Posted by: yachtcrewsing | November 15, 2011

Iceland: Horseback Riding

Being the last day of our vacation, it was crucial that we participate in the last fully Icelandic ‘thing’- riding Icelandic horses. A mere fifteen minutes outside the city centre, the landscape becomes a desolate and exotic expanse of black lava fields covered in vibrant green moss. Situated in this other-worldly backdrop is the Ishestar riding stables, a place which provides delightful trail rides through these gardens of volcanic remnants.

Icelandic horses are, by nature, of incredibly sweet temperaments. They are hardy and small in stature, bred by the settler Vikings to be tough and capable of carrying immense amounts of weight. They are the only breed of horse capable of a unique pace called the ‘tolt,’ a smooth gait between a trot and a gallop. Due to the appropriate qualities bred in these horses, there are very strict guidelines to protect them; no other horses may enter the country and any Icelandic horse that leaves the country can never return. After a wonderful ride galloping through the rugged terrain, I fully appreciate the desire to protect the bloodline of such sturdy, reliable and affable creatures.

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