaits. Apart from the walk, trot, and canter, most individuals have tölt and some pace. You separate the horses into four-gaited or five-gaited horses and consider if they have the pace or not. The gait tölt is the Icelandic horse’s specialty. It is a soft and smooth gait which most riders prefer.

It is possible to ride the tölt at different speeds, from slowly collected tölt to a speed where they can keep up with canter. A good tölt horse has an even beat, is smooth with high front leg movement, and can carry itself with proud radiance. The individuals who have the pace and are five-gaited have “the fifth gear”, a two-beaten gait with a flying moment where the same side front and hind legs move simultaneously. Flying pace is very fast and speed-pass is used as a race on shorter stretches of 100 to 250 meters. You can also compete at a slow pace.

Since the breed has its origin in Iceland, it has had to adapt to living outdoors in a cold climate, and with the limitation of feeding much of the year, it is somewhat more resistant to weather than other breeds. Even the thick coat helps to isolate the body from chilly winds and rain. In Sweden, the Icelandic horses live both outdoors all the time and in stables, the way that suits every individual and its owner. The official breeding goal for Icelandic horses is to breed a healthy, fertile, and durable riding horse, who is sturdy but still elegant.

A multi-purpose horse with five gaits. The size of the Icelandic horse can vary. A wrong belief is that the horses are much smaller than they actually are. The average size of the horses that are shown is around 140 centimeters and a height between 130 to 150 centimeters is most common. The colors of the breed are the most varied in the world with 40 colors and up to 100 varieties. The most common colors are chestnut and black and the rarest color is true roan.

Location

The farm is located in the northernmost part of Sweden, in the village Puoltsa which is 25 kilometers west of Kiruna, next to the Kalix river. If you continue west, you will find Nikkaluokta and the highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise. You can travel to Kiruna by train, plane, or car. To get to Puoltsa and Nikkaluokta, you can go by car or bus (usually two trips per day during the season). If you need a transfer from Kiruna, they can organize that for the cost of 400 SEK per person.

Puoltsa

The farm is located in a small village called Puoltsa (Buolža in Sami). It is between Kiruna and Nikkaluokta, next to the riverbank of Kalix River. Here, they have had the business since 1997.

Ratekjokk

Ratekjokk is a small Sami village located on the southside of Kalix River, a bit below the tree line. You will stay overnight here on your riding and snowmobile tours. Both Matti and Kerstin have their roots in Ratekjokk so this place is really “home”. They have a few houses there, a sauna right by a small river, and the horses have lots of pasture there in the summertime. Matti’s family has lived and worked here in the roadless land, with water from the river but with luxury like electricity. They cross Kalix River to get there, by boat, snowmobile, skies, or on horseback over the mountains.

Nikkaluokta

70 kilometers west of Kiruna, the car road ends in the village Nikkaluokta and it is replaced by high mountains. This is where most hikers start their hike toward the Kebnekaise Peak, the highest mountain in Sweden. Today, Nikkaluokta is a well-visited destination but thousands of years before the entry of the tourists, Sami people have been living in the mountain area around.

Nikkaluokta was situated along the moving track for the reindeer and it was a good place to stop for the reindeer herders. The first permanent settlement (teepees made of peat) was set up at the beginning of 1900. Ofelaš started with riding tours in Nikkaluokta in 1997. Today, they ride day tours in beautiful Láddjovággi during summer and autumn.

Sami communities

A Sami community (village) is not what they normally would call a village, but an economic and administrative community that cares for the reindeer in the area of the Sami village. There are about 50 Sami communities in Sweden and the reindeer herding area covers around half of the area of Sweden. Just a small part of the Sami population are members of a Sami community. A lot of the Sami culture is carried by the reindeer and that is why it is so important.

Leaváš and Girjas are Sami communities in the mountain area. Here, the reindeer normally are in the west, close to the Norwegian border, in the summer, and in the lower mountains during autumn and spring. In wintertime, they are more east in the forest land. The area where they have the company is both in the Leaváš and Girjas Sami communities.

Food

All meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day are included in the price. Reindeer and moose meat is an important ingredient in Sami cuisine, usually smoked to last longer when you are out in the mountains for many weeks. Other local specialties in this area are fish from the river or mountain lakes. Berries and herbs are also important ingredients, like cloudberries, blueberries, lingonberries, Angelica, meadowsweet, etc. They provide any special diet if you require that, like no lactose, gluten, or vegetarian (remember to tell them in advance).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 riding days
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Full board meals
  • Transfers during riding days
  • Guide
  • Helmet

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Roundtrip airport tranfers
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by bus

By bus, you can go from Kiruna bus station, train station, or the airport towards Nikkaluokta fjällstation, it usually departs twice a day during high season.

Arrival by train

You can book train tickets to Kiruna. Between Stockholm and Kiruna, there is a night train without change. From the train station, there are free shuttles to the city center.

Alternatives

Kiruna Airport (KRN) is going to be closed two weeks during summer, from July 15-28, 2024. If you plan to travel then, contact OFELAS for information about alternatives.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 17% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
4 days / 3 nights
from --
Retreat information

By agreement, other dates can also be booked upon request. For more information, please send an inquiry.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Thursday July 18, 2024
(4 days / 3 nights)

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