Horse Riding in Iceland: Discovering the Unique Icelandic Horses
Iceland is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, and there's no better way to explore them than on horseback
. Horse riding in Iceland
is an incredible experience that allows you to connect with nature, soak in the peacefulness of your surroundings, and learn about the unique Icelandic horse breed. In this article, we'll delve into the history of Icelandic horses, their distinct gaits, and the best places to go horse riding in Iceland
History of Icelandic Horses
Icelandic horses are a breed
of horse that has been around for over 1,000 years
. These horses were brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century
, and due to the isolation of Iceland, the breed has remained purebred for centuries. The horses were originally used for transportation, farm work, and warfare. Due to their small size, they were perfect for navigating the rough terrain and crossing rivers. The Icelandic horses
also played a significant role in Iceland's cultural heritage
, with their iconic appearance appearing in Icelandic folklore and legends
This breathtaking picture showcases a magnificent Icelandic horse standing proudly against a backdrop of the stunning green mountains of Iceland. The horse's striking white and grey coat shines in the sunlight, while its long mane and tail dance in the wind, creating a sense of movement and freedom. The image perfectly captures the unique and rugged beauty of Iceland, and the majestic spirit of its beloved horses.
Unique Characteristics of Icelandic Horses
Icelandic horses are known for their distinct features, which set them apart from other horse breeds. One of the most notable characteristics of the Icelandic horse is its small size, with an average height of just 13-14 hands. Despite their size, Icelandic horses are strong and sturdy
, making them perfect for carrying adults. They also have a unique double coat
that keeps them warm during Iceland's harsh winters
But perhaps the most interesting feature of the Icelandic horse is its gaits. Icelandic horses have five gaits
, which is more than any other horse breed
. The gaits include the walk
, and flying pace
. The tölt is a four-beat gait
that is unique to the Icelandic horse
and is incredibly smooth and comfortable for riders. The flying pace is a two-beat gait
that can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour
. These gaits make Icelandic horses ideal for long rides and enable them to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Best Places for Horse Riding in Iceland
When it comes to horse riding in Iceland, there's no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to explore. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of this country is on horseback
, and there's no better place to do it than at Eyjardalsá
. This family-owned farm is located in Bárðardalur, in the north part of Iceland, and is conveniently situated in the middle of Akureyri, Húsavík, and Lake Mývatn. The farm is just 8km from the main road (Route 1), making it easily accessible for visitors.
While Eyjardalsá may offer single-day horse riding tours
, that doesn't mean you'll miss out on anything. In fact, there are many benefits to choosing a single-day tour. For one, you'll have the opportunity to ride through stunning landscapes without committing to a multi-day trip. This is ideal for those who may have limited time in Iceland or who want to experience horse riding without committing to a longer trip.
Horse riding in Iceland is an unforgettable experience that allows you to connect with nature and these magnificent creatures. The unique Icelandic horse breeds with their different gaits and personalities make the ride even more special. Riding through the diverse landscapes of Iceland, from the lush green valleys to the rocky highlands, is an incredible adventure that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of this country. It's a perfect way to experience the Icelandic countryside and its breathtaking views.
Explore the beauty of this magical country on horseback with Eyjardalsá
Additionally, single-day tours can be a great way to get a taste of what horse riding in Iceland is
all about. You'll still get to experience the unique gait of Icelandic horses
, which is unlike anything you'll find with other breeds. These horses are known for their "tölt" gait
, which is a smooth, four-beat movement that allows for comfortable riding even over long distances
. It's a truly unique experience that every horse enthusiast should try at least once.
At Eyjardalsá, you'll have the chance to ride through stunning valleys and along peaceful rivers, all while taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you're an experienced rider or a beginner, their tours are suitable for all levels of riders
. Their knowledgeable guides will provide you with everything you need to know to enjoy your ride, from proper riding techniques to information about the local flora and fauna.
If you're planning a trip to Iceland
and want to experience horse riding in a truly unique and unforgettable way, then look no further than Eyjardalsá
. And if you're looking for a place to stay that's close to the farm, be sure to check out Fagrafell Hostel
, which is located just 8km away and offers stunning views of the valley.