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Imagine some days of riding in the mountains. You will have riding days in the valley with nice trails and upon the mountains with a breathtaking view of the mountains of Kebnekaise. Stay overnight in Ratekjokk, a small Sami village where you can't come by car, only by boat. Ride both on paths and trails so you'll have the chance to vary the speed and the gaits. You'll stay overnight in a house and eat local specialties. After a day on horseback, you get to enjoy the sauna and a three-course meal. This tour suits both experienced riders and beginners.
The farm is are 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 (1 to 6 persons). 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 1 to 4 persons 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 don’t want to cook by yourself. You can rent winter clothes if needed.
On the first day, you'll have an afternoon ride. Stay to have coffee/tea during the tour. But before that, they have picked you up in Kiruna, have had lunch, and go by car and boat to the other side of the Kalix river to Ratekjokk, a small Sami village where you are going to stay for some nights.
When you come back after the riding, have a sauna bath, a nice three-course meal with local specialties, and have a nice time together. You'll stay overnight in a house in Ratekjokk. There, you will have a sauna, outdoor toilet, and electricity. After breakfast on the next day, ride upon the bare mountains and have an outdoor lunch which they prepare over an open fire.
A three-course meal for dinner, eat that day and possibility for sauna. On the last riding day, ride a whole day tour with outdoor lunch and a three-course dinner back in Ratekjokk. After breakfast on the last day, drive back to Kiruna by boat and car. If you are leaving early that day, you can stay the last night on the farm in Puoltsa instead, if you want.
This tour can be in Ratekjokk (south of the Kalix river) like in the program above or staying overnight on the farm in Puoltsa (north of the Kalix river). If the tour is with staying overnight in Puoltsa, ride both from Puoltsa and from Nikkaluokta to where you'll go by car. This tour has a couple of departures this summer, if you want to come on other dates, it can be possible (by agreement).
If you need extra accommodation before or after the tour, please send an inquiry. This tour is suitable for both experienced and less experienced riders. The activities can be in another order. The Icelandic horse is certainly a strong horse, but not so large.
Characteristic 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 take part in gait competitions or more speedy events. Several individuals can develop a good jumping technique and can be educated in classical dressage.
But 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, 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’s 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 legs 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 100-250 meters. You can also compete in show 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.
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'll find Nikkaluokta and the highest mountain of 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/day during the season) If you need a transfer from Kiruna, they can organize that for the cost of 400 SEK per person.
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've had the business since 1997.
Ratekjokk is a small Sami village located on the southside of Kalix river, a bit below the tree line. You'll 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.
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 towards the Kebnekaise peak, the highest mountain of 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.
A Sami community (village) is not what they normally would call a village, but an economical 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’s 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 Leaváš and Girjas Sami communities.
Reindeer and moose meat is an important ingredient in the 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).
Transfer not provided
At SJ’s website, 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.
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.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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