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Have you been dreaming of an unforgettable riding holiday in Iceland? You came to the right place! Get a feel of riding in the spectacular and diverse nature of Iceland, much of which is totally unspoiled! This multi-day ride will take you on a journey through a part of South Iceland that not many tourists frequent and therefore will allow you to experience the tranquility of the region. This tour is perfect for intermediate riders and up!
The accommodations will be at Sólhestar Horse Rental, it's a company that has shown how wonderful it is to meet Icelandic horses and how to take it for a ride in amazing areas. Sólhestar opened in 2010, first in Ölfus and has grown up with great professionalism and offers great tours all year round.
At the end of 2016, they opened a new horse rental in Reykjavik and now, they offer great riding trips to Red Lava Hills. They have 80 horses that can be chosen from for which is best for every customer. They think a lot about quality and safety and they have done that from the first day.
They now offer 15 different tours in two different locations in the south of Iceland. Sólmundur Sigurðusson and Sjöfn Sveinsdóttir are the owners of Sólhestar, they do things very personally, Sólmundur and Sjöfn have been riding for many years and have a lot of experience both in horses and in service. They are proud to be a big part of the horse industry in Iceland and they consider it an honor to offer riding tours for travelers.
The most iconic ride starts at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. in the morning at Sólhestar Horse Rental; you will be assigned with two sturdy-built and sure-footed Icelandic horses that will match your riding experience and personality, you will also be equipped with an appropriate riding gear, rain jackets and pants, boots, safety helmets, and gloves.
After preparation, the ride goes from the stable across the neighbor farms and pastures, where they breed pure Icelandic horses. A countless number of horses might come to greet you by the gates as you pass; what's especially beautiful during the season of spring is when the foals take their first sprints across the land. The ride will continue to Arnabæli farm where you will have the possibility to set up a lovely lunch outside and where you will be given an opportunity to take pictures of a breathtaking scenery of Central Ölfus, the beautiful grassy fields, pine forests, and volcanic mountains.
After the break, the ride will continue through alongside the river, which is the home of a variety of wild birds. This experience will allow you to get in touch with Iceland's majestic and dramatic nature, both flora and fauna. You will continue the adventure by crossing a couple of wild rivers (Varmá and Gljufurá) until you reach the Hraun Farm, where you will end up your first day of the tour.
The ride is estimated to be 19 kilometers long, which has a total duration of five hours in the saddle. After the ride, you will be brought back to the accommodation where you can rest and power up for the upcoming riding day.
Once again, you will start the ride between 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. in the morning. However, the starting point this time is Hraun. You will continue the riding journey through Eldborgarhraun, an open lava field area, and through the rocky, rugged, and volcanic terrain of the þrengslavegur, Eldborg, Lagaskard, and Lagastigur mountains until you reach Hveradalir.
You will move towards Litla-Reykjafell mountain and end up your journey in Kolviðarhóll. Surrounded by volcanic mountains and lava valleys, you will be to discover the richness of nature; numerous mountain paths lead off into the spectacular landscapes. Furthermore, throughout the ride, you are ensured to have the opportunity to try the so famous tolt of an Icelandic horse, as well as possibilities for controlled canters for the more experienced riders.
The second-day ride is estimated to be 25 kilometers long that has a total duration of about five to six hours in the saddle. Once more, after the ride, you will be brought back to the accommodation where you can rest and power up for the third riding day.
You will saddle up and take off in Kolviðarhóll where the riding initiates through an open lava field area until you reach a 25-year old gas station on the mountain; up there, you will take a short coffee break. After exploration, you will continue the riding journey through a lava field all the way until you come across the Rauðhólar, a unique natural phenomenon of red lava hills on the southeastern outskirts of Reykjavík. The pseudo craters were formed when molten magma ran over wetlands about 5,000 years ago; the diverse red color of the rocks is due to oxidation, which is similar to the rusting of metal.
After the riding through stunning red lava formations, you will head back to the new stables of Sólhestar, which is situated right next to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. The last day ride is estimated to be approximately 22 kilometers long that has a total duration of around four hours in the saddle.
Icelandic Horses are one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world. They were brought to Iceland long before any of the European breeds that people are so familiar with had been established. The Icelandic Horse, along with only a couple of other rare breeds, represents the closest link people have to the first domesticated horses.
Horses were first brought to Iceland by the Vikings who settled in the country in the years 874-930. Crossing the Atlantic in their small open boats was an adventure, even without having to bring livestock, so people stopped bringing horses to Iceland when a sufficient number had been imported.
For nine centuries, no other horses have been brought to Iceland and now, there is only one breed of horse in Iceland: the Icelandic Horse, one of the purest in the world. Many diseases, from which horses on the European continent or in the United States suffer, are unknown in Iceland. During those centuries, the Icelandic Horse was the only means of transport in Iceland; it carried people, building materials, goods, and mail over mountains, through powerful rivers, over rugged lava fields, and even over glaciers.
In the 20th century, cars, buses, and airplanes took over, while horseback riding became a popular sport and hobby. People used to keep their horses outside and only started to stable them in the 20th century. Thus, the horses were toughened by harsh weather conditions, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters. The principle of "survival of the fittest" made the Icelandic Horses very fit indeed; they are famous for their amazing strength, sure-footedness, stamina, and endurance.
Horses were brought to Iceland by the first Viking settlers during the years 874-930. Their boats were small and only a few horses, the very best, were brought along. At the early stage, import of farm animals was forbidden in the country; because of this, the original Nordic horse remained as a preserved purebred in Iceland throughout the centuries.
They arrived with families and animals in tow, ready to farm, fish, fight with each other, and form a republic. For those early settlers, the horses were indispensable. They plowed the fields, carried cargo and crops, forded glacial rivers, and picked their surefooted way over treacherous mountain trails, sharing the often short and brutish life of its master as an equal partner and beloved friend. That partnership, between man and horse, forged over a thousand years ago, endures today with a love and loyalty that is hard to describe.
Icelandic Horses may be three, four, or five gaited, the majority having four gaits. The walk, trot, and canter are common to every breed of horse; the Icelandics' fourth gait, the tolt, is part of what makes the Icelandic so special. The tolt is a natural four-beat gait that is extremely smooth to ride but very powerful. The foot-fall is the same as the walk but much faster. A good tolt is almost as fast as a gallop. The fifth gait is called the flying pace and is a two-beat lateral gait where the horse moves the front and hind foot on the same side at the same time; speeds of up to 45 km/hr have been recorded in the flying pace.
This riding tour will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Ölfus in the southern part of Iceland. It's only about a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik. If you are coming from east Iceland, then it is only 10 minutes away from Selfoss.
Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this riding holiday.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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