6 Day Volcano Horse Riding Holiday in Ölfus, Reykjavík
Sólhestar ehf, Borgargerði, 816 Ölfus, Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland
Horse Riding Holiday in Iceland
Get in touch with the pure Icelandic nature on an Icelandic pure breed horse! You will be riding in small groups and benefit of a personal and friendly service. For four days, you will be riding through the lava fields around Hengill volcano. You will ride over black lava fields and see colorful valleys and hot springs. During this adventure, you will discover the striking contrast of Icelandic nature. It gives you a taste of both the magnificent landscape and good riding terrain. This is a great four-day tour for experienced riders who can ride up to six to seven hours per day (around 30 - 35 kilometers per day).
Horse Breed: Icelandic horse
4 days of horse riding
Approximate daily riding time: 5-6 hours
Discover the striking contrast of Icelandic nature
You will be accommodated at a guest house in Ölfus, Iceland
Icelandic Horse of the Vikings
Icelandic horses are one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world. They were brought to Iceland long before any of the European breeds that you are so familiar with had been established. The Icelandic horse, along with only a couple of other rare breeds, represents the closest link Sólhestar Horse rental has to the first domesticated horses.
Horses were first brought to Iceland by the Vikings who settled 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 the 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.
History of the Icelandic Horse
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 horse was indispensable. He plowed the fields, carried cargo and crops, forded glacial rivers and picked his surefooted way over treacherous mountain trails, sharing the often short and brutish life of his 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.
Gaited Icelandic Horse
Icelandic horses maybe 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 footfall is the same as at 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 kilometers per hour have been recorded in the flying pace.